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Thursday 21 February 2019

WB Approves New Program of Support with Morocco on Investing in People & Economic Transformation

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WB Approves New Program of Support with Morocco on Investing in People & Economic Transformation

The World Bank (WB) Group's Board of Executive Directors endorsed, Tuesday, a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) with Morocco, which will guide the financial and technical assistance program over the next six years.

The 2019-2024 CPF aims to support the Kingdom’s ambition of sharpening its competitive edge in the global economy while boosting shared prosperity among its population, says a statement of the World Bank.

In alignment with the new CPF, the Board of Directors also approved on Tuesday a Euro 611.3 million (US$700 million equivalent) project to accelerate Morocco’s adoption of digital technology as a source of improved services, growth and jobs and as key to leading the economic transformation in the North Africa and Africa region.

"Morocco has made significant economic and social progress, which has raised the aspirations of Moroccans, especially its young people," said Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Maghreb Country Director, who was quoted in the statement.

“The Government has launched ambitious plans to meet these aspirations, and these efforts will receive the full support of the World Bank Group. Realizing Morocco’s tremendous potential will require investing in its youth to ensure they have the skills needed to drive the economic transformation, while unleashing the job-creating dynamism of the private sector,” she added.

The new CPF drew on consultations with the Government, private sector and civil society, as well as lessons learned from the previous Country Strategy. It identified three strategic pillars to guide World Bank Group support: promoting job creation by the private sector; strengthening human capital; and promoting inclusive and resilient territorial development.

The CPF has governance and citizen engagement as its foundational pillar, and gender and digital technology as cross-cutting themes.

The CPF will have the overarching goal of harnessing the potential of new technologies to promote entrepreneurship, productivity and e-government platforms to boost growth and innovation. The drive to leverage digital technologies to transform Morocco’s economy into a more inclusive and innovative driver of growth will receive support from the new project announced Tuesday, the Financial Inclusion and Digital Economy Development Policy Financing (DPF).

In line with the Government’s strategy, the new DPF will support a set of financial sector and digital economy reforms to facilitate Morocco’s shift to the New Economy, the statement notes.

“The aim of this program is to support an inclusive financial sector and a competitive digital economy for all Moroccans. It will address social and economic inclusion challenges, particularly for youth, women, and rural populations,” said Djibrilla Issa, Lead Financial Sector Specialist and Task Team Leader.

“It will also support policy reforms to develop digital platforms and infrastructure to broaden the use of mobile payments and enhance competition among digital providers. Digital entrepreneurship is central to the current program: greater effort to facilitate online enterprise creation and improve access to finance will be deployed to unleash the potential of Morocco’s digital start-ups,” she added.

MAP 20 February 2019