Moroccan King jets in Dar Sunday

KING Mohammed VI of Morocco is expected to arrive in Tanzania on Sunday for a three-day state visit as part of a royal tour aimed at broadening cordial relationship, partnership and opening up investment opportunities worth about 4 trillion/-. Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Dr Augustine Mahiga, told a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the king would be accompanied by more than 150 delegates, including government officials, businessmen and members of his family. “This is the first time for Tanzania to receive a king from any other country. So it will be a visit of its own kind,” the minister pointed out, adding that all preparations for the special visit were on good course. According to the minister, already about 100 Moroccan officials were in the country for the mission. During the visit, he said, more than 18 agreements involving different sectors would be signed and witnessed by King Mohammed VI and his host, President John Magufuli. Apart from holding talks with Dr Magufuli, the king was also expected to meet with Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein. Dr Mahiga told reporters that it would be a great opportunity for Tanzania and Morocco to strengthen bilateral ties and create opportunities for the people in the two African countries. Dr Mahiga mentioned areas of cooperation between the two countries as including foreign relations, security, finance sector, notably on banking and insurance, infrastructure, particularly energy, education, investments and private sector development. Investment agreements are expected to exceed two billion US dollars (about 4tri/-) in different areas, thanks to Tanzania’s Consular General in Morocco, Mr Fouad Mustafa, for “fighting tooth and nail to ensure the visit becomes successful.’’

The minister said that the king was expected to end his official tour on October 25, but would remain in the country with his family for five more days as part of his holiday.

The monarch is expected to seize such opportunity to visit other tourist areas, including Zanzibar. Dr Mahiga disclosed further that another purpose for the king’s visit relate to seeking support for Morocco to join back the African Union (AU).

Morocco was among founder countries of the defunct Organisation of African Union (OAU) before it changed its name to African Union (AU). Morocco withdrew from membership of the regional cooperation many years ago, but now they want to come back.

“We welcome them and we have no reason of not endorsing our support. As we speak now, they are in Rwanda for a similar mission,” the minister told reporters. Dr Mahiga said the king was also expected to visit Kenya and Ethiopia, but the visits have been rescheduled, pending other arrangements.

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