Morocco's Rediscovery of Africa
July 31, 2013
Morocco is paying increasing attention to sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2008 and 2010 Moroccan FDI to sub-Saharan Africa nearly doubled, and from 2000 to 2010 Moroccan exports to sub-Saharan Africa more than tripled. Three Moroccan banks rank among the top ten banks in Africa, with over $90 billion in assets, and Moroccan companies are well positioned to capitalize on growing agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors in Africa. In the security sphere, the takeover of northern Mali in mid-2012 and attacks in 2013 signaled that the threat of extremist violence in the Sahel is entering a new phase. Morocco’s government has called for greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation among neighboring states to address the problem. Yet ongoing competition with Algeria, the Western Sahara conflict, and Morocco’s absence from the African Union are obstacles to Morocco’s efforts to carve out a more influential diplomatic and security role in Africa.