2nd FIG Regional Conference in Marrakech, December 2-5, 2003 well under way

Preparations of the 2nd FIG Regional Conference in Marrakech, Morocco in December are well under way. This was confirmed by the FIG delegation – Gerhard Muggenhuber, chair of FIG Commission 3 and Markku Villikka, Director of FIG office – that visited Marrakech October 1-5, 2003. During the visit they met with the members of the Ordre National des Ingénieurs Géomètres-Topographes (ONIGT) and the local organising committee in Marrakech. The meetings were lead by Mr. Aziz Hilali, President of ONIGT and Mr. Ahmed Boukri, Chair of the Organising Committee. In the meetings also members of three sub-committees attended Said Sif, Chair of the Finance Committee, El Mekki Aboulala, Chair of the Hospitality Committee and Mohammed Hmam, Chair of the Scientific Committee. The remaining two sub-committee are for communication and registrations. Mr. Lahcen Tikridine, Secretary General of ONIGT attended also the meetings.

The organising committee was pleased to confirm that the conference will be organised under the high patronise of His Majesty the King Mohamed VI. The delegation met also with Mr. Omar Jazouli, the Mayor of Marrakech who promised his support to the event.

Representatives of the Local Organising Committee in front of the Conference Centre of Sheraton Marrakech:
Gerhard Muggenhuber (left), Aziz Hilali, Said Sif, Markku Villikka, Ahmed Boukri and El Mekki Aboulala.

Gerhard Muggenhuber and El Mekki Aboulala visiting Mr. Omar Jazouli, Mayor of Marrakech, who promised his support to the conference.

In the meetings the technical programme was confirmed including opening ceremony to which the Prime Minister is expected to make the keynote presentation. In the three plenary sessions there will be presentations from two Ministries from Morocco and four UN agencies (UNEP, UN-Habitat, FAO and the Economic Commission for Africa. In 24 technical sessions there are more than 100 papers from 33 countries.

The theme of the conference urban-rural interrelationship for sustainable development will be covered from several aspects from land management and planning to technical aspects like environmental monitoring. It was decided as a result of the conference a joint FIG/UN Marrakech Statement will be published to implement the resolutions of the conference.

The FIG Council has further agreed to organise a special round table to discuss the education problems in Africa. All FIG member associations in Africa and the Arab countries are strongly encouraged to send their representative to this important event to be chaired by Prof. Holger Magel, President of FIG.

FIG Commission 3 which has a tradition to organise its meetings at the regional events will host its annual meeting this year in Marrakech during the conference.

The organising committee further checked the meeting venue, which will be the Sheraton Marrakech, which will offer excellent facilities for the conference and the exhibition. Sheraton also offers good facilities for the welcome reception and very affordable housing for the participants. Also other hotels offered are of excellent quality and within walking distance from the main venue.

Marrakech offers unique opportunities to learn about the history of Morocco and the fabulous Marrakech. The Moroccan cuisine and the great architecture influences by several cultures is something that should not be missed. Both the Moroccan evening and the gala dinner will be full of tasty food and local music – belly dancing not to be forgotten.

The organising committee has done their very best that the event will be unforgettable. The famous Jamaâ El Fna square, souks for shopping etc. will offer great opportunities for shopping and sightseeing. A joint technical tour gives an opportunity to visit the beautiful countryside outside Marrakech and to see the Atlas Mountains.

Already about 200 participants have registered to the conference but the LOC expects that the total number will be between 500-600 delegates.

You can find the detailed programme, information about Marrakech, hotel booking and tours on the conference web site www.fig.net/figtree/morocco. To help the hotel reservations and booking of tours the LOC has selected a dedicated travel agency to assist the participants.

The early bird registration closes 20 October 2003.

The Moroccans surveyors welcome FIG and its members to Marrakech!