The Kingdom of Morocco has revealed that they will be opening embassies in Rwanda and Uganda to boost diplomatic and economic ties in the East African Region.
“We shall be opening an Embassy beginning with Rwanda in the last quarter of this year and hopefully in Uganda the following year," said the Mr Mezouar Salaheddine, Moroccan foreign affairs Minister on Wednesday in Rabat.
"The region is very strategic for us and must have our presence to boost our diplomatic and economic ties. We have already started on the process of opening an embassy in Uganda," he added.
Mr Salaheddine made the revelation in an interview with the Daily Monitor after addressing about 55 African journalists participating in a press trip in the run up to the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will be held in Marrakech from November 7 to 18 with a focus on Africa.
Once the two embassies are opened, Ugandans and Rwandans will no longer spend money on sending their passports to neighboring countries to acquire visas before visiting Morocco but rather in their countries. Currently, for one to travel to Morocco from Uganda, a visa can be acquired from the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa or Nairobi Kenya in a process that lasts more than seven days.
Mr Salaheddine who doubles as the COP22 President also told journalists that the country is more than ready to receive about 20,000 delegates from 179 countries who will be participating in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh.
The conference will include; Negotiators from the Civil society, the private Sector and State parties.
"The world has made a step forward but some issues are pending. COP22 is a conference of action where issues of financing, reducing carbon emissions and capacity building will be discussed," he said, adding that as country they want greenhouse gases reduced.
He further emphasised that Africa needs a funding equation for food security. By 2050, Africa will only be able to feed 13 per cent of its population if climate change is not combated.
The COP22 President further said there is a commitment by Africa in general and Morocco in particular to make the COP22 meeting become more successful than the previous COPs as it will also be the "beginning of the implementation of the Paris agreement."
Earlier in 2001, Morocco hosted COP7 at the same venue.
- Mr Mezouar Salaheddine