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US Breaks Ground on New $300 Million Consulate General in Casablanca
Source: Morocco World News
12-3-2020 | News
By Morgan Hekking
Rabat – The US diplomatic mission in Casablanca laid the first stone of its new consulate general in the Casa-Anfa urban center on Thursday.
Construction has thus commenced on the $312 million diplomatic complex, which will include several buildings and green spaces over an area of 2.8 hectares.
The launch of construction coincides with the 200th anniversary of the opening of the oldest American diplomatic property in the world, in Tangier, northern Morocco, in 1821.
According to Morocco’s state media, the project will employ 300 Moroccans in each of its construction stages and inject up to $100 million into the national economy.
“The United States is banking on Casablanca’s future as a regional hub in the fields of business, commerce, culture, and travel,” said US Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer during the groundbreaking ceremony.
“From consular services to economic and commercial achievements, including cultural outreach and much more, we are building the Consulate General on a global scale that Casablanca deserves,” he added proudly.
At the center of the complex’s design is environmental sustainability, qualifying the project as a candidate for a “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) certificate.
The premises will feature a photovoltaic solar energy system to reduce energy consumption by 25% and benefit from water efficiency installations and a rainwater harvesting system. Planners strategically selected drought-resistant plants for the complex’s green space to reduce water consumption.
The new US Consulate General in Casablanca will also offer visitors easy access to Casablanca’s public tram network, reducing the need for personal transport and therefore lowering carbon footprints.
The US hopes to complete the project, a symbol of its historic ties to Morocco, by 2024.
Morocco was the first country to recognize the US as an independent nation in 1777. That year, Morocco’s Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah permitted all vessels sailing under the US flag to freely enter Moroccan ports.
In 1786, the Sultan signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship with the US, effectively establishing the longest-running relationship in both countries’ histories that endures today.
“By housing our cultural center Dar America, in addition to the spacious and welcoming facilities of the consular and commercial services, the new Consulate General will strengthen our efforts to deepen and strengthen our partnership with Morocco,” said the US Consul General in Casablanca, Jennifer Rasamimanana.