Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco, a Mediterranean country located in Africa, has experienced a decade of strong economic performance. It today needs to address new challenges, in particular those related to the integration of youth into the labor market and climate change. AFD is supporting it with the aim of reconciling growth and the climate.
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waste water processing, Morocco, sanitation, Zizola
AFD and Morocco: giving youth the keys to employment and adapting to climate change
NOOR II, Ouarzazate, Morocco, solar plant, Zizola

Supporting education and youth employment

Morocco, engineer, woman, Ouarzazate, solar plant Noor II

Supporting education and youth employment

The Moroccan population is young: some 28% of inhabitants are under 15. Their integration into society poses a major challenge: only one Moroccan in two in the 25-35 age group has a job, which is often informal and precarious. 

Education, vocational training and employment are central to AFD’s action in Morocco.

For example, we have supported the emergency program to improve access to the education system for all. Today, we are working in partnership with the Moroccan authorities to implement the new Education Strategy (2015-2030). The objective: enhance the quality of education and ensure equitable access to it. 

AFD is also involved in vocational training. For example, we are financing the construction of 25 vocational training centers in high-potential economic sectors: transport, mechanics, agribusiness, aeronautics, automotive, building, audiovisual, fashion and design, crafts, leather, renewable energies and energy efficiency, etc.

Following on from this action, we have supported the “Employment and Skills Development” program to ensure a better match between market needs and the skills of Moroccans. 

Finally, to promote job creation, we are supporting the development of Moroccan companies (microenterprises and SMEs), in particular in the agriculture sector (which employs 49% of the working population). We are also supporting the banking and financial sector.  

Developing rural areas

Morocco, field, agriculture, landscape

Developing rural areas

Agriculture is a key sector for the country: it employs 4 million people, i.e. 74% of employment in rural areas, and accounts for some 15% of GDP (excluding agribusiness). However, the issues related to the agriculture sector are not simply about the economic aspect: they also concern food security, the balance between territories and the management of natural resources. This is especially because agriculture is the first activity threatened by the impacts of climate change – the drought in 2015 served as a reminder of this.

For some 25 years now, AFD has been working in partnership with government authorities to strengthen agricultural infrastructure and develop rural areas.

For example, we are financing the “Green Morocco Plan” to modernize the agriculture sector and the “Halieutis Plan” to develop the fishing sector. 
 

Improving the urban environment

Tramway, Rabat, Morocco, public transports

Improving the urban environment

Morocco is facing growing urbanization and its cities need to address a number of issues to ensure the well-being of their populations, because urbanization is poorly controlled, there is a proliferation of insalubrious housing and poverty is increasing. Consequently, Moroccan cities need to become safer, more open, resilient and sustainable. 

Our action in Morocco to strengthen urban integration and social cohesion is multifaceted:

  • We are supporting the “Cities without Slums” program of Al Omrane to reduce insalubrious housing. We also promote the development of sustainable cities (Eco-city of Zenata).
  • We are increasing access to basic services, such as drinking water and sanitation, in order to improve living conditions for city dwellers. For example, we have supported Morocco’s National Sanitation Program.
  • We are developing urban transport networks. For example, AFD has financed the tramways in Rabat and Casablanca and is involved in their extension. We are also supporting the construction of Africa’s first high-speed railway line which will link up Tangiers and Kenitra in 2018.  

Promoting the energy transition

NOOR II, Ouarzazate, Morocco, solar plant, Zizola

Promoting the energy transition

With one of the highest levels of sunshine in the world, Morocco has huge solar potential. Its desert areas are particularly suited to concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. 

Solar power: a solution for the future to produce renewable energy in a country without oil or gas, which imports 95% of the energy it consumes. Morocco has consequently decided to turn to its natural resources and has launched the “NOOR Plan”, a solar program that contributes to the ambitious objective for renewable energy development: 52% of power from renewable energy sources by 2030.

AFD is supporting the dynamics in Morocco. We are supporting:

  • The construction of the largest thermodynamic solar complex in South countries, NOOR Ouarzazate (with a capacity of over 500 MW);
  • The training institutes for renewable energy and energy efficiency activities (IFMEREE);
  • The European multi-donor MORSEFF initiative. The objective: credit lines for local banks to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in industry, retail trade and construction. 

Adapting to climate change

Maroc, desalination plant, Jorf Lasfar

Adapting to climate change

Morocco is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as shown by the severe drought in 2015. The country has reacted by launching several “green policies” to fight against climate change, and has become one of the African leaders on the issue.

AFD is a leading partner of the Kingdom: 50% of our commitments are for the climate, representing an annual average of EUR 150m between 2011 and 2015, and our action goes well beyond support for Morocco’s solar sector. 

In the agriculture sector, we are supporting the ACCAGRIMAG program, a pilot project to adapt agriculture to climate change in the Maghreb region. The objective: change practices in order to integrate new meteorological conditions, with a focus on climate insurance.

In industry, we are strengthening the sustainable development strategies of companies. For example, we have financed the water strategy of the Cherifian Office for Phosphates (OCP), a project which optimizes treated wastewater reuse with the aim of putting an end to all withdrawals from aquifers.

In the building sector: we are supporting the development of the Taghazout Bay seaside resort, the first project with the High Environmental Quality (HEQ) certification in Morocco.

Through a partnership with BMCE, we are also helping the financial sector strengthen its range of financing for projects for the protection of water resources, industrial depollution, recycling and water reuse in Morocco. 

44
ongoing projects
5.6
billion euros committed since 1992

The Kingdom of Morocco, which is located at the crossroads between Europe and Africa and opens onto the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, benefits from a strategic situation. It is committed to the path of international openness and Euro-Mediterranean integration and has been engaged in a political, economic and social modernization process for some twenty years now. 
 
Morocco is particularly exposed to the impacts of global warming and actively contributes to international efforts to combat climate change. The Kingdom was the host country for the 22nd international climate conference (COP22) in 2016 in Marrakech and has become one of the African leaders on the issue.

After an annual growth rate of 5% during the decade 2000-2010, Morocco’s economy, which is strongly linked to the agriculture sector, is experiencing a slowdown. Morocco today needs to address a number of challenges: inequalities in access to employment, lack of access to rural areas, fragile and limited natural resources and great vulnerability to climate hazards. The integration of youth into society especially remains a major challenge: only one person in two in the 25-35 age group has a job, which is often informal and precarious.

Morocco has set out to change the situation by adopting an ambitious development program and is starting to turn towards Africa to find new sources of growth.

AFD has been a partner of the Kingdom since 1992 and mobilizes all its tools (grants, loans, guarantees, technical assistance, etc.) to take action in several key sectors. It is thereby one of the main partners of public authorities and private actors in the country. 

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Evaluation document

Impact of Microcredit in Rural Areas of Morocco: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation

Microcredit has rapidly expanded in recent years, providing access to financial services to a large population previously excluded from the financial system. However, whether it helps the poor has been ...
Oct 2011
Evaluation document

Analysis of the Determinants of the Demand for Financial Services in Rural Morocco

This study has been designed to be complementary to the work carried out by the IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action) / J-PAL (The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) team. The ...
Oct 2011
Research document

Challenges in Sanitation

Among the essential public utilities, sanitation and wastewater services present forms of organization and management that have contributed to make it low on the agenda of policy makers when it ...
Aug 2018
Research document

International emigration and labour market outcomes of women staying behind: the case of Morocco

We tackle the issue of women's activity rates in Morocco by adopting a mixed method approach. Using the 2007 household survey, we find that having a migrant in the household increases ...
May 2016
Research document

When Can Work Performed by Women Become a Factor in Their Empowerment? - Women‘s access to quality employment in Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey

The employment of women in Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey is not necessarily equated with financial, social and/or political empowerment. Though the three countries share striking similarities as regards the ...
Jun 2015
Research document

Euro-Med Growth and Trade Integration: can we talk of a cost of the non-Mediterranean?

This paper revisits the debate on EuroMediterranean integration to reassess its observed and expected impact on the economic growth of the South and East Mediterranean countries (SEMCs).
Nov 2013
Institutional document

Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI)

Imagine the southern Mediterranean tomorrow… 245 million people living in urban areas – it’s a huge challenge for this region of the world. The Union for the Mediterranean, the European Union, ...
Apr 2018
Institutional document

Brochure AFD and Morocco

At the crossroads of Europe and Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco is benefitting from a strategic location. Committed to international openness and Euro-Mediterranean integration, it is the only country to ...
Oct 2016