Fatim Ezzahra El Mansouri was re-elected mayor of Marrakesh in October 2021. She became the first female Mayor of the city when she previously held the post from 2009 to 2015. Since October 2021, she is also Minister of National Territory Planning, Land planning, Housing and City Policy in Morocco. She previously worked as a Moroccan deputy from 2011 to 2021 and as a municipal councillor of Marrakesh from 2015 to 2021. Prior to her political career, Mayor Mansouri was a lawyer in Casablanca specialising in commercial and real estate transactions. She studied in French schools in Marrakesh before studying at the University of Montpellier (France), and the University of Pace (USA) where she received her law degree.
The municipality has been improving poor living conditions associated with unsafe housing with two main programmes: the ‘Dangerous Buildings Convention’ and the ‘No Slum Programme’.
The ‘Dangerous Buildings Convention’ (Habitat Menaçant Ruine – HMR) identifies dangerous buildings and provides guidance on how to make them safe for residentsr. Between 2009 and 2013, Marrakesh allocated DH 43 million (US$ 4,2 million) to renovate 704 residential buildings and demolish 215 others. In total since 2009, 1,080 households have been relocated and 2,880 have had their homes renovated.
The ‘No Slum Programme’ (Ville sans bidonvilles – VSB) consists of building the required infrastructure to provide access to electricity, water and sanitation to 3,263 households located in 27 douars (nomadic villages) inside Marrakesh.
Mayor Mansouri is committed to tackling climate change and its effects on city residents. She created a division dedicated to the environment inside the municipality. Its aim is to implement projects to protect residents against floods and to make Marrakesh more pleasant. One of these projects consists of building containment infrastructures in Oued Issyl to protect the city from flooding.
A sustainable transport program providing electric buses and live travel updates is also being implemented to reduce carbon emissions. The city met with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to facilitate this.
To allow girls and women in the city to have more opportunities, Mayor Mansouri created an advisory body called the ‘Body for equity, equal opportunity and gender’ in December 2021 to consult with the city council. Working in partnership with civil society actors, the aim of the advisory body is to reduce gender inequality.
The city of Marrakesh is financing a number of social projects to help disadvantaged residents, and especially women. The construction of the Club FemininMhamid will tackle illiteracy by helping 60 women learn to read and write, help them be economically active, and access women-focused activities. The municipality is also building and equipping three community centres for women and children. These centres will support women’s integration into the labour market, improving their living conditions through the encouragement of income-generating activities, and ensure the basic education of their children.
To promote health among youth, Marrakesh is committed to ensuring all young people have the opportunity to enjoy sports. The city has built three local sports centres intended for use by young individuals and sports clubs. The Hay Hassani Parc offers facilities to play football, basketball, handball and athletics tracks and welcomes associations, sports clubs and training institutions. A fourth sports park is under construction in El Aazouzia.
Mayor Mansouri is also reinforcing the educational and cultural capacities among the youth. The socio-educative centre in Zohour Ain Itti can welcome 2,000 young people and local associations and aims to tackle illiteracy and grant better access to computers and IT. To reduce the number of school dropouts, the city has also invested DH 1,000,000 (US$100,000) in bicycles to help 500 pupils get to and from school more easily.