Interview: Mamadou Tangara, Foreign Minister of Gambia discusses Morocco joining ECOWAS & African integration
Mamadou Tangara, Foreign Minister of Gambia, attending the MEDays 2018 in Tangier shares with us his vision for a more integrated region and continent, Morocco’s role in strengthening and growing ECOWAS power as well as the priorities we should focus on for the continent’s integration and unity to become a realty, as much in terms of intra-African trade, as in terms of intra-African cooperation to establish peace and security in the continent.
In your view what is the added value of Morocco’s accession to ECOWAS, from both sides?
Morocco joining ECOWAS will be a step in the right direction. I think for us it’s important to go beyond the artificial geographical groupings and Morocco’s accession will help play a key role, within Africa but also worldwide, in increasing the economic and political power of ECOWAS.
Morocco’s integration will help go beyond the artificial boundaries of language, geography to become one very strong bloc, this is the right way forward to unifying Africa.
This is an initiative that should be saluted because Morocco’s integration will help go beyond the artificial boundaries of language, geography to become one very strong bloc, this is the right way forward to unifying Africa. With very strong regional blocs we can easily move towards an integrated and solid continent.
What are the priority actions for West African regional integration?
Free movement of people, good and services is a priority. We believe that we should also promote intra-African trade, as most of our trading partners are from far away, therefore it’s important that within Africa we are able to create connectivity and more exchanges between African countries.
In terms of security cooperation continent-wide, how can the African Union further act and how? What is to be implemented?
One very important aspect is that we are facing asymmetric threats so it is crucial for our security services, especially the intelligence services to work closely together. Today we are dealing with an unconventional enemy, so it’s important that the exchanges of information between intelligence services are encouraged and promoted, this will ensure the stability in the continent. Because whatever happens to us indirectly affects all of us directly, so it’s essential that we work together in order to deal with the threats we are facing today.
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