October 4, 2017
Half a century ago, in 1967, upon a bilateral agreement to dispatch Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) concluded between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, JICA's cooperation in Morocco started. On September 28th 2017, JICA held a ceremony to mark its 50th anniversary of the cooperation as well as the volunteer program in Morocco.
The ceremony was a great success with more than 180 participants. It was attended by Her Excellency Ms. Mounia Boucetta, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Her Excellency Ms. Mbarka Bouaida, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, in charge of Maritime Fisheries, the former ambassadors to Japan, the Director General of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), representatives from relevant ministries and agencies, and counterparts of the volunteers. From the Japanese side, His Excellency Mr. Takuji Hanatani, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom, members of Japanese companies and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Ms. Suzuki, Senior Vice President of JICA and the volunteers all took part to share the special moments. Moreover, representatives from development partners participated to celebrate this anniversary.
On behalf of the Government of Morocco, H.E. Ms. Boucetta showed her gratitude to JICA's cooperation which has lasted for half a century. H.E. Mr. Hanatani, praised the Government of Morocco for its deep understanding and warm support toward Japan's cooperation. Ms. Suzuki, JICA's Senior Vice President, expressed JICA's determination to further develop its projects, hand in hand with Moroccan people.
To illustrate the relationship built between the two countries by a volunteer activity, a former volunteer, Ms. Rina Kamochi, and her current counterpart shared their experience with the audience. Ms. Kamochi continues her activity to increase women's income in rural areas, and now goes back and forth between Japan and Morocco. She gave a speech in fluent Darija, Moroccan Arabic, and received a big round of applause from the floor.
In the latter half of the ceremony, the volunteers singed Japanese and Moroccan songs as well as performed "So-ran Bushi", traditional Japanese fishermen's dance. During the lunch reception, a volunteer, who teaches cuisine in a vocational training school, held a sushi tasting booth with her 3
After the ceremony, JICA organized a press tour to show its projects to Moroccan journalists. The group moved to El Jadida, located in the south of Casablanca, to visit a health center, a volunteer's activity site, as well as a site of technical cooperation project which has introduced a drip irrigation technique in the region.
This ceremony and the press tour were widely reported by local television programs and newspapers, and became a good opportunity to show and explain once again Japanese and JICA's cooperation for the past 50 years to Moroccan people.
Through its JOCV program, as well as its technical and financial cooperation schemes, JICA will further strengthen the trust relationship between Japan and Morocco as well as support the sustainable development of Morocco.
Speech by Ms Suzuki Senior Vice President of JICA
More than 180 participants
Volunteers singing a Moroccan song with the floor
Group photo with the participants
Visit to a volunteer activity site
Visit to a project site of technical cooperation on a drip irrigation system