History could be said to have been made as the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at its 51st Ordinary Session of 4th June 2017, held in Monrovia, Liberia, approved the request for membership of the North African Country Morocco.Map of Africa showing Morocco and the West African countries.
However, according to BBC reports, the admission shall be on principle until the modalities and implications of such admission has been fully considered.
This move is coming years after Morocco had through observatory status granted her, maintained institutional relations with ECOWAS. According to a statement released early this year by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation when the country applied for membership of the regional organisation, Morocco has participated in several meetings of the organization and has contributed to its activities, particularly in areas relating to peace and stability. The statement reads in part that the request to join the organisation is “to crown the strong political, human, historical, religious and economic ties at all levels with ECOWAS member countries”.
Historically, Morocco and the countries of West Africa have shared some forms of relations, especially during the period of the trans-Saharan trade with such trade routes as the famous Walata Road, that runs from the Senegal River and the Taghaza Trail, running from the Mali River, both terminating at Sijilmasa, in Morocco just north of the Sahara desert. (See image below)The Trans-Saharan Trade Routes (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Niger_saharan_medieval_trade_routes.PNG)