King Mohammed VI of Morocco is to continue his visits to other African countries next week following the re-admission of Morocco to the African Union. Last year, the King visited several African countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Madagascar. On this latest trip, he will be visiting Ghana, Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry, Zambia and Mali.
It will be the King’s first visit to Ghana, and both the new Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo and the King recognise the importance of co-operation between Accra and Rabat. With the visit being preceded by the setting up of a joint business forum between the two countries many agreements will hopefully follow both during the tour and the coming years.
Following on from Ghana, the King will visit Conakry the capital of Guinea and his close friend the President Alpha Conde. It was under his expert guidance that a Summit of the African Union agreed to the re-admission of Morocco. The next port of call could be the hardest diplomatically as he visits the Zambian capital of Lusaka. Zambia has been a keen supporter of the Polisario, a socialist group fighting for independence for Western Sahara against Morocco. Despite intense diplomatic pressure from South Africa, it seems that President Edgar Lungu would rather look for fruitful deals with all African nations rather than be restricted by old ideas.
After a visit to Mali, King Mohammed will conclude his tour with a visit to Cote d’Ivoire. Here there is no doubt many trade deals will be sought and agreed. After France, Morocco has been one of the leading investors here. It is also considered to be one of the leading countries in the west of Africa.
King Mohammed fully realises the importance of agreements with the other African nations, and in his recent address to the African Union in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abba was keen to point out that although Morocco had been away from the Union it had never left Africa and had always been keen to promote trade between the African nations. During his reign, from the turn of the millennia about one thousand agreements had been signed, whereas in the previous forty-five years only around five hundred were signed.