Algeria, Morocco and the energy, food and water security of the region. Realpolitiks
Ok, I have stated often that I do not like to dwell in politics. This is not therefore a political piece but an outlook in the shared interests of theses two countries and indeed of the region.
Morocco and Algeria, a country that is a net importer of energy and an exporter of food next to a country that is a net exporter of energy and an importer of food and possibly water in the future.
The synergy is clear, yet the level of exchanges between the two countries given the opportunities for each side is well, nominal.
There is an artificial conflict that is wasting the resources of both, namely the Sahara question. In a war there are many moments for ruthless action, for what is often called ruthless. But many and many circumstances, be only clarity; seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it directly, quickly, awake... , looking at it.
The Moroccan Sahara will never be anything but Moroccan. The recent speech by His Majesty has settled the question with the advanced regionalization project.
We should then move towards shared opportunities, and we see that the two countries are actively engaging each others through the Algerian gaz pipeline that connects to Spain through the north of Morocco. And the grid interconnection scheme as announced during the recent visit of energy Minister Benkhadra to Algiers.
What more can we put on the table ? I believe one of the reasons some daydreaming algerian generals are interested in western Sahara is so they can make a satellite state of it, one with an atlantic facade allowing for oil and gaz exports to the NAFTA region, free of charge. Its not going to happen.
What can be proposed is a pipeline to Jorf Lasfar Atlantic deep sea port, with possibly a refinery there for oil products and derivatives coupled with a gazoduc for the export of gas in the form of LNG. Morocco could make those installations an offshore zone.
Algiers should stop ordering Mandarines from Argentina, ours are better and cheaper to get. We also have expertise as exporters of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables not to mention the strength of our distribution networks and supermarkets chains if given access to the Algerian market.
We should sit and look each others in the eyes squarely, neither of us is going anywhere, and we should put substance in projects such as UAM , a lever for the development of the whole region.
Regarding renewables and mass scale implementations at regional level, sky is the limit if we take in consideration the proximity to key markets such as the CEE and MENA (not a net importer, but the gateway to the ASEAN market)
Simply put we could combine efforts and expertise with joint investments, the large foreign currency reserves of Algeria could be put to good use and we could have a development through renewables synergy up and running without too much foreign ownership. It would be beneficial for both.
Well, I do sincerely hope this piece will not be considered political in any aspect, except for politics being a science of the possible. Yes its possible for Morocco and Algeria to have the same role France and Germany are playing in Europe as its gravity center. After all weren't they at some time bitter enemies ?
Time will tell. But it is of the essence that we do not waste it. Time is money.