- The signing took place virtually between Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Tangier region president Fatima Al-Hasani in the presence of Mokhtar Gambo
- The partnership looks to facilitate among others, investment, technology and skill transfer
Mombasa County has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tangier City Regional Council, a move that is expected to foster decentralized cooperation in common economic areas.
The signing took place virtually between Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Tangier region president Fatima Al-Hasani in the presence of Mokhtar Gambo, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Kenya.
The partnership looks to facilitate among others, investment, technology and skill transfer between the two cities especially in the sectors of Tourism, blue economy, infrastructure, manufacturing and cultural exchange.
The signing of the agreement was a culmination of year-long talks between representatives of the two cities as Mombasa turns the focus from International tourism to regional and local tourism in a bid to revive the industry that has been hard hit by the pandemic since last year.
Morocco, a favorite tourist destination for European tourists due to her close proximity to the continent received close to 13 million tourists in 2019 with someone million Moroccans traveling outside the country to various world destinations which Mombasa hopes to tap into through the deal.
Governor Joho applauded the move stating that it would strengthen cooperation not only between the two cities, but the two countries as it provides the chance to explore the missed economic opportunities between the sister cities.
“I extend my profound gratitude to Mokhtar Ghambou the Moroccan Ambassador to Kenya and H.E Fatima Ali of Tangier for making this partnership possible. The deal will allow us to explore the already missed opportunities between our two cities,” said Joho.
The main focus of the agreement is promoting cultural exchange between the cities with plans already underway to construct the Ibn Batuta Cultural Centre that will play a pivotal role in cultural exchange and preservation.
Joho is expected to lead a delegation from Mombasa who will travel to Morocco mid this month to finalise the deal and also meet with travel agents, tour operators and the media to sell Mombasa as a tourist destination.
The tour is expected to boost tourism by increasing the number of flights coming from Morocco and also sell the city as a leading destination for business tourism on the East African coast as talks are already in progress to host some of the Meeting Incentives Conferences and Exhibition (MICE).
The agreement also aims to foster collaboration in trade and logistics and will be vital in Mombasa’s plan of starting a Special Economic Zone that is expected to develop the economy providing job and trading opportunities to Mombasa residents especially the youth who constitute 44 per cent of the population.
With the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)by Kenya back in 2018 expected to remove more than 90 per cent of tariffs from goods and commodities, Mombasa as a port city is well positioned in the East African coast to be considered in implementing the agreement that came into effect from January this year.
''We already share a rich history with Kenya since the arrival of Ibn batuta a well-traveled Moroccan explorer,” said Al-Hasani.
The Tangier region president expressed confidence that an influx of foreign investors into Mombasa will not only breathe life into the economy but also offer a range of opportunities for the youth to explore their potentials and qualifications with benefits expected to go both ways.
The Moroccan Ambassador to Kenya Mukhtar Gambo termed the deal as progressiv e and unique in East Africa.