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In part four of this week's trade bloc series, we explore ECOWAS.

As of February 25, 2017, Morocco has become the latest African country to request to officially join the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS was created in 1975 to increase economic and political stability among its members. If accepted, Morocco will become the 16th member of the West African bloc. According to sources, the decision was made by the need for Morocco to crown the strong political, human, historical, religious and economic ties at all levels with ECOWAS member countries. Although not formally a member, Morocco has maintained close relations with the ECOWAS for several years.