Morocco - Expo Antwerp 1930

Morocco at the Exhibition Expo Antwerp 1930
© Hersleven

The Moroccan participation in the Antwerp Exhibition was oriented towards a triple goal: to make visitors aware of Moroccan productions; to show them the economic possibilities; to incite them to visit the multiple curiosities of the country.

Moroccan production is fed by the numerous resources of its soil and subsoil. From an agricultural point of view, we find all the varieties of cereals, vegetables, fruits and even flowers that characterise the western Mediterranean basin. These varieties find favourable areas for development in the different parts of the area, which ranges from the sub-Atlantic plains with fertile, well-watered land to the high mountain areas covered with forests or pastures for herds, or the snow-white peaks.

The subsoil, whose various deposits have already been discovered by prospecting, appears to be abundantly endowed with phosphates, which a masterly organisation makes available to farmers in all latitudes and on all continents.

The samples of these resources presented at the Antwerp Exhibition will allow the public to appreciate with the richness of the productions and the success obtained by the labour of all, the economic possibilities of Morocco.

These possibilities are already known in Belgium, as shown by the high and steadily increasing totals of its commercial exchanges with Morocco. They reach 10 per cent of the general movement of the Protectorate, that is to say more than 150 million francs. In imports (79,467,000 francs in 1928), Belgium deals more especially in cotton yarns, lime and cement, candles, coal, etc. Exports (64,551,000 francs) include canary grass, wool grease and washed wool, sheep skins, phosphates, etc. Belgium thus ranks fifth in Morocco's foreign trade.

However, whatever the accuracy of the statistics, the variety of the samples, the documentation brought from afar, one can never give a real idea of the country. The slightest trip to the place, which brings the passer-by into direct contact with people and things, is more effective and more certain than the longest and most beautiful speeches. Therefore, tourism in Morocco has been conceived both as a matter of pleasure and as a source of documentation for all economic initiatives.

Today, a network of excellent roads allows visitors to move quickly in all directions and to the farthest reaches of the pacified area using either private cars or comfortable public service coaches. The railways reach all the main towns of the Protectorate, in which hotels of sufficient number and of various classes have been installed to meet the requirements of the most refined luxury as well as those of a more modest economy. But tourism, which is partly documentary, does not neglect to offer many captivating sights: the exotic atmosphere of a civilisation which has remained almost intact from any European deformation and which asserts itself by the harmony of its buildings; the pleasant layout of the indigenous towns; the abundance of an urban and rural population entirely devoted to its ancestral occupations, work and pleasures, whose activity has also been externalised from the artistic point of view in the multitude of its pottery, its carpets, its worked leathers, its jewellery. ..

The sportsmen will find in Morocco what to satisfy in the High Atlas, their tastes for the mountaineering, even for the winter sports, as the amateurs of golf, will meet well arranged links in various places.

Morocco also has the particular attraction of bringing together the most ancient aspects and the most modern ones - the Exhibition itself will show the concern for urban planning that has governed the Moroccan development effort.

Thus the work of the French Protectorate in the Cherifian Empire appears to be inspired by both the clearest respect for local conditions and a great desire for progress. These directives, laid down less than twenty years ago by Marshal Lyauteuy and which still dominate the wise action of Mr. Lucien SAINT, have made it possible to achieve a high degree of pacification, civilisation and prosperity.

In 1923 in Ghent, Morocco offered Belgium the beginnings of this. In 1930, in Antwerp, it joined the celebration of the Belgian Centenary, with a "large harvest of achievements which do honour to the so widely human activity of the French colonization.

©Guide Officiel - Anvers 1930