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Morocco–AfDB Approves €75 Million Loan for Education Programme

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Tunis, 31 March 2009–The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will support Morocco’s efforts to revamp its education system with a €75 Million loan approved by the institution’s Board of Directors on Wednesday, 31 March 2009, in Tunis.

The National Education Emergency Support Programme aims at making education available to all and improving the quality of teaching and the system’s performance by accelerating the implementation of reforms prescribed in the National Education and Training Charter, as well as consolidating gains and making the necessary readjustments.

The programme supports the Moroccan government’s efforts in skills development and poverty reduction under the National Human Development Initiative (NHDI), as well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), by 2015.

It focuses on extending education and training opportunities, improving its internal and external performance, as well as the better management of the human, financial and material resources provided to the supervisory ministry. The main expected programme outcomes are: reform of the education and training system so that it can meet development needs; compulsory school enrolment till age 15; promotion of initiative and excellence in secondary and higher education; completion of decentralization, rational management of resources and introduction of a culture of results-based management.

The programme is in conformity with the economic recovery and poverty reduction strategy of the government, which was presented to Parliament in October 2007. It is also in line with the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2007-2011, adopted by the Board of Directors of the Bank Group in April 2007.

Pupils, students, teachers, administrative supervisory staff and the entire education system, will be the main beneficiaries of the emergency programme. According to education ministry projections, school enrolment at all levels are expected to rise from 6,297,239 in 2007 to 6,546,000 in 2011. The total number of teachers in 2007 was 248,910 while that of administrative supervisory staff stood at 37,560.

The overall resources required for the programme are estimated at 76.7 billion Moroccan Dirham, or €6.5 billion. The external resource requirements stand at about MAD 4.8 billion, approximately €400 million. The AfDB loan, to be disbursed as budget support in two successive tranches of € 37 million and € 38 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively, represents 18.75% of the external financing required over the period. Other contributors are the French Development Agency (€50 million), the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (FIV €20 million), the European Investment Bank (€200 million), the World Bank (€80 million) and the European Commission (€93).

Bank Group current portfolio in Morocco comprises 13 operations, made up of 3 programmes and 10 projects with an aggregate commitment of UA 848.3 million.

* 1 UA = 1.46736 US$ = 12.9982 MAD

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