Kenya's move reflects the increasing pan-Africanist rhetoric among African leaders, as they push for the “African family” to show more unity and cohesion in global discussions.
Rabat – Kenyan authorities have asked for Morocco’s support as the East African country vies to secure a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 tenure, a local outlet has reported.
At an event organized at the Moroccan embassy in Kenya in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of King Mohammed VI’s ascension to the throne, Kenyan and Moroccan officials shared enthusiastic messages of pan-Africanism, of heightened inter and intra-African dialogue on the diplomatic front.
Speaking at the event, Arthur Adumbi, Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry’s Representative for African Opinion, recalled Morocco’s role in the rising pan-Africanist mood among African policymakers.
He praised Morocco’s investments across the continent and pointed out that, since it rejoined the African Union two years ago, the North African country has positioned itself as one of the most vocal promoters of African issues at the global level.
“As you are aware, Kenya is vying for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the period 2019-2020 and therefore requests Morocco’s support for this candidature,” Adumbi said.
The Kenyan official also pointed to Morocco’s pioneering role in post-colonial Africa.
Dwelling on the role of the Casablanca Group, one of the forerunners of pan-Africanism in the aftermath of independence for most African countries in the 1960s, Adumbi said that Morocco was instrumental in decolonization struggles and in paving “the way for the unification of African states through pan-Africanism… and the launch of the then Organization of African Unity.”
Mokhtar Ghambou, the Moroccan ambassador to Nairobi, spoke, for his part, of Morocco’s African ambitions, its South-South agenda, as well as the country’s willingness to step up through scholarships and inter-university exchanges to curb extremism and provide academic training for future African elites.
For Ghambou, Morocco’s significance for the continent has not only been in the conventional economic sectors such as banking, trade, or agriculture. In addition to those sectors, Rabat has been a reliable African partner in the field of higher education and vocational training, the ambassador explained.
He also drew attention to what he suggested is Morocco’s pan-African policy on migration. “Thanks to the Royal Initiative, 50 000 illegal migrants and refugees have become legal residents so far, with access to education, healthcare, and affordable housing, just like the citizens of Morocco,” he said.
Inevitably, the Moroccan ambassador put forward the perceptible progress Morocco has made in recent years.
He said, “We have no oil or gas, as you know, but that didn’t prevent us from building the largest solar energy plant in the world, from having the fastest train in Africa and the Arab world, and from having the largest port in Africa and the Mediterranean.”
These achievements, Ambassador Ghambou argued, have made Morocco a sought-after and reliable partner at both the continental and global levels.
Other speakers at the event echoed the same sentiments as Adumbi and Ghambou.
From the necessity of a collaborative African platform to curb extremism to the urge of furthering intra-African exchanges, all the speakers agreed that the “African family” at the UN and other international organizations should show more unity and cohesion when discussing on issues of vital interest for the African continent.