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Conference papers

Trade, mobilities and marketplaces from Casablanca to West Africa. Towards a transnational commercial space?

Abstract : Studying Casablanca’s marketplaces points out an intricate growing connection between Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal at the regional scale. Products displayed on market stalls, that come from China, Morocco and West Africa, allow us to hypothesize that regional trade relations are growing and strengthening, despite the weakness of the official figures of the import-export sector. Tradesmen and women, transporters, small businessmen and women from Morocco, Senegal and, more grossly, from West Africa, are more and more on the move, and the circulation of their goods contribute to the reinforcement of intra-regional economic links. These dynamics can be read in urban space through the reinforcement of commercial centralities which have become hubs of regional transactions of all kinds. This article draws on the multi-sited observations and semi-structured interviews we conducted with diverse actors engaged in trade activities, and that were carried out in many marketplaces along the trans-Saharan coastal road (Casablanca and Tangiers in Morocco, Dakar and Rosso in Senegal, Rosso and Nouakchott in Mauritania). It seeks to bring to light the consolidation of a transnational commercial space between these three neighboring countries. This process is supported by institutions, through the development of regional infrastructures or the reinforcement of the African diplomacy in Morocco. It also involves local actors who create links between these different marketplaces, through their mobility and that of the goods and capital they exchange. These links might be tenuous. Yet, they have grown stronger in the last decade; they are increasingly visible from the commercial urban spaces we study. Considering places and actors involved in daily consumer goods’ trade between Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal stresses the links between retail and wholesale activities, regional mobility and local economic development, and leads us to hypothesize a bottom-up regional integration process.
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Contributor : Anne Bouhali <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 8, 2019 - 2:42:42 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-02092816, version 1


Anne Bouhali, Nora Marei. Trade, mobilities and marketplaces from Casablanca to West Africa. Towards a transnational commercial space?. 25th Annual Congress of DAVO (German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation), Oct 2018, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. ⟨halshs-02092816⟩



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