The month of March was not exclusively marked by the celebration of the International Women’s Day at the Rabat City Hall. The municipality led by Ms. Asmaa Rhlalou was also deployed on two other major events for the Moroccan capital: the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Rabat’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List (March 25, 2022) and the launch of a pilot operation to test an electric urban bus (March 11, 2022). The first 100% electric bus to operate in Rabat, this pilot experiment could lead to the partial electrification of the fleet of buses operated by the “City of Light”. This ecological orientation reinforces Rabat’s reputation as a “green city”, which already benefits from vast urban and peri-urban green spaces, as well as a green belt covering 1,063 hectares
First woman elected mayor on September 24, 2021, Asmaa Rhlalou and her team aim to invest in the implementation of innovative projects such as electric buses to improve the daily lives of the population. Since taking office, she has placed particular emphasis on the communication by making information from her council available on the city council’s YouTube channel, which was created in December 2021, as well as the Facebook page and Twitter account. As a journalist by profession, this component could not fail to be in line with her action plan. Her program also included the creation of local development companies (LDCs) in several sectors.
On the cultural component, the city of Rabat is committed to “the restoration, the rehabilitation, the enhancement, the promotion and the influence of its precious and rich heritage,” said the mayor of the capital in her address on March 25. For 2022, at the central state level, the city of Rabat has been designated the cultural capital of the Islamic world by The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO). A designation that adds to the one made by the local governments of Africa who have chosen Rabat as the first African Capital of Culture (ACC) for the launch of this program initiated by UCLG Africa. The launch is scheduled for 2022.
Asmaa Rhlalou was born in Rabat where she made a career as a journalist. Editor of the daily newspaper l’Opinion (Economic Desk) since 1997, Asmaa Rhlalou holds a PhD in Economics and Business Law from the University of Perpignan in France (2006). She started her political career in the Istiqlal Party (IP) from 1997 to 2007. Then she became a member of the National Council of the National Rally of Independents. She was elected as an RNI deputy during the legislative quinquennium (2016-2021) on the national list reserved for women in the House of Representatives. During that term, Asmaa Rhlalou was a member of the Finance and Economic Development Committee, before serving as secretary in the lower house bureau. Rhlalou is also a member of the World Water Council, an associative actor in the issues of women in vulnerable situations and vice-president of the International Festival of Arts and Culture in Rabat.