Notebook on returning to the home country

USthose who have a penchant for dedicated poetry will recognize this title, borrowed from the most famous work of Aimé Césaire, published in 1939. Don’t worry, it’s not a matter of pouring out here over the outrageous conditions of the blacks in this period, nor on colonization, much less on negritude.

It’s just that “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal” fits perfectly with the journey of our compatriots established abroad, who every year make the reverse journey to find their loved ones and this deep Morocco with its customs, its societal realities, its cultural richness, its intoxicating scents … But this is not a trip like any other. On the contrary. Because this return of Moroccans living abroad (MRE) to their country is so important that a whole mechanism has been put in place.

In fact, since 2001, an original assistance system has been deployed by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity: Operation Marhaba. Objective: to support, under the best conditions, the rising flows of MREs when they return to Morocco during the summer period. Every summer a big machine is set in motion to welcome our countrymen.

As part of Operation Marhaba 2019 and in the period from 5 June to 1 September, 2.5 million passengers and 600,000 vehicles in both directions transited through the four ports affected by this operation, namely: Tangier Med, Tangier City, Nador and Al Hoceima. A total of 30 ships were mobilized for 631 weekly rotations on the 11 shipping companies connecting the 4 ports in the northern part of the kingdom with the European ports in Spain, France and Italy.

Eminently important questions

Operation Marhaba 2020 did not take place. That in 2021 too. The health crisis is over. Marhaba 2022 will therefore have a very special taste and dimension. Because the return of the MRE is not just a story about suitcases, carriages and holidays. For two main reasons:

• On the one hand, there is the extent of the socio-economic aspect. In addition to being reunited with their loved ones, MREs are not returning to Morocco empty-handed: not only are they major foreign exchange providers, but they will also help support a national tourism sector particularly shaken by the pandemic. By the end of the first three months of 2022, their transfers reached nearly 23 billion dirhams, an increase of 8.3% compared to the same period last year, according to the Foreign Exchange Office. In 2021, these transfers amounted to 93.3 billion DH against 68.2 billion DH a year earlier, an increase of 37%. You now understand why MREs are the darlings of the kingdom.

• On the other hand, there is the political aspect that was invited to the 2022 transit operation. Which could not have been done without the warming of the diplomatic relations between Rabat and Madrid. Politics and economics must therefore go hand in hand. For it is the joint and coordinated efforts of both parties that can guarantee the success of Marhaba 2022.

That is why the Moroccan – Spanish Joint Transit Commission met on 5 May in Rabat, in particular in the context of the implementation of the roadmap drawn up during the visit to the Kingdom in April last year by Pedro Sanchez. , President of the Spanish Government. Discussions focused on the operational arrangements put in place by the two parties to ensure the best conditions for the implementation of the transit operation in 2022. A total of 32 ships will thus be mobilized to ensure 572 weekly rotations, offering a total capacity of 471,000 passengers and 124,000 vehicles per week.

The machine is therefore launched for a unique operation of its kind, which will make it possible to facilitate the return of hundreds of thousands of Moroccans to their home country. And they are eagerly awaited. Morocco needs Beur. And money from Beur.

F. Ouriaghli

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