Marrakech Surrenders ‘African Capital of Culture’ Title to Rabat

Tour Hassan, Rabat. Photo credit: Remi Jouan

Rabat – Rabat has assumed the illustrious title of Africa’s Capital of Culture after Marrakech withdrew from the running. 

The United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) organize the “African capital of culture” program. 

Marrakech was set to claim the title and gearing up to celebrate with artistic events and musical performances throughout the ochre city on January 31.  

However, renowned Moroccan painter and novelist Mahi Binebine announced on January 22 that Marrakech had withdrawn its candidacy for the benefit of Rabat.

Binebine, the honorary president of the scheduled January 31 celebrations, said “incomprehensible reasons” were behind the city’s decision.  

Marrakech Capitale Africaine de la Culture n’est plus.
J’ai le triste regret de vous annoncer qu’il a été décidé (pour…

Posted by Mahi Binebine on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The organizing committee of the African capital of culture program shared the update in a press release yesterday, February 12. 

The press release does not provide an explanation for the decision. 

Moroccan news outlet TelQuel quoted the Secretary-General of the African Capital of Culture Committee, Khalid Tamer, as confirming the Moroccan government made the decision.

The UCLGA press release added that a committee is working to organize the celebration in Rabat. 

The committee will present its agenda to the public in March 2020 during a conference in Rabat. 

The African capital of culture program aims to consolidate arts and culture as the fourth pillar of the sustainable development of African cities and territories. 

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