Skip to main content
The opening of Consulates General in the Moroccan Sahara, a stimulus for economic development and integration

The opening of Consulates General in the Moroccan Sahara, a stimulus for economic development and integration

Acts of recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over its Southern Provinces have grown exponentially over the last 2 years. It is emphasized by the opening of more than twenty Consulates general in the Moroccan cities of Laayoune and Dakhla. Consequently, these acts do not embody only these countries positions over the regional dispute but play a very important role in the economic development of the region.

Taken collectively, these acts reflect the increases support for Morocco’s position across Africa and the whole world in general. Majors worldwide economic powers such as The United States of America, Russia and the United Kingdom have entered strategic and commercial partnerships that apply to the Sahara, as they do for the rest of the country. These will act as a consequent economic stimulus for the region. This positive dynamic reflects the ambition and the foresight of the vision of His majesty King Mohamed VI for Morocco’s approach to promote sustainable development with a budget of more than 8 billion dollars.

Projects such as the Dakhla-Atlantic Port, the Tiznit-Dakhla expressway, and the Foum El Oued Technopole make the region a true West African economic hub, bringing opportunities for investors and workers from all over the world, especially in Africa. Thus, the growth rate recorded just before the pandemic of COVID-19 in the two regions of the Moroccan Sahara, Laâyoune Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla Oued Eddahab reached respectively 7% and 4.5%, against a national average of 2.6%.

The Migration of many African nationals in the region has resulted in the need to open Consulates in the two main cities of the Moroccan Sahara to offer them the consular services they need during their stay. The opening of these consular representations is in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states that the essential criteria for the legality to open a consular representation is the consent of the sending State and the receiving State.
The rise of the Moroccan Sahara region as a platform for South-South cooperation is further confirmed by the holding of major diplomatic events in its two main cities, such as the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, and the 3rd edition of the Morocco-Pacific Island States Forum, held in February 2020 in Laayoune. 

The only state in the world to react to the opening of Consulates in the Moroccan Sahara was Algeria, which issued an aggressive statement against the Union of Comoros, which was the first country to open a Consulate in Laayoune, on December 18, 2019. In February 2020, Algeria went so far as to recall its Ambassador in Abidjan, in reaction to the opening of a Consulate General of Côte d'Ivoire in the same city. This reaction from the Algerian government only proves, once again, the implication of Morocco’s neighbour in the regional dispute. 

Countries from all over the world (America, the Middle East, Africa…) have opened Consulates General in the Sahara. This dynamic on the ground strengthens the case for the autonomy plan as the only realistic and practical solution to the regional dispute. 

Add new comment

Restricted HTML