“There is a real silence, no information is circulating on this project. Morocco has been scalded by the negative reactions of some stakeholders within ECOWAS. Nevertheless, bilateral discussions are still underway,” says economist Larabi Jaïdi, a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South.
The day after Morocco applied for membership, ECOWAS gave its “agreement in principle”, before discreetly freezing the process. Under pressure from the private sector in their countries, some policymakers have expressed concerns about Moroccan competition, and have launched debates about culture and identity.
Nigeria’s AfCFTA u-turn
This has been the case in Senegal, Ghana and especially Nigeria, which accounts for 40% of regional trade. Having the most to lose, Nigeria had shown reservations about Morocco’s membership and, indeed, about any opening of ECOWAS to another country. But its
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