LEILA FARAH MOKADDEM

Morocco 2020/21 | ECONOMY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Leila Farah Mokaddem, Country Manager & Resident Representative in Morocco for African Development Bank, about integrated development, connecting communities to electricity, and social protection in the country.

What have been the main achievements of the bank in Morocco?

Since the end of 2019, we have conducted an assessment of the bank's operations in the country over the 2008-2018 period. The purpose of this exercise was to bring transparency within the framework of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Some of the results of this review include: 3.5 million people, more than half of them women, having improved access to clean water and sanitation; 8.5 million people, including more than 4 million women, benefiting from improved health services; nearly 7 million people were connected to the electricity grid; and 16 million people gained better access to transport infrastructure. As far as our strategy is concerned, the priority is to accelerate the pace of achieving the “High 5" priorities that contribute to the implementation of more than 90% of the 2030 SDGs. Our objective is clear: to have an impact, increasingly significant, for the benefit of our beneficiaries. In doing so, we are using a new generation of instruments such as results-based financing, deployed in Morocco since the end of 2018. Finally, our vision will be articulated on the basis of a more inclusive development approach, with social and territorial inclinations. An integrated development approach to support the attractiveness of the territories, the modernization of infrastructures, the industrial acceleration of the country, and the improvement of its logistic competitiveness. At the same time, our support will focus on human development by strengthening the education and health systems, improving access to basic social infrastructure, and opening up rural areas.

What main operations are in progress?


Development is a process with many prerequisites, including support for private-sector development, coupled with a dynamic of industrialization and strengthening of logistics competitiveness with an inclusive development approach that prioritizes two axes: the development of human capital and the attractiveness of the territories. For a development trajectory to tend toward emergence, it must be sustainable, accompanied in particular by a committed energy transition. These are some of the areas in which we have been working alongside the country since the bank's creation. As part of this approach, we approved four new operations at the end of 2019. First, we will finance, to the tune of EUR245 million, a program to develop electricity transmission networks and rural electrification to improve the safety and efficiency of electricity supply. It will also promote the development of renewable energy sources by ensuring the integration of additional electricity production, which will be generated by solar and wind energy sources, currently under development. More than 16,000 households in 720 villages will be connected to the electricity grid. To reinforce the inclusive nature of our action, we have invested in strengthening and expanding social protection in Morocco by providing more than USD200 million by extending social coverage to people with disabilities, vulnerable children, and women. The goal is to increase the rate of compulsory health insurance coverage from 62% of the population in 2018 to more than 80% in 2023. The program will make it possible to build a regional hospital in Guelmim and a specialty hospital in Ouarzazate, each with a capacity of 140 beds. It also provides for the creation of 144 units specializing in the care of people with special needs and the upgrading of the infrastructure and equipment of 100 dispensaries in rural areas. These units will be equipped with telemedicine equipment for rapid and remote patient care. Two other new projects are designed to strengthen the inclusive dimension of our action. The first involves USD220 million to fund the program to support the industrial competitiveness of the regions by equipping territories with new industrial infrastructure in order to strengthen the regions' contribution to the national process of industrial acceleration. The second project, totaling EUR100 million, will benefit the Municipal Equipment Fund in order to set up new industrial activities and improve the quality of public services in rural areas.