Moroccan diplomacy outperforms Algeria in the Sahel- Wilson Center

Moroccan diplomacy outperforms Algeria in the Sahel- Wilson Center

For every step forward Morocco makes to foster ties with the Sahel, Algeria makes a step backwards, says an analysis published by the Washington-based Wilson Center.

Morocco has, even before returning to the African Union, built a strong win-win basis for its ties with Sahel countries through a multipronged strategy that combines soft-power with investments and defense cooperation that drew more support to Rabat, says the analysis by Safae Al Yaaqoubi, the center’s Senior Policy Analyst, the North Africa and the Middle East Expert.

In contrast, Algeria had more self-serving foreign policy goals in dealing with the Sahel centered on gathering support for the Polisario separatists and their anachronistic agenda, leading Algiers to self-isolation as it pursues a chimera of a Maghreb union without Morocco, the analyst said.

“Looking into the future, as the African continent moves towards greater economic pragmatism and sheds ideological relics of the past, Algeria is on a path of further isolation, making it unable to promote or benefit from regional integration,” she said.

“Prospects are increasingly bleak with the eventual depletion of oil revenues, making it more difficult to shape regional politics as it desires, especially with an inflexible, outdated mindset.”

“Morocco’s role as a catalyst for development and stabilization presents a compelling opportunity for collaboration and progress, ensuring a more prosperous and secure future for the region and the continent,” the analyst added.

After highlighting the long presence by Morocco’s major banks and companies in the Sahel, El Yaaqoubi pointed to the relevance of the Atlantic initiative, launched by Morocco’s King, to help landlocked Sahel countries access maritime global trade and promote regional integration.

She said the initiative cements a Moroccan “pragmatic” approach to its ties with the Sahel, as Rabat also sees to further boost influence through regional integration energy projects, including the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.

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