Urban Journalism Institute

Rabat, Capital of African Culture

Rabat, Morocco’s capital city, has officially been launched as the Capital of African Culture 2022/2023, a development that raises the city’s international profile on the global culture map. The launch, at a ceremony at the Mohammed V Theatre, was the official celebration of the February 2020 decision, when the Committee of African Capitals of Culture officially announced the choice of Rabat. Marrakesh was firstly selected to host the title in 2020, yet the Government of Morocco pushed the title to 2022/2023 and replaced Marrakesh with Rabat as a host. 

For years, the art and culture sector across the African continent has been in discussion to start the initiative “African Capitals of Culture”. One of the regional meetings, held in 2018 in Kigali, raised Africa’s profile in regards to the culture capitals initiative. At the meeting, the city government of Kigali expressed their interest in bidding to host the title in 2022/2023, yet as the host title is pushed for three years, Kigali might bid for 2026. 

Rabat started celebrating being the Capital of African Culture by promoting a series of festivals happening yearly in Rabat, for example, Street Art Festival, Music Festival, hosting cinema events at the beach and others. 

For more information about the programme, please check the website: 


The African Capitals of Culture is a program supported by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). Created by Africans for Africans, as the official communication states, the African Capitals of Culture is a programme that aims to draw, for both the continent and for the world, scenarios of alternative development, based on an unparalleled cultural depth, and address the challenges of transition, which are the key to our common future. 

Every three years, a city in Africa will be named African Capital of Culture. Twelve months of events, one-offs or structuring events, will take place there. Each African Capital of Culture becomes the host of all Africa.  For one year, it becomes the crossroads of creativity for the continent, its territories, and its cities. Each edition of an African Capital of Culture opens up a time of global visibility for a set of multi-annual programmes, piloted by the Organizing Committee of African Capitals of Culture. These programmes are deployed continuously throughout the continent by connecting the creative actors of African cities.

Rabat, Morocco, Africa 
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