NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Kenya and Morocco has established a technical co-operation and information sharing partnership on tourism programmes, infrastructural projects and investments.
The ties are set to be formalised in November this year, when the Moroccan Minister for Tourism Mohamed Boussaid will visit Kenya during the Lamu Cultural Festival and sign the Memorandum of Understanding.
This was agreed on Saturday during a meeting between Tourism Minister Najib Balala and his Moroccan counterpart in Rabat. Minister Balala is on an official visit in Morocco.
“Among the areas of cooperation identified are exchange programme for tourism students from Kenya Utalii College and the Moroccan Tourism College in Tangier,” said Mr Balala. “This is intended to expose both countries to varied experiences in hospitality management and cuisine matters.”
Following this agreement, a technical cooperation and exchange programme is being developed for tourism officers and those in tourism management to exchange information and knowledge.
The Moroccan government will host the first programme for the Kenyan team who will seek to learn from the experiences of Morocco in its ongoing development of six resort cities which ends in 2010 under their ambitious programme called Plan Azur.
Under the economic growth blueprint, Vision 2030, Kenya plans to develop three resort cities in Isiolo, Kilifi and Diani as the flagship projects to make the country among the ten long haul tourist destinations in the world, offering a high-end, diverse and distinctive visitor experience.
Kenya will constitute an inter-ministerial technical team with representatives from the Ministries of Tourism, Culture, Housing and Public works for a study tour of Morocco’s tourism development projects.
The team will also include officials from the Museums of Kenya, Brand Kenya Board, Kenya Tourism Board and the Kenya Investments Authority.
“The exchange programmes will expose both counties to varied experiences in cuisine, hospitality and technical expertise and boost the economic performance and employment opportunities of industries that are directly or indirectly linked with tourism,” Mr Balala said.
The tourism ministers also pledged to consult with their respective government agencies for possible air links between Nairobi and Casablanca to further open up trade between the two countries.
Morocco identifies Kenya as being part of the largest economy within the East African part of Africa and is of strategic importance to the North African countries.