Government : Would the Ministry of African Affairs be entrusted to a technocrat ?

Consultations to replace the sacked ministers on October the 24th have been resumed. In theory, the ministerial reshuffle is expected to revive the Department of African Affairs, which has been removed for five decades. The ministry could be assigned to a technocrat.

Mohamed Saleh Tamek, head of the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration is expected to lead the Ministry of African Affairs./Ph. DR
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On October the 14th, King Mohammed VI announced when presiding the opening session of the parliament the creation of a Delegate Ministry of African Affairs. Ten days later, the Sovereign sacked four members of El Othmani’s government.

Since then questions were raised regarding who would replace Nabil Benabdellah, Houcine Louardi, Mohamed Hassad and Larbi Bencheikh, and speculations emerged pointing at names of members of both the Party of Progress and Socialism and the Popular Movement party.

However, few have expertise on Africa which leaves no room for the profiles that are active in the political scene. As a result, the Palace is left with technocrats who are experienced enough to fill this position.

Mohamed Saleh Tamek and Abderrazzak Laassel

Mohamed Saleh Tamek is one of the profiles considered when thinking of a Moroccan politician who could handle African Affairs. «At the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) some have even speculated about his departure. Yesterday, he did not attend the opening ceremony of the 'literary café' at the Kenitra Prison, one of the recent initiative he kickstarted» a source from the delegation told Yabiladi.

Although Saleh Tamek, 64, is known for serving in the Interior Ministry for many years, he also was an ambassador to Norway in 2003. This former Polisario member was part of the delegation defending Morocco during missions abroad. Saleh Tamek who is a fluent English speaker had been teaching English literature at Mohammed V University in Rabat.

In recent weeks, another technocrat, Abderrazzak Laâssel, has been expected to take the lead of the future Ministry of African Affairs. Unlike Tamek, the name of the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations is little publicized, even though Moroccan media outlets had largely echoed his pleadings, in October 2015 at the UN, demanding the rights of Kabyle people for self-determination.

For the record, from 1961 to 1963, Morocco had a Ministry of African Affairs that King Hassan II had twice entrusted to Abdelkrim El Khatib.

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