The United States is building an impressive new consulate in Casablanca reaffirming the strong relations with Morocco. U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, David T. Fischer, and the U.S. Consul General in Casablanca, Jennifer Rasamimanana invited representatives of the government of Morocco to a ceremony launching officially the construction of the new U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca on Thursday December 3rd, 2020.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Fischer highlighted: “The United States is betting on the future of Casablanca as a regional center for business, trade, culture, and travel as King Mohammed VI’s vision of Morocco as the Gateway to Africa comes to fruition. From consular services to commercial and trade relations to cultural outreach and beyond, we are building the world-class Consulate General that Casablanca deserves.”
Consul General Rasamimanana added: “I’ve been privileged to call this dynamic city home and to witness the strong and enduring friendship that we cultivate through the diverse ties between Casablanca and the USA. Integrating our vibrant cultural center Dar America, welcoming facilities for consular and commercial services, the new Consulate General will ensure we continue to deepen and strengthen our partnership with Morocco.”
The new U.S. Consulate General will be located in the Casa Anfa area, a rapidly developing district in the center of Casablanca on the former site of the Anfa airport. Ambassador Fischer described Casa Anfa area as “one of the city’s most dynamic areas.”
The design will be a blend of contemporary American style with Morocco’s diverse historic influences, creating a symbol of the many connections between Morocco and the United States of America. The new Consulate’s 2.8-hectare site will have an easy access to Casablanca’s public tram network and aims for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) version 4.1 Silver Certification. Sustainable features in the project include a solar photovoltaic system, native and water-resistant plants throughout the gardens, and efficient water fixtures and a water runoff recovery system to conserve natural resources.
The new U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca, set to be completed in 2024 represents a significant and lasting investment in the U.S. A symbol for strong Moroccan partnership.
The facility with an estimated budget of $300 million to build will employ an average of 300 Moroccans and contribute approximately $100 million dollars to the local economy, covering expenses for salaries paid to Moroccan contractors, consultants and labor working, as well as locally purchased materials and services procured in Morocco to support the whole process.
The construction of the embassy comes ahead of the two-century old anniversary of the establishment of the first public property owned by the US in its history. Ambassador Fischer highlighted the upcoming anniversary in a recent interview with the Washington Post. “We look forward to a year-long cultural exchange program centered on celebrating the two-hundred-year anniversary of the American Legation in Tangier,” he said.
The news comes as the US embassy in Morocco strives to foreground the depth of the US-Morocco ties. The two countries have deep connecting and historic ties through diplomatic, military and development cooperation within Morocco’s sphere of influence.
Strengthening to their robust ties is President Trump’s announcement on Thursday December 10th, 2020 the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. Many commentators have since painted the move as a lame-duck decision by an outgoing administration. Yet plans for the new US consulate in Morocco’s largest city is a clear message that showcase the deep ties regardless of which US administration is in power.
“The relationship between the United States and Morocco is the strongest it has ever been, and we are making it stronger every day,” Ambassador Fischer told the Washington Post in October.
The new consulate is one of the many initiatives that both Morocco and USA have jointly achieved in recent years and few months. As their strong security alliance deepens in the face of shared challenges and common interests, the two countries are eager to expand their ties to other areas.
“USAID is planning to invest $100 million over the next five years in close collaboration with the Government of Morocco to support participatory local governance, enhanced economic growth, improved education outcomes, and community resilience,” Ambassador Fischer said.