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Moroccan pivot to Africa highlights limits and opportunities

Royal Air Maroc’s daily flight from Casablanca to Conakry is packed as Guineans return home and business travellers arrive, including Moroccans meeting King Mohammed VI’s call to expand the kingdom’s commercial footprint south of the Sahara. The airline’s expansion to make Casablanca a major African transport hub is part of a wider strategy that has seen the big three Moroccan banks – Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank of Africa and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) – buying up African assets, phosphate giant OCP Group investing in Ethiopia and Nigeria, and plans for a gas pipeline linking Nigeria to the Mediterranean coast.

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