Morocco and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed an agreement to invest in the construction of the Africa-Atlantic gas pipeline, a major project that will transport gas from Nigeria to North Africa and ultimately to Europe.
The deal was signed during a state visit by King Mohammed VI of Morocco to Abu Dhabi. The newly signed deal forms part of a series of memorandums of understanding between the two countries.
It signals the UAE's commitment to supporting the ambitious project, which is expected to play a crucial role in promoting economic integration and energy security in West Africa.
The Atlantic Nigerian-Moroccan pipeline will also provide a vital pathway for West African nations, particularly Mauritania and Senegal, both of which recently discovered significant gas resources to export their gas reserves to European markets.
With the feasibility studies for the pipeline already underway, the project has received strong political backing from Nigeria and other members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The UAE's involvement is expected to boost funding for the pipeline's construction significantly as the country's Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's largest, possesses extensive experience in infrastructure investments globally.
Additionally, Morocco and the UAE agreed to expedite the implementation of all signed investment projects within three months. This will involve leveraging a combination of capital investments, innovative financing solutions, concessional loans, and grants.
The Africa-Atlantic gas pipeline represents a major infrastructure project with the potential to transform the energy landscape in West Africa and beyond. With the UAE's financial and technical support, this ambitious project is poised to deliver significant benefits for the region, fostering economic development and ensuring a secure and stable energy supply.
Nigeria's energy minister, Ekperikpe Ekpo, recently announced that construction work on the pipeline is scheduled to begin next year.