On Wednesday in Rabat, Fouzi Lekjaa, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance, and Achraf Tarsim, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Country Manager for Morocco, signed four significant financing agreements. These agreements, totaling over €600 million (around 6.45 billion dirhams), aim to support various development programs in Morocco.

Investment breakdown

  1. Digital and entrepreneurial university transformation: €120 million (approx. 1.28 billion dirhams)
  2. Territorial competitiveness improvement program: €200.31 million (approx. 2.143 billion dirhams)
  3. Inclusive and sustainable forest development: €84 million (approx. 898 million dirhams)
  4. Guercif – Nador highway project: €200 million (approx. 2.14 billion dirhams)

High-level attendees

The signing ceremony was attended by key government officials, including Abdellatif Miraoui, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation; Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water; Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Trade; Mohcine Jazouli, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in charge of Investment, Convergence, and the Evaluation of Public Policies; and Abderrahim Houmy, Director General of the National Agency for Water and Forests.

Statements from officials

Fouzi Lekjaa highlighted the importance of these financing agreements, emphasizing their integrated and participatory approach. He noted that the projects encompass education, industrial project funding, job creation, infrastructure enhancement, and forest-related initiatives aimed at preserving environmental balance. He praised the robust relationship between Morocco and the AfDB, particularly the bank’s support for Morocco’s structural reforms and technical assistance across various sectors.

Achraf Tarsim echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the exemplary partnership between Morocco and the AfDB. He detailed that these comprehensive projects reflect Morocco’s commitment to digital, entrepreneurial, and inclusive university transformation, enhancing territorial competitiveness, improving connectivity through the highway project, and strengthening forest value chains and carbon sequestration capacity.

Project details

1. University transformation

  • Goal: Enhance human capital quality and empower youth through inclusive access to innovative higher education aligned with regional ecosystems.

2. Territorial competitiveness

  • Objective: Improve regional competitiveness to attract investors, create jobs, and enhance socio-economic inclusion.

3. Forest development

  • Aim: Develop key forest sectors, organize interprofessional groups, promote female and youth entrepreneurship in forestry and aquaculture, develop ecotourism, foster public-private partnerships, enhance south-south cooperation, and support digital transformation in forestry.

4. Guercif – Nador highway

  • Purpose: Strengthen the transport infrastructure in the eastern region, boosting the local economy through a high-capacity road connection integrated into the national highway network. This will enhance the profitability and usability of the Nador West Med port complex and its associated industrial zone.

Impact on Morocco’s future

These agreements signify a significant step forward in Morocco’s development journey. By focusing on education, territorial competitiveness, sustainable forestry, and infrastructure, the country is poised to create more employment opportunities, attract investment, and ensure environmental sustainability, ultimately driving inclusive economic growth.