World Bank Planning USD 650 Million Loans for Morocco

Rabat – As part of its partnership strategy with Morocco, the World Bank is programming three major loans for the Kingdom for the period of 2018-2022, totalling USD 650 million. These loans, currently awaiting approval, concern youth employment and entrepreneurship, the development of agri-food value chains and solar energy.The biggest share of these loans will be invested in solar energy, as the World Bank is issuing a USD 400 million loan to co-finance Noor Midelt, the largest solar complex in the Noor plan with a capacity of up to 800 megawatts (MW).In addition to this loan, which will have to be approved by the end of the year by the World Bank Group’s Board of Directors for the profit of Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), the World Bank and the government plan to launch the Agri-Food Value Chain/Agribusiness Value Chain Program. The Bank proposes to support this project through USD 200 million loan to be awarded by early 2018 to the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and forests.The program aims to increase the competitiveness and profitability of all actors in the agri-food sector, for both agricultural and industrial sectors, by enabling better collaboration between producers (especially small producers), processors (especially SMEs), distributors, marketing specialists, and food services, as well as providing easier access to markets with high quality products.The program will thus help achieve the objectives of the Green Morocco Plan and the Industrial Acceleration Plan of transforming the agro-food sector into a source of sustainable growth and inclusive economic development, and to make it more competitive especially for export.The third loan of USD 50 million is to co-finance a project aimed at improving access to economic opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and their active participation in community life. This project, to be approved this year, will be led by the Ministry of Youth and Sport in partnership with the Ministry of Employment.The project offers integrated solutions to increase access to economic opportunities for young people, especially the least educated, by combining learning and employability measures for the population. It also proposes actions to complement or fill gaps in existing education and employment programs by providing practical development of skills for disadvantaged youth in their respective communities.The main projects to be financed by the World Bank for the 2018-2021 period will not be revealed until next September when the future partnership strategy is approved. This document will include, among others, the development priorities on which the World Bank Group will focus in its cooperation with Morocco and the level and type of financial support it will mobilize for the benefit of the country over the period.