Why African Leaders Must Be Cautious Of Morocco And Israel

organization’s recognition of Western Sahara as an independent state. This is a country which has a history of several failed attempts of European Union (EU) membership applications. Together with Tunisia and Algeria, these are North African countries that belong to the crumbling Maghreb Arab Union which was founded with the aim of consolidating Arab Nations.
Morocco interestingly doesn’t share a boarder with any of the 15 Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – a regional block founded in 1975 to consolidate economic and cultural ties in the western part of the continent.
But why is it that for the first time in their history of Morocco they are
pushing to be part of ECOWAS? What does this mean for the people of
Western Sahara and Africans in general?In his closing summary, the newly appointed head of ECOWAS, Togolese
President Faure Gnassingbe speaking on behalf of the region gave a preliminary greenlight for Morocco to be accepted into the block with pending a few issues being ironed out first. This comes at a time when the African Union has resolved to accept Morocco back in the African Union fold a few months back.It comes at a time when Tunisia is seeking an observer status in ECOWAS. They are all running away from the Arab league because of its instability following the Arab spring. The Maghreb Union’s founding values are being challenged.

Morocco is seeking to belong to the African Union because they were
rejected by the EU. This calls into question the sincerity of their
intentions.With its strong economy than most countries in the west, Morocco is busy
dangling a carrot to our leaders by advancing economic relation so they can be accepted and will seek to isolate the People of Western Sahara from within. In Nigeria, they have a bilateral cooperation on gas and pipe line project. In Ghana, they have signed 25 government and private sector agreements.All these are good for the economic activities of fellow African countries.
However, African leaders must not sell their souls and compromise the
struggle of the people of Western Sahara. As Morocco makes inroads into the league of African countries, our leaders must be cautious not and stop
advocating for the total liberation of the people of Western Sahara.

ECOWAS must also not fall into the trap of being enticed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who addressed the summit on the fourth of June by saying ‘Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel’. In 2016 they made an impassioned plea to the Eastern block of Africa. They are determined to infiltrate Africa. Such statements must not be eagerly entertained because this is a nation which continues to undermine the dignity of Palestinians and refuse them a seat in the League of Nations.

Countries like Israel and Morocco are taking advantage of the weaknesses
in African economies, knocking at their doors attempting to buy favours with them. Both these countries continue to oppress their neighbours and African leaders must not forget that.

Rhulani Thembi Siweya is the founder of Africa Unmasked and an NEC Member of the ANCYL who writes in her capacity as patron of Africa Unmasked.



  1. The writer has raised some very interesting points, but the topic itself does raise some serious questions about Regional Leadership in the ECOWAS Economic Block and ultimately, leadership in the African continent, as a whole. There is a lot that can be said about the woeful quality of leadership in Africa, but it is pointless to do so, as it will not add anything that has not already been said or written about the leadership situation in the continent. One can only add here that as a whole, African leaders have not shown that they have mastered the art of leadership in the 21st century (Leadership is indeed an art) and hence, their absence on the Global scene, for nobody really takes them seriously.

    The two key issues the writer dealt with are Morocco and Israel. Many will agree with her contentions and objections to not admitting Morocco into ECOWAS or dealing with Netanyahu’s Israel, but there are those, like myself, who would want to interrogate the subjects a bit further before we offer counter arguments for admitting Morocco into ECOWAS and dealing with the “devil” Netanyahu. (continue)

  2. Should Morocco be admitted into ECOWAS? Well, one of the key aims of the OAU, at its founding, was the political and economic unification of the continent, but right from the word “go”, history teaches us that the idea of a united and strong Africa was not welcome by all, both within the continent and outside, and the reasons were many and varied.

    For the imperialist powers, a united and strong Africa, under politically astute and knowledgeable leaders like Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Nyerere, Saikou Toure, Lumumba, Cabral, etc, was not compatible with the envisaged role and relationship of “independent” Africa with the evolving Global economic system and equation and hence, covert and overt means were employed to divide and weaken the OAU and sow suspicion within its ranks.

    The result, within a very short time after “independence”, was Military coups and coup attempts (real or imagined), diplomatic rows, intra-state conflicts, assassinations and assassination attempts, internal armed struggles (instigated and funded by outsiders) and ultimately, brutal dictatorships, as some of these founding fathers became paranoid and saw “enemies” everywhere and nowhere.

    An ingenious and overt strategy employed was the creation of, or encouragement to create, regional economic blocks all over the continent, and though promoted as the building blocks of the African Unification project through regional integration, they were nothing but a clever way of diverting attention inwards, into politically and economically weak states, for easy control through inducements, and distracting focus from the continental project, thus reducing enthusiasm for the OAU project and putting it on the path to failure.

    Nobody understood this better than Dr Nkrumah and whilst in exile in Guinea in 1968, after the CIA engineered and directed coup that overthrew his government in 1966, he wrote:

    ““The Organization of African Unity has been rendered virtually useless as a result of the machinations of neocolonialists and their puppets. Yet it is being preserved as an innocuous organization in the hope that it may delay the formation of a really effective Pan-African organization, which will lead to genuine political unification. Encouragement is being given to the formation of African regional economic organizations in the knowledge that without political cohesion they will be ineffective and serve to strengthen, not weaken, neocolonialist exploitation and domination.” (Introduction to “The Specter of Black Power”). (Continued)

  3. Viewed from this perspective, the collapse of the Maghreb Arab Union (if that’s what we are witnessing) or indeed, any of the failed Regional Economic Blocks in the continent, should be welcomed by us, because it is a necessary prerequisite to re-launch and re-embark on our long desired goal of uniting our peoples for our collective wellbeing. And if ECOWAS is the regional body that will serve as a conduit to bring all under ONE umbrella entity, then so be it. ECOWAS therefore, should embrace Morocco with both hands.

    The problems facing the Sahrawi ethnic group in Morocco is not different from problems faced by many ethnic minorities in many developing countries, in Africa or elsewhere. In Africa, these problems are the result of leadership failures in two key areas:

    (1) The inability of many independence and post independence leaders to create nations where citizenship supersedes all other considerations.

    As creation of colonialism, most African countries, if not all, are a mixture of different ethnic groups or tribes, with different interests, cultures and religions, and some of these groups or tribes may actually be blood enemies, due to centuries of intra-tribal competition, conflict or even wars for scarce resources.

    Unfortunately, the same strategy of divide and rule, through preferential treatment of some against others, used successfully by the colonialists, was adopted by many African leaders as their preferred method of governance, thus giving advantages to their own tribes and allies, and leaving everyone else to struggle for survival. This approach created a lot of dissatisfaction, anger, hopelessness and loss of faith and hope in the nation states.

    The challenge to resolve these internal imbalances therefore, is not breakup and “independence” for the disadvantaged group, but engagement with authorities to create nation states where all citizens will be equal and be proud to be citizens of the nation. The experience of Africa’s newest forced state of South Sudan should teach us all a valuable lesson: that cessation alone does not address internal imbalances and may actually aggravate the problem, as deprived groups suddenly find themselves competing for power and influence against each other. (Continue)

  4. (2) The failure to harness national resources and build economies for the many, rather than the few.

    Most often than not, dissatisfaction within a nation can be traced to the economic hardship of the population, especially the affected group, and the lack of adequate and functioning public services, and this in turn, is intricately linked to the economy and how the wealth created is distributed.

    Capitalist neoliberalism, the favoured economic system today, though successful in wealth creation, has woefully failed in the equitable distribution of the created wealth, leaving much of the wealth in the hands of the few, thus the huge divide between the top half of any population, who are often part of, or deeply connected to, the ruling elite and the bottom half, comprising the workers, farmers, students and the unemployed.

    The Sahrawi in Morocco, like the other disadvantaged groups in that country, as indeed in much of the world, are suffering from the chronic failures of neoliberalism’s “trickle down” concept, which is premised on the eroneous assumption that the more money in the hands of the rich, the more they will invest in the economy, thus creating more wealth, through jobs and taxes.

    The reality of the African continent, as well as the other so called developing economies, is that the rich repatriate their wealth for investment abroad, mostly in Western Europe and USA, where their investments are more secure and generate more returns, thus starving local economies of any serious funds for investment and expansion from within.

    And in countries that struggle to attract foreign direct investment, due to one factor or the other, public funds are diverted into private pockets and invested in the economy to create the illusion of a thriving private sector, as happened in The Gambia under the APRC and its predecessor, the PPP. But even worse than this, is the fact that others simply stash their wealth into hidden offshore accounts, where they grow but pay no interests to their local economies whatsoever, as evidenced by the Panama Papers.

    The struggles of the Sahrawi in Morocco therefore, is the same struggle for economic and political emancipation of every disadvantaged people in Africa, in particular and the entire globe, in general and the answers, as shown in the South Sudan example, is not cessation but rather, a complete rethink of national and international systems of resource management, wealth creation and distribution.

    For us in Africa, this task may seem insurmountable, due to the sheer number of imperialist puppets and neoliberal agents within our mist and often, in high places in society, the result of decades of indoctrination, miseducation, and a subtle system of awards for compliance and punishment for any hints of a departure from the status, but if we must reclaim our human dignity and assume our rightful place on this earth, there is no other way: we must break away from this system of exploitation, dehumanisation, poverty and utter wretchedness.

    Our condition is man made, not devinely ordained, and we can change it, if the political will is there and right leadership is produced and provided.

  5. How about a relationship with the “devil” incarnate himself, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his settler zionist colonial entity of greater Israel?

    There is no disagreement whatsoever with the writer’s view about the repugnant and criminal behaviour of “devil” incarnate and his colonial entity towards the Palestinians. People of conscience all over the world, have unanimously raised their voices and expressed their rejection of the inhuman and degrading treatment that the Palestinians are subjected to by the Israeli regime and their zionist neoconservative backers across the globe.

    The good people of the world, ECOWAS countries included, must continue to make it abundantly clear to “devil” incarnate and his backers, that whilst the rights of the persecuted Jewish people to a safe home are recognised and supported, it must not be achieved at the expense of any of other people, and most definitely, not the Palestinian People. There must not be any compromises there.

    In a similar vein, the civilised world must also make it unambiguously clear to the Palestinian People, that their legitimate struggle for self determination and dignified existence does not give them license to become callous, senseless and cold blooded killers like “devil” incarnate. It must be made clear to them that resorting to such acts of senseless violence only does the following:

    (a) Gives “devil” Netanyahu the legitimacy to execute his evil desire to sadistically shed Palestinian blood and embark on his ethnic cleansing plans;

    (b) Gives the global zionist media the perfect raw materials they need to paint the Palestinians as the bad guys and the terrorists shedding innocent Israeli blood and promote the rights of the Israelis to “self defense”;

    (3) Loses them friends worldwide, as global terrorism becomes a scourge that no one wants to be seen, even remotely, to be supporting or associating with.

    That said, ECOWAS leaders have nations to govern, populations to feed, economies to develop and infrastructure to build and they cannot shun expertise in these areas when offered by even the “devil” incarnate himself. Like I already stated, leadership in the 21st century is an art that has to be mastered for success and one essential attribute of this art today, is the preparedness to act in the National Interest. In other words, national interest supersedes all else and a leader who doesn’t grasp this fundamental attribute today, is doomed to failure.

    Throughout the world, countries are forging relationships, particularly economic ones, with others, with whom they have no shared values, have diametrically opposed and competing interests or believe in completely different things. Two examples are the USA and Iran. Despite the strained, almost warlike relationship between the two and despite several sanctions regimes imposed on Iran by the USA, they (the USA) still do business with Iran and in their national interest, they have purchased tons of heavy water from Iran for their nuclear reactors, as Iran is the leader in heavy water production.

    Both USA and Britain export billions of Dollars worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, despite that country’s poor human rights records and funding of extremist Wahabism around the world, the source of global terrorism. Again, national interest supersedes all else. Saudi Arabia itself, an Arab country, has ties with its supposed mortal enemy, the Jewish state of Israel, because both see Iran as a threat to their national interest.

    Therefore, faced with serious food and clean water shortages, poor technological advancement, lack of infrastructure, poorly trained and equipped armies and intelligence agencies,etc, it will be a serious and unforgiveable betrayal of our peoples, if African leaders, especially ECOWAS, fail to grab the opportunity that “devil” Netanyahu is offering the continent. In all the areas where we need technical assistance and support, Israeli expertise is second to none. We must forge economic and diplomatic relations with “devil” incarnate in our supreme national interests, if needs be.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not our making and we alone cannot solve it. We should continue to play our part towards seeking a peaceful, equitable and just solution to it, but we most definitely, must not allow that conflict to be an impediment to our developmental goals and aspirations. We must always act to protect, and in pursuit of, our national interests, even if that means “sleeping in the same bed” with the “devil” incarnate himself.

    The end.

  6. These Arab Countries should not be admitted. Period. They are evil and don’t give a damn about black Africa. I will rather deal with a Chinese whose interests are usually mutual than Arabs or the West. We all know that unless you are dumb. Do you remember slavery.

    Left to me, not a single diplomatic idiot from Israel will be allowed in Africa. Period. This is not about religion but the fundamental bases of human existence. Why should this indiscriminate apartheid continue and no one is saying anything. Africans should know better and the Palestinian s fight should be ours too to insure all people must live in freedom and justice. The UN won’t do it. I believe in justice for all.

    Please dont let these idiots to come exploit us again. Let us not allow history repeat itself. We are not stupid, I hope not.

    Thank you and i am sorry if anyone is offended. I just want truth and justice for all especially my black Africans.