Moroccan king funds mosque in Dar es Salaam

Mohammed VI Mosque signals new cooperation between Morocco and Tanzania.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco is funding the construction of a mosque in Dar es Salaam as part of a series of bilateral agreements between Morocco and Tanzania.

The 7,400-sqm Mohammed VI Mosque is designed to accommodate more than 5,000 worshipppers and will include a library and conference hall. The decision by the Moroccan king to construct the "ultra-modern" mosque followed a request from the National Muslim Council of Tanzania, which received 10,000 copies of the Koran as a gift from the king.

In addition King Mohammed VI has agreed to assist Tanzania in funding the construction of a sports stadium in the capital Dodoma, which is expected to cost between $80 million and $100 million.

The Moroccan king and the Tanzanian president John Magufuli signed a total of 22 agreements in areas such as political and religious cooperation, aviation, tourism, agriculture and oil and gas.

Direct flights between Rabat and Dar es Salaam will also be established, to foster tourism and business between the two nations.

The move is part of renewed efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries whose leaders have not maintained close relations since Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union (AU), in 1984.