Why Morocco Joined ECOWAS.
THE Economic Community of West African States ‘ECOWAS’ has in principle approved Morocco’s membership application despite the country being in North Africa.
However, Ecowas leaders meeting in Liberia said the implications of its membership still needed to be considered before Morocco could formally join.
Morocco’s application comes after it rejoined the African Union in January.
Morocco left the continental body in 1984 after it recognised the independence of Western Sahara.
Why Morocco Joined ECOWAS
Morocco regards Western Sahara as part of its historic territory and has spent much of the last three decades trying to strengthen ties with Europe at the expense of relations with Africa.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, however, is strengthening his country’s ties with the rest of Africa.
Ivory Coast President Alasanne Ouattara has confirmed that the decision had been agreed in principle but the details still had to be worked out.
Morocco, along with Tunisia which is seeking observer status with the organisation and Mauritania, which wants to return to the body, will be invited to the next meeting of heads of state in Togo in December, a senior Ecowas source told the BBC.
Ecowas is made up of 15 West African nations, none of which shares a border with Morocco. Members enjoy free trade and movement of people.