King Mohammed VI proceeded, on Monday at the Place R’cif in Fez, the launch of the program to enhance economic activities and improve the living environment in the Medina of Fez (2020-2024), a new generation program that aims to preserve and perpetuate traditional trades and improve the living conditions of citizens.
This program, which brings together investments of about 670 million dirhams (MDH), demonstrates the Sovereign’s constant desire to preserve the architectural and historical character of the Medina of Fez and to promote the influence of this millennial city, listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1981.
It also illustrates the high regard the Sovereign has always had for the ancient medinas of the various cities of the Kingdom in order to strengthen their tourist and cultural attractiveness, enhance their civilizational and human heritage, and preserve their function as a place to live, work, create wealth and develop the social economy.
This new program, which concerns 1,197 sites, concerns the restoration and rehabilitation of the historical assets of the medina of Fez (4 sites – 13.5 MDH), the redevelopment and upgrading of urban areas (9 sites – 105.55 MDH), the strengthening of the tourist and economic attractiveness of this Museum City (33 sites – 87.5 MDH), the development of local social facilities (171 sites – 263.45 MDH) and the treatment of buildings at risk of ruin (980 sites – 200 MDH).
Afterwards, the King presided over the signing ceremony of the partnership and financing agreement relating to the program to enhance economic activities and improve the living environment in the Medina of Fez (2020-2024). It was signed by the Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, the Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, the Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Said Amzazi, and the Minister of National Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, Nouzha Bouchareb.
This agreement was also signed by the Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Government Spokesperson, El Hassan Abyaba, the Wali of the Fez-Meknes Region, Governor of the Prefecture of Fez, Said Zniber, the President of the Regional Council of Fez – Meknes, Mohand Laenser, and the Director General of the Agency for the Development and Rehabilitation of the Medina of Fez (ADER), Fouad Serrhini.
The Sovereign then visited the restoration site of Foundouq Khrachfiyine, a project that is part of the development program of the Medina of Fez (2018-2023), whose partnership and funding agreement was signed under the chairmanship of King Mohammed VI on 14 May 2018 in Rabat.
With an overall cost of 6 MDH, the project to restore Foundouq Khrachfiyine should, at the end of the work, participate in the preservation and development of historical heritage, the promotion of crafts in the foundouqs and improving working conditions for artisans.
With a budget allocation of 583 million dirhams, the follow-up program for the enhancement of the Medina of Fez involves the restoration of 11 historic monuments and emblematic sites, 10 places of worship (mosques and Koranic schools) and 40 places of well-being (hammams, fountains and health centers), the rehabilitation of 39 traditional crafts and commercial sites, the improvement of the urban landscape and the architectural environment (17 sites) and the rehabilitation of Dar Al Makina.
As regards the progress of this particular program, 18 projects have already been completed, 17 are under way, 38 are being launched and 45 will be launched before the end of the current year.
Still in the context of strengthening the tourist attractiveness of the medina of Fez and improving the living conditions of its inhabitants, a programme to develop car parks, rehabilitate public spaces and install an information system (2017-2022) is being implemented.
This program, which requires an investment of about 400 MDH, aims to improve accessibility to the old medina through the development of eight car parks (Bin Lamdoun, Bab Guissa, Bab Jdid, Bab Hamra, Ain Azliten, Oued Zhoun, Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafae), the paving of the streets, alleys, squares, the rehabilitation of the openings, the addressing of the streets, alleys, squares of the Medina and the installation of information kiosks for the service of the inhabitants, visitors and tourists.
The works of development of the car parks of Bin Lamdoun, Bab Guissa, Bab Jdid, Bab Hamra, Ain Azliten and Oued Zhoun are in progress. The launching of those of Bab Boujloud and Sidi Bounafae car parks is planned during the current year.
This program has an advanced rate of completion since the rehabilitation projects of openings (doors, mamouni, canopies) have already been completed, while the rate of progress of the projects for paving streets, alleys, squares is 44%, addressing of streets, alleys, squares of the Medina 74%, and installation of information terminals 75%.
In sum, these programmes follow on from those for the restoration of historic monuments and the treatment of buildings at risk of collapsing, which have already been carried out and involved the restoration of 27 historic monuments, including medersas, foundouqs, bridges, souks, tanneries and bordjs, as well as the treatment of more than 2,200 buildings at risk of collapsing in the old medina.
Thousands of inhabitants of the ancient medina of Fez gathered, on this occasion, along the road leading to the Place R’cif and the Foundouq Khrachfiyine, to express their signs of fidelity and loyalty to the Sovereign.