The two countries show a chance for “genuine economic collaboration between equal partners.”
Agadir – Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, spoke with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffre Onyeama, on a variety of bilateral and multilateral issues on Monday, January 18. The meeting took place over the phone.
According to a press release from the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the “officials discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and other topics related to common issues.” Other details about the contents of the meeting have not been made available.
This comes in a time marked by change in attitudes, and an ever shifting political landscape.
For a long time Nigeria had been a vocal supporter of the Algerian-backed Polisario, alongside other major African countries such as South Africa and Algeria. Many saw the tensions in the Western Sahara as the means to put an end to Morocco’s growing influence across the continent.
Nevertheless, African diplomatic relations changed in 2016 when King Mohammerd VI undertook a mission to win over those who stood diametrically opposed to Morocco.
The same year, the Office Cherifien de Phosphates (OCP) announced its African venture plan, OCP Africa. The venture set as one of its goals to help the beneficiaries overcome the challenges of meeting food security and improve crop production. This was done by building a fertilizer plant in Nigeria to help alleviate local food insecurity.
This period saw the beginning of warming relations between Morocco and Nigeria, as well as the diminishing influence of Polisario in the region.
And what were once warming relations, were solidified in place with the signing of a deal to create the much-heralded Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline.
Some observers saw the arrival of Morocco as a chance for a “genuine economic collaboration between equal partners,” after years of Nigeria’s dependency and exploitation by Western oil companies.
As such, in 2017 when the time came for Morocco to rejoin the African Union, Nigeria was one of the countries that showed their support for the country.
Ever since, Morocco and Nigeria have experienced thawing, increasingly warm diplomatic and economic relations. Considering the scope of projects already undertaken, we are left to wonder what is in store for the future in Moroccan and Nigerian collaboration.