Morocco is in North Africa and is already part of the Arab league, but it seeks to join the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS – an organization specifically meant for West African countries.

So, why does Morocco want to be part of ECOWAS?

According to the spokesman for the Moroccan government and Parliament, Mr Mustapha El Khalf, the country’s interest in joining ECOWAS stems from its desire to build strong South-South partnership.

Khalfi disclosed this on Thursday while briefing participants of the maiden News Directors Forum of the Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA) in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

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Asked by the News Agency of Nigeria participant why Morocco, located in North Africa, should apply to join ECOWAS, he said: “It reflects the vision of His Majesty, the King, to build strong South-South partnership and to bring our efforts together to deal with economic and social challenges.”

He described the move as “a project still ongoing within the institution”, stressing that the vision behind the move was to “enhance our capacities to deal with economic and social challenges of the 21st century”.

Morocco’s application to join ECOWAS came after it re-joined the African Union, AU in January 2017.

The country had left the continental body in 1984 following AU’s recognition of Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco regards as part of its historic region.

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