AfDB Supports Infrastructure Development in Morocco Signs €300 Million Loan and Grant Agreements with Government

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Tunis, 17 March, 2011 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Government of Morocco, today signed six loan and grant agreements amounting to €303 million (3.4 billion dirham). Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Salaheddine Mezouar and AfDB Regional Director, Nono Matondo Fundani co-chaired the signing ceremony in Rabat.

The agreements include a €300 million (3.4 billion dirham) investment loan to the national railway company—Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF)—to finance a major upgrade of the Tangier-Marrakech rail link.

The ONCF project is part of an ongoing national development strategy in the transport sector, which includes upgrading and modernizing infrastructure and transport services to increase Morocco’s economic competitiveness. The project will be implemented from 2011 to 2016 and aims to strengthen the rail infrastructure to meet the growing annual passenger and goods traffic on the Tangier-Marrakesh axis. Annual passenger traffic on the line is expected to increase from 16 million in 2010 to nearly 23.5 million from 2016.

The other agreements signed comprise:

  • A € 678,000 (7.6-million dirham) grant to the National Ports Agency (PNA) to conduct an analytical and development study on the reinforcement and renovation of several ports in the country, notably Nador, Safi, Al Hoceima, Tangier, Casablanca and Agadir)
  • A €558,000 (6.3-million dirham) grant to the Central Guarantee Fund (GCC) to strengthen the national guarantee system
  • A € 576,000 (6.5-million dirham) grant to the Securities Ethics Council (CDVM) to strengthen the supervision and control of financial markets
  • A €595,200 (6.7-million dirham) grant to the Directorate of Irrigation and development of agricultural land for irrigation infrastructure (DIAEA)
  • A € 629,000 (7.1-million dirham) to the Department of Education to finance a study for the establishment of a development strategy in education and private training

To date, the African Development Bank has committed total of €8.6 billion in Morocco, equivalent to 96.3 billion dirhams. The Bank’s current active operations portfolio in the country is about €2 billion, equivalent to 22.4 billion dirhams. The portfolio is dominated by the infrastructure sector—including transport, energy and water and sanitation—and governance.

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