Landlocked Sahel countries see in Morocco a way out to the Atlantic

Landlocked countries of the Sahel see opportunities in Morocco’s initiative to offer them an access to global trade through the Atlantic.

The initiative was announced by King Mohammed VI in November offering Morocco’s road, rail and port infrastructure to countries lacking access to maritime trade such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

Foreign ministers of the four landlocked countries had met in Marrakech in December to express their support for such an initiative that promises to help some of the poorest countries in Africa meet their economic development needs.

On March 1 in Washington, Moroccan ambassador Youssef Amrani said he met Chad’s Prime minister Succès Masra to further discussions on the initiative, which was debated at leading Washington think tank the Atlantic Council.

At loggerheads with their ECOWAS neighbours, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso established a new alliance of Sahel states.

As the delivery of the $1-billion Dakhla port in the Moroccan Sahara territory approaches, Sahel countries see in its proximity and secure road a chance to integrate global supply chains.

But headwinds to Morocco’s Atlantic initiative are to be expected as Algeria, Rabat’s archrival, waved the card of instability triggering tensions both with Mali and Niger through meddling in their own domestic affairs or siding with anti-Mali Tuareg rebels.

 

About Geraldine Boechat 2680 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia