Morocco Returns Home

African Update – 05/02/17

In 2016, at the African Union summit in Rwanda, Morocco formally expressed its wish to re-join the union after a 32-year absence. Morocco left the then Organisation of African Unity in 1984, over a disagreement on the independence of Western Sahara.

Therefore, for a continent waiting in expectation for one of its family members to return after more than three decades of absence, it was a great relief and celebration as Morocco took its rightful place at the 2017 AU summit held recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco took his seat at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, 28 January, for the first time in 33 years after his country’s re-admission.

On this august occasion, the respected King told his fellow heads of states: “It is a beautiful day when one returns home after too long an absence. Africa is my continent and home. I am finally home and I am happy to see you. I missed you all.

The King was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the African Union in Ethiopia.

By tradition, the newest president on the continent gives the vote of thanks, and this year the lot fell to Ghana’s brand new president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was sworn in as president on 7 January 2017, three weeks before the Summit - the 28th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union held on 31 January 2017.

In delivering the vote of thanks, President Akufo-Addo referred to Morocco’s re-admission when he said: “I have called this Summit a landmark one because of the far reaching decisions that we have taken here. We have made the bold decision to admit one of new Africa’s founding states, the Kingdom of Morocco, into our fold and extend the reach of our organization, finally, to all parts of our continent, with all its implications.”

Humanitas Afrika is pleased to compliment Morocco, in that even when it was officially not a member of the African Union, Morocco still maintained friendly links and constructive engagement with various African countries.

Indeed, Morocco needs Africa and Africa needs Morocco. It is in this spirit that on this joyous occasion we, at Humanitas Afrika, congratulate Morocco on her return to the African family fold.

To King Mohammed VI, and the people of Morocco, we say welcome and well done. Now that we are all together as one family, let’s move our beloved continent forward in progress for ourselves and our future generations.

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The author, Afrikatu Kofi Nkrumah, is Director of Humanitas Afrika - Email: afrika@humanitasafrika.cz

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