Top diplomats of Morocco, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger agreed to boost cooperation at a ministerial coordination meeting held in the southern Moroccan city of Marrakech on Saturday.
The meeting focused on an initiative proposed by Moroccan King Mohammed VI earlier in November, who suggested to “launch an international initiative to enable the Sahel countries to have access to the Atlantic Ocean.” The king stressed that “the success of such an initiative hinges on upgrading infrastructure in the Sahel countries and seeking to connect it to transport and communication networks existing in the region.” In a communique released after the meeting, the diplomats expressed their gratitude to Morocco’s offer to “make its road, port and rail infrastructures available to the Sahel countries to strengthen their participation in international trade.”
Moreover, they agreed to set up a National Task Force in each country to promote the implementation of the initiative. The Sahel region is a semiarid region of western and north-central Africa, encompassing countries such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger. The region faces multiple challenges, such as poverty, development, and climate change.