Morocco seeks to re-join AU, strengthen economic ties as state maintains bilateral relations with Kenya

 

Morocco is seeking to strengthen economic relationships with other African Union (AU) member states 32 years later after it revoked its membership.

The directive follow’s the Moroccan government’s re-affirmation of a statement released by the Moroccan King Mohammed VI during the AU summit in Rwanda last week.

The country has not been a member because its government opposed the membership of Western Sahara as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. However, Morocco has a special status within the AU and benefits from services available to all AU states.

Morocco last week sent a special envoy to rally support from the African leaders to endorse their country’s bid to re-join the organisation in a two-day meeting in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.

In the statement presented by the special envoy, King Mohammad called on the bloc to reconsider its position, assuring that a political solution is being considered according to the provisions of the UN. The statement further reads that even when it was no longer a member of the AU, Morocco never left Africa.

The country has pledged to contribute to making the AU a more robust organization and strengthen its involvement in matters it feels strongly about through agendas and constructive activities.

“Through this historic act and return, Morocco wants to work within the AU to transcend divisions,” the King said.

Morocco holds membership in two of the eight regional Economic Communities of the African Union; the Arab Maghreb Union and the Community of Shel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD). It also has observer status in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Kenya has had a standing relationship with the country for quite some time. In 2013, East Africa’s powerhouse signed an agreement with Morocco to increase trade between both countries. The two territories’ governments also signed an agreement that allows direct flights between both nations.

In November 2014, Speaker of The Kenyan Senate, David Ekwe Ethuro visited Morocco to boost bilateral ties between both countries. The Speaker met with Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane they discussed multiple issued including higher education scholarships in medical and engineering fields.

Morocco is now set to host the COP22 Climate Conference next November in a bid to defend the position of the continent which is greatly affected by climate change and sustainable development issues.

To rejoin the AU, Morocco will sign and ratify the body’s Constitutional Act, and then later a majority vote by member states will determine the country’s admission to the bloc.

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