Morocco Adds Momentum to its Africa Foreign Policy
King Mohammed VI of Morocco will undertake shortly official visits to Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania as part of an African strategy that aims at diversifying partners and building bridges of solidarity and economic cooperation with key English speaking countries in the continent.
The visit was announced by the well-informed online news outlet, le360.ma, which said that the tour would be the first by the Moroccan monarch to the African horn.
This coming tour is part of a Moroccan Africa policy permeated by solidarity and economic cooperation at a time the Kingdom is applying for regaining its natural place in the African institutional family, the African Union.
The visit to Ethiopia will usher a new era in Morocco’s relations with the African horn and boost the kingdom’s influence in light of Ethiopia’s demographic, diplomatic and economic weight in the region. As the second most populous country in Africa with an annual economic growth rate reaching 10% and given the fact that it hosts the headquarters of the African Union, the Sovereign’s visit to Addis Ababa will no doubt augur promising prospects for bilateral relations.
Ethiopia also seeks to bolster ties with Morocco, a state it deems a key player among Francophone African countries. Addis Ababa is interested in drawing more investments by Moroccan companies and financial institutions, following the example of Morocco’s BMCE bank and the state-owned phosphates company OCP, which have already been operating subsidiaries in the country.
Rwanda is another important step in the King’s tour. With 12-million inhabitant, Rwanda has been regarded as a model in Africa in light of its outstanding performances in terms of human and economic development.
The visit of Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, to Morocco last Summer during which he met King Mohammed VI has added a new momentum to bilateral ties between the two countries. It was no coincidence that Morocco expressed its will to rejoin the African Union in Rwanda’s capital Kigali that was hosting the 27rd African Union Summit last July.
The visit to Tanzania will help Morocco build bridges with Eastern Africa. Given its impressive economic development with an annual growth rate of 7%, Morocco sees tremendous economic cooperation opportunities with Tanzania.