Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Is a Maghreb Space Agency the solution to the North African Supremacy Battle?

Since politics is dividing the North African Nations – Maybe Space can Unite them!

Divided we fall, united we stand! This applies to the Maghreb countries which are currently wallowing in and bitterly grappling with various political, social and economic problems, yet tenaciously refusing to stand united.

The Maghreb is a major region of North Africa that consists primarily of the countries Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco) and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta (both controlled by Spain and claimed by Morocco). As of 2017, the region has a population of over 100 million people.

In an article published by the World Economy Forum; the Maghreb Union is one of the world’s worst-performing trading blocs although several recommendations have been given to turn this around. Currently, only the most basic level of cooperation exists between the region’s five countries – Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – despite the fact that the Maghreb Arab Union was created more than 25 years ago with the aim of building a powerful economic bloc in the region.

The Maghreb Union has been unable to achieve tangible progress on its goals due to deep economic and political disagreements between Morocco and Algeria regarding, among others, the issue of Western Sahara and No high-level meetings have taken place since 3 July 2008.

Since politics is dividing the North African Nations – Maybe Space can Unite them!

There is a lot of space activities going on in the Maghreb region – Algeria has one of the biggest space agencies in Africa having launched 6 satellites up to date. Morocco on the other hand has launched 2 satellites into space the latest of which is the Mohammed VI-A satellite which is reportedly offering considerable and unprecedented advances to Morocco in its deep-rooted regional rivalry with Algiers. In April 2018, China’s Beidou Satellite Navigation System, the China-Arab Beidou Center, opened its first overseas center in Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia.

While a Maghreb Space Agency might not solve the political problem in the region, it could lead to significant growth in the region. The exchange of information at the highest level will create a safer region, thus attracting more foreign direct investment and more tourists. The region’s backyard is too messy for the five countries not to cooperate in order to solve their socio-economic problems. Investors are looking for political stability and security, and the cost of a lack of intra-regional cooperation is simply too high.

It is clear that space science and technology is an important tool for ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources and the creation of high-technology industrial sectors. Furthermore, it makes a considerable contribution to the creation of enabling environments for addressing a wide range of pressing challenges, including the need to create jobs, reduce poverty, manage resources sustainably, and develop rural areas. A formal space sector will assist the Maghreb region to realize the vision of a peaceful, united, and prosperous continent.

With the great potential in the North African region of Maghreb – there is no limitation to what they can achieve if they come together!




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2 COMMENTS

  1. No, there is a deep disagreement between these countries. Morocco and Algeria, soon, in a war on the supremacy of the region and the Western Sahara issue is a simple casus-belli. And from an internal issue in Morocco, Western Sahara has become an entity a pseudo country, recognized more and more by the whole world and whose Sahrawis do not want any country to manage the 266,000 square kilometers. So to speak the truth, an agency that will unite all of North Africa, from Mauritania to Egypt, requires first a political consensus that would put aside the superiority of one of the States over the others, who hide the real question of these Arab countries unemployment of a whole people (young and old), corruption whose curve has exploded the ceiling, the structures of the state are undermined by policies of ” bergague ”, ” beltagui ” … which are, more or less, adapted to the dictatorial powers in place, the blatant injustice such 20 years of prison required for Zafzafi and his comrades …
    Non, il y a un désaccord profond entre ces pays . Le Maroc et l’Algérie ,bientôt, dans une guerre sur la suprématie de la région et la question du Sahara occidental est un simple casus-belli. Et d’une question interne au Maroc, le Sahara occidental est devenu une entité un pseudo pays ,reconnu de plus en plus par le monde entier et, dont les sahraouis ne veulent d’aucun pays pour gérer les 266000 kilomètres carrés. Donc pour parler vrai, une agence qui fera l’unité de toute l’Afrique du Nord;à savoir de la Mauritanie à l’Égypte ,il faut d’abord un consensus politique qui mettrait de côté la supériorité d’un des États sur les autres, qui cache la vraie question de ces pays arabes le chômage de tout un peuple (jeune et moins jeune), la corruption dont la courbe a fait exploser le plafond, les structures de l’État sont minées par des politiques de ”bergague” ,”beltagui”…qui sont ,plus au moins, adaptées aux pouvoirs dictatoriaux en place, l’injustice criante telle 20 ans de prison requise pour Zafzafi et ses camarades…

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