European Commission offers Morocco 50m dirhams for cultural centres project
By Imane Belahj for Magharebia in Casablanca –02/10/06
The European Commission and the Moroccan ministry of culture in Rabat, as part of the European-Mediterranean Partnership (MEDA) programme, is offering Morocco 50m dirhams for the building of cultural centres. Lahcen Oualayad, director of the project unit of the network of cultural centres, said the aim of the initiative is the development of cultural infrastructure and to limit deficiencies and disparities among cultural centres in the country.
Morocco will invest 27m dirhams. Oualayad told <I>Moroccan Sahara</I> that local communities are invited to participate in this project, "making it trilateral participation comprising the EU, the Ministry of Culture and the communities concerned".
Oualayad said six of these centres are now ready and will be receiving visitors before the end of the year. They are situated in Qualaat Magouna, Zakoura, Tiznit, Sidi Rahal in Qualaat S'raghna, Kasbat Tadla, and Al-Zmamra, all places which did not previously have cultural buildings.
The creation of five other cultural centres will be started in the second phase. The Ministry of Culture will be responsible for building them, while the EU has conducted specific studies within the framework of the agreement provided for by the MEDA programme. The new centres will be in Al-Hoceima, Azilal and Figuig.
The third phase will see centres in El-Hajab, Taourirt, Ait Aourir, and Azmour.
According to the government, the original financial backing budgeted for the network of cultural centres was not enough to build the 27 cultural centres originally planned.
Because of limited funding, only six centres will be built. Local governorates will provide the necessary land, participating in getting things done and accommodating the project. Although the centres are intended for young men and women, they will have a significant impact on the entire local communities.
The completed cultural centres are furnished with modern equipment for lighting and acoustics. They include a hall equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment for theatrical and musical performances, conferences and lectures. The centres will also include suites for participants in theatrical performances, public reading rooms for adults and children, an exhibition hall, art workshops, and a computer lab.
The cultural centres are part of a convention programme on the "development of citizenship for young people" launched on Saturday (September 30th) in Rabat by Morocco's Secretariat of State in charge of Youth, the Social Development Agency and the Forum for Citizenship.
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