Morocco-ECOWAS: The strategic challenges for Africa

There are several reasons to hope that the decade 2021-2030 will be promising for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). 


Despite the year 2020 marked by uncertainty, the next ten years will see the completion of several large-scale projects initiated by Morocco, such as the Gas Pipeline connecting it to Nigeria. Added to this is the support of the OCP Group to agriculture in Africa and its various initiatives for the development of the continent.


Back to these strategic partnerships. For sustainable agriculture In its report entitled “Strengths and weaknesses of ECOWAS in 2021”, Policy Center For The New South reviews the refocusing of the OCP Group in Africa, considering this as an opportunity that ECOWAS has been able to seize. If we look at the figures, the population of the ECOWAS States will have doubled in 2050. “In 2020, the population growth is greater than that of its GDP in Nigeria, and this since 2017. Which risks, if that continued, to question the food security of this country of 200 million inhabitants today, from 398 million in 2050.


Doing nothing was the certainty of food security not assumed in 2050 ”, argues the author of this analysis, Henri-Louis Verdie, specifying that by refocusing its activity in Africa, OCP naturally relied on this demographic change but not only.


 Indeed, there is also the fact that there is less and less African arable land per capita with the lowest fertilizing nutrient application rate on the planet (12 kg hectare for example in sub-Saharan Africa, at compare to 393 kg observed in East Asia), the report says.


 In this perspective, the fertilization of the land and the use of fertilizers as part of reasoned agriculture constitute a central datum for African development. “Created in January 2016, the OCP Africa subsidiary becomes its armed wing, intended to meet a new challenge, that of efficient and sustainable African agriculture, based on fertilizers adapted to the soils of the territories, to their cultivation, offered at prices taking into account the means of the user countries ”, underlines the document. 


In 2017, OCP Africa has fifteen subsidiaries, eight of which are in ECOWAS countries (Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal).


“All these subsidiaries will be able to rely on a fertilizer production unit dedicated to the African continent, inaugurated in 2016. In addition to these subsidiaries, the OCP Group has set up an initial anchorage on the West African market, from the port of Abidjan, followed by an agreement with the Guinean State, guaranteeing the latter the supply of all of its phosphate fertilizer needs ”, explains the study adding that very quickly, fertilizer consumption should be multiplied by 5. “Moroccan-Nigerian” gas pipeline The era of ECOWAS electrification begins with the construction during the decade 2021-2030 of the first phase of the “Moroccan-Nigerian” gas pipeline.


5,000 kilometers long, this Gas Pipeline is a continuation of that of the West African Gas Pipeline, linking Nigeria to Ghana since 2010. “This project will mobilize a budget of 25 billion dollars, value 2020”, recalls the think-tank. This is a project that will affect 300 to 350 million inhabitants. The objective is to improve their access to electrification and to offer a competitive electricity market. “This project also responds to a growing need for diversification in Europe of gas energy sources, putting an end to the Algerian gas export monopoly which characterizes the current situation. 


With this project, eleven of the fifteen ECOWAS countries along the West African coast are affected by this gas pipeline crossing the following countries: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco ”, indicates the director of this report stressing that the“ Moroccan-Nigerien ”gas pipeline will also allow gas to be supplied to Europe via Gibraltar.


It should be noted that the project’s feasibility study (2019) reveals an implementation period of 25 years.


By Ouchagour Leila

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