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Morocco-Nigeria PartnershipFor more than two decades, Morocco has worked to build partnerships with sub-Saharan African countries. The country is increasing its cooperation with several African countries to improve the bonds of unity on the African continent. A robust Morocco-Nigeria partnership is enhancing the economies of both countries.

Pipeline Gas Partnership

The Morocco-Nigeria partnership is taking another step forward, this time cooperating on a major gas pipeline that the king of Morocco and the president of Nigeria first discussed back in 2016. Nigeria’s gas will contribute to developing economies in much of the sub-Saharan African region. In addition, it will stimulate the growth and interconnectedness of the West African energy market.

Studies have demonstrated the economic viability of the pipeline project, which could draw attention from giant multinational energy companies. The pipeline also represents an important portion of Morocco’s recent investment in sub-Saharan Africa after the country rejoined the African Union in 2017.

The gas pipeline will ultimately link Nigerian gas to “every coastal country in West Africa.” These countries consist of “Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania.” The pipeline will end in Tangiers, Morocco and Cádiz, Spain. The pipeline will be 3,517 miles long. The construction will be divided into multiple phases and will take around 25 years to complete.

Agricultural Partnership

The Morocco-Nigeria partnership exceeded expectations after the two countries agreed to launch a new agricultural project. The Moroccan OCP Group, a state-owned mining and fertilizer producer, will establish a fertilizer factory in Nigeria amounting to $1.3 billion. Several key facts outline the agricultural partnership.

  • The project was launched in June 2018 and the factory is anticipated to open its doors in 2024.
  • Utilizing Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate, the factory will produce 750,000 tons of ammonia annually by 2025.
  • Similarly, the factory will manufacture one million tons of phosphate fertilizers a year by 2025.
  • Affordable and customized fertilizer aims to improve agriculture in Nigeria in order to improve food security.
  • The OCP Group will offer agricultural training to Nigerian farmers and encourage digitalization in farming.

Finance Partnership

The Morocco-Nigeria partnership is also helping banks from both countries expand in the region. The Nigerian Bank of Africa (UBA) and Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank signed an agreement in 2016 to reinforce their cooperation in banking, finance, investment and trade. Both the Nigerian president and the Moroccan king were present at the signing as well as the CEOs of both banks.

The UBA exists in 19 African countries, making it one of the most dominant banks in Africa. The agreement covers finance projects, trade and investment between the two countries. The Nigerian UBA Chairman Tony Elumelu said, “This collaborative effort is a historical milestone.” He added, “We see huge potential in bringing our collective expertise in banking to provide Africa-led solutions to the needs of Africans.”

Security Partnership

In terms of security and fighting terrorism in the region, Morocco cooperates with the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) in Nigeria. In April 2021, high-profile representatives from Morocco met with CEN-SAD in Nigeria to talk about different plans to fight terrorism. The three-day gathering focused mainly on the progress CEN-SAD had accomplished in fighting terrorist groups.

The two parties also shared their expertise for future collaborative exercises and proposed new approaches for areas damaged by terrorism. The Moroccan representative party presented counterterrorism methods that Morocco has recently applied in its own region. The two parties also discussed forming a state-run entity to advance the collaboration between Morocco “and the members of the region’s counterterrorism operations.”

The Morocco-Nigeria partnership illustrates the strength in collaboration and cooperation between countries. With more countries coming together for mutual benefit, the power of partnership can advance progress on global issues.

– Zineb Williams
Photo: Flickr

Entrepreneurship in Africa
Africa stands as a continent of nearly 1.3 billion people, with 27 nations having a poverty rate of over 30%. As COVID-19 spreads through the region, falling demand and break down of supply chains threaten to further slow already-sluggish growth rates. Ever the land of great resilience and innovation, hundreds of enterprising individuals have excelled in Africa, enriching themselves and their countries. Increasingly more Africans are seeking out entrepreneurial and small business opportunities to combat poverty. One such businessman helping in this effort, multimillionaire Tony Elumelu, is using his wealth to fuel entrepreneurship in Africa and transform the continent into a booming commercial hub and providing hope for the future.

Roadblocks to Economic Growth in Africa

Africa’s economy has long suffered stubborn development setbacks. Government inaction, fragile infrastructure and widespread instability have hindered the region’s industrialization and economic growth. Many countries grapple with deficient infrastructure, including inadequate means of transportation, limited access to electricity and water and poor telecommunications systems. The World Bank estimates that the resolution of these structural shortcomings would increase the region’s productivity by as much as 40%.

Politicians have been reluctant to bolster manufacturing despite an international consensus on Africa’s need for industrialization. Such apprehension can be partially attributed to Africa’s unique position in the world economy: a pre-industrial continent already aspiring to post-industrialism. This misguided ambition has discouraged lawmakers from implementing protectionist policies. Without tariffs that benefit domestic manufacturing industries, larger international corporations choke out Africa’s budding factories and discourage entrepreneurship in Africa.

Ongoing fiscal and political instability serves to magnify these already difficult issues. Mounting debt levels divert money from investment to reimbursement and waste significant capital on unproductive endeavors. For example, sub-Saharan Africa’s aggregate debt-to-GDP ratio doubled from 2008 to 2017. Additionally, frequent leadership turnover has deterred international companies from entering African countries.

Working to mitigate these hurdles is Tony Elumelu, the founder of Heirs Holdings Ltd, a private investment corporation that operates in the energy sector. Beyond oil and gas, Elumelu is investing in a far more valuable asset: Africa’s future innovators. His nonprofit organization, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), empowers young entrepreneurs with the resources they need to build meaningful businesses.

How The Tony Elumelu Foundation Advances Entrepreneurship in Africa

The Tony Elumelu Foundation fosters entrepreneurship in Africa to alleviate poverty and spark economic gains. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme offers grants and mentorship to innovative African businesspeople, allowing them to transform their ideas into profitable corporations. Endowed with a generous $100 million, the program has already assisted 9,000 individuals in creating businesses that invigorate their entire communities.

The broad scope of TEF’s investments cultivates economic diversification, a key tenet of development and stability. Some of the organization’s recent beneficiaries include:

  • Stars From All Nations (SFAN): Headed by Tom-Chris Emewulu, SFAN nourishes young minds through informative programs and workshops. Aimed at augmenting and supplementing children’s schooling, the company is helping to resolve Africa’s undereducation crisis.
  • Doctoora: Jubril Odulana, a Nigerian doctor, created Doctoora as a solution to Africa’s limited healthcare access. The platform collaborates with medical professionals to open private practices and ensures patients receive the care they need. In the face of COVID-19, Doctoora plays an essential role in promoting public health across the region.
  • Ufinix.com: The brainchild of Nnodim Uchenna, Ufinix.com offers aspiring developers comprehensive coding courses and guidance, preparing them for future careers in computer science. By equipping students with technological knowledge, the website is propelling Africa into the digital age.
  • Light Salone: Light Salone founder Mohammed Akamara aims to redress Sierra Leone’s severe energy shortage. In pursuit of this goal, Akamara engineered affordable hybrid solar-wind power sources to electrify rural areas and boost development. Manufactured using recycled supplies, these Sowind Technologies provide a mindful solution to Sierra Leone’s electrical desert.

By supporting young visionaries, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is generating hope, ambition and entrepreneurship in Africa. Its passionate beneficiaries are launching innovative and impactful companies that not only empower their creators but also their communities. The foundation has employed the continent’s most creative, altruistic minds, initiating a cycle of philanthropy that portends Africa’s future prosperity.

Rosalind Coats
Photo: Flickr