Morocco has a new Minister of Tourism, replacing Lahcen Haddad. In the newly appointed government the Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy went to the Secretary General of the Constitutional Union (UC), Mohamed Sajid
Since the elections in October, Abdelilah Benkirane, the former appointed Prime minister had not been able to come up with a strong coalition. As a result, King Mohammed VI, sticking to the Moroccan constitution, appointed Mr Saâdeddine El Otmani, from the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) as a new Prime Minister.
This week King Mohammed VI received the new Prime Minister and his team at the Throne Room at the Royal Palace in Rabat. During the ceremony ministers, delegated ministers and secretaries of state took the oath of office in front of the King.
The new Minister, Mohammed Sajid, was born in Settat in 1948 to Amazigh (Berber) parents from Taroudant. He is a businessman, politician, president of the Council of the urban district of Casablanca and MP for Taroudant-Chamalia on behalf of the Constitutional Union, a Moroccan political party established in 1983 by Maati Bouabid.
Sajid is described by close friends as "pragmatic" and not influenced by any ideological currents. Public opinion sees him as a phlegmatic and discreet man with a slightly cold and distant style, disconnected from the realities of the population.
Unlike his predecessor, Lahcen Haddad, who was media savvy and very active on social media, Sajid has maintained a distance from the media, which has often been critical of him, and has been criticised for his lack of communication skills. Those who have worked with him during his tenure in Casablanca, describe him as an inflexible man, determined and truly devoted to the interests of his city. Other observers praise his integrity and deep commitment to values and ethics.
|Moroccan tourism - positive trends|
Tourism professionals will be watching the new minister closely as he takes over the portfolio. His appointment comes at a time when tourism is showing positive signs. According to the Ministry of Tourism, tourist activity seems to be recovering in the beginning of 2017. Very positive results have been registered since November 2016. The majority of both traditional and emerging markets contributed to this upward trend at the end of February 2017, with a positive impact on Morocco’s main tourist destinations.
The traditional markets, namely French, Spanish, German and British marked respective increases of 6 percent, 22 percent, 19 percent and 7 percent. Emerging markets also recorded strong performances, with an increase of 923 percent for the Chinese market, 82 percent for Russia, 62 percent for Japan, 32 percent for the United States, 20 percent for Canada and 17 percent for the African market. The strategy of market diversification adopted by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) is paying off.
The new government is composed of:
Saad Eddine El Othmani: Head of government.
Mustapha Ramid: Minister of State for Human Rights.
Abdelouafi Laftit: Minister of the Interior.
Nasser Bourita: Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Mohamed Aujjar: Minister of Justice.
Ahmed Toufiq: Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs.
Mohamed El Hajjoui: Secretary General of the Government.
Mohamed Boussaid: Minister of Economy and Finance.
Aziz Akhannouch: Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests.
Mohamed Nabil Benabdallah: Minister of National Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy.
Mohamed Hassad: Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Moulay Hafid Elalamy: Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy.
Abdelkader Amara: Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water.
El Houcine Louardi: Minister of Health.
Aziz Rebbah: Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development.
Mohamed Sajid: Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy.
Rachid Talbi Alami: Minister of Youth and Sports.
Mohamed Laaraj: Minister of Culture and Communication.
Bassima El Hakkaoui: Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development.
Mohamed Yatim: Minister of Employment and Professional Integration.
Abdellatif Loudiyi: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the National Defense Administration.
Lahcen Daoudi: Deputy Minister to the Head of Government in charge of General Affairs and Governance.
Mustapha El Khalfi: Deputy Minister to the Head of Government for Relations with Parliament and Civil Society, Government Spokesperson.
Mohamed Ben Abdelkader: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the reform of the Administration and the Civil Service.
Abdelkrim Benatiq: Deputy Minister to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Moroccans residing abroad and Migration Affairs
Noureddine Boutayeb: Deputy Minister to the Minister of the Interior.
Mohamed Najib Boulif: Secretary of State to the Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, in charge of transport.
Mbarka Bouaida: Secretary of State to the Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, in charge of Maritime Fisheries.
Charafat Yadri Afilal: Secretary of State to the Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, in charge of water.
Jamila El Moussali: Secretary of State to the Minister of Tourism, Transport