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July 17, 2024

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Sydney 29
23 FEBRUARY 2024: INTERMINISTERIAL COUNCIL ON THE 2024 PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY SITES OF ISLAM

Yesterday, Prime Minister Amadou Ba presided over an interministerial council meeting, along with Minister of Health and Social Action Dr. Marie Khémesse Ngom Ndiaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs Annette Seck Ndiaye, and Minister of Air Transport Antoine Mbengue, to discuss preparations for the 2024 pilgrimage to the holy sites of Islam.

“The President of the Republic, Macky Sall, whose commitment to the Islamic world I would like to commend, has instructed us to take all necessary measures for our compatriots to honor this fifth pillar of Islam in the best conditions,” declared Amadou Ba. This interministerial council was therefore an opportunity to review all aspects that will allow our country to be cited as an example in terms of organizing the Hajj. Issues related to transport, accommodation, security, catering, health, among other points, were at the heart of the discussions.

Originally scheduled for February 29, the Prime Minister has extended the deadline for registration for the pilgrimage to Mecca to March 15, 2024. At the end of the council, Amadou Ba made seven key recommendations. He urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese abroad to respect the deadlines for the start and closure of registrations and to take necessary measures to facilitate all enrollment operations for pilgrims. He also recommended that they work with private tour operators to ensure the successful organization of the Hajj, with the involvement of all stakeholders to provide for the needs of all pilgrims, with particular emphasis on transportation, accommodation, and catering.

To ensure the success of the pilgrimage, Amadou Ba recommended that the Minister of Foreign Affairs reinforce communication around the preparations for the Hajj, taking into account the deadlines set by the Saudi authorities. He also asked the Minister of Finance and Budget to take appropriate measures to finalize the process of competition among banks to obtain a fixed conversion rate for the riyal (the Saudi currency). Additionally, he called upon the Minister of Interior to establish a special system for producing passports for pilgrims and to ensure security for pilgrims at departure and arrival.

The Minister of Health is charged with developing and disseminating a health protocol and setting up teams responsible for medical examinations in designated locations. Meanwhile, the Minister of Air Transport is invited to take appropriate measures for the preparation and operationalization of the pilgrim terminal at Aibd, as well as ensuring the successful participation of the national airline Air Senegal in the 2024 Hajj.

Overall, the recommendations illustrate the government’s commitment to ensuring a successful and well-organized pilgrimage for Senegalese Muslims. The involvement of multiple ministries highlights the importance of collaboration and coordination in preparing for such a large-scale event. This article serves as a reminder of the dedication and efforts of the Senegalese government to facilitate the religious obligations of its citizens.

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