Africa: AU membership drive continues as Morocco’s hosts African tourism event to build relationship

By Friday Nwosu

Morocco’s quest for its return to the African Union is getting stronger by the day has it recently organised a conference for the promotion of African tourism.

The conference was organised by Moroccan Tourism Engineering Company (SMIT) for discussing “tourism investment in Africa, an inclusive and sustainable development lever for the competitiveness of the territories.

According to, the conference was held along with COP22, a climate change conference in Marrakech, one of the country’s cities and it is expected to end November 18.

International officials who participated in the conference highlighted the investment sector and its association with climate change in Africa.

The emerging smart tourism industry is a novel field where tourists, destinations and tourism investors depend on data provided by information and communications technology.
Chairman of the Management Board of the Moroccan Tourism Engineering Company, Imad Barrakad said that this type of tourism can be promoted in Africa and is the future of tourism.

He also said that countries aiming to attract more tourists should make use of this technology. This tourism type also aims at preserving the environment and Morocco is a pioneer adopting environmental tourism.

Moroccan King, HM Mohammed VI suggested, before the Africa Action Summit in Marrakesh on the sidelines of the COP22, to build “an African continent that is resilient to climate change and that commits resolutely to sustainable development”.

According to, King Mohammed had called for a stronger and unified Africa that is united in all fronts adding “An African continent that will use its resources in an optimal way, while respecting environmental and social balances; a continent that will seek to promote inclusive development, in line with the specific features of its identity, particularly the culture of sharing, of fairness and of solidarity,” HM the King underlined in a speech delivered at the opening of the summit.

He added that: “It goes without saying that the concern about the future of our planet and the interest taken in the issue by active civil society organizations are real. “That disparity concerns priorities as well as means,” His Majesty added.

“For this reason, it is important to harmonize, even unify, environmental education efforts. The Moroccan Presidency will seek to achieve that objective during its term.

“Do we need to point out that the colonial era is over, and that imposed decisions cannot be productive? Do we need to point out that stakeholders lack neither the commitment nor the goodwill required, though they sometimes lack the necessary means?” HM the King asked.

“We are all aware that what is at stake is the preservation of life, and that we need to work together to protect the Earth. It is precisely for this reason that I would like to see a convergence of views regarding our actions on the ground.”

“Africa is paying a heavy price in the climate equation. It is, undoubtedly, the continent that is suffering the most,” noting that “rising temperatures, shifting seasons and successive droughts are depleting the biodiversity of our continent, destroying ecosystems and jeopardizing Africa’s progress, security and stability” he stated.

Recently, HM Mohammed VI, went on a tour of some East African countries accompanied by top Moroccan business community.

The tour encompassed Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. All three countries that recognize the Polisario-backed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), contrary to the kingdom’s wishes.

According to, the corporate elites that travelled with the monarch were to strengthening ties with the East African countries with growing and modernizing Moroccan economy, in hopes to suspend the trio’s recognition of the Western Sahara separatist group’s puppet government.

The General Confederation of Moroccan Companies had assembled the group of prominent businessmen on the tour, which started in Rwanda.

The CEO’s of BMCE Bank, Attijariwafa Bank, the People’s Bank (Bank Populaire), and Credit Agricole Morocco, the head of Casablanca Finance City Authority, and the Moroccan tourism and insurance sectors will be part of the delegation accompanying the king.

The country had earlier written to the AU seeking to be readmitted into the union it left 32 years ago.

The country was one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor of the present “Union.” It was in Casablanca that the OAU was first launched. As the group worked to conceptualize its mission and purpose, only Moroccan diplomats express reservations about the principle that the borders of African states inherited from colonialism should be inviolable. In doing so, they had the Sahara conflict in mind.

For more than three decades, Morocco has refused to be part of the organisation. But with the turn of events in recent times, the country is pulling every string to ensure she is readmitted into the union.

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