World Bank Group Executive Directors Visit Morocco to Discuss Countrys Development Prospects

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The delegation highlights Morocco’s positive economic and social gains

Rabat, May 8, 2017 – Wrapping up a four-day visit to Morocco on Saturday, a delegation of the World Bank Group Executive Directors commended Morocco’s sustained efforts to meet its sustainable development goals and highlighted its economic and social achievements over the past years. The 10-member delegation representing 100 countries of the World Bank groups 189 member Countries initiated its regional tour in Morocco to assess the World Bank Group’s program in the Kingdom and better understand the country’s development prospects and current constraints.

During their visit, the Executive directors met with a number of officials, private sector and civil society representatives. In meetings early on in the week with the Head of government, Saadeddine El Othmani, Minister of Economy and finance, Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Agriculture, fisheries, rural development, water and forestry, Aziz Akhennouch and Minister in charge of General affairs and governance, Lahcen Daoudi, the delegation congratulated the government on its ambitious reform program. While highlighting Morocco’s stability as a beacon for sustainable growth, the Executive directors supported the government’s priority to enhance Morocco’s human and social capital in order to reduce inequalities and improve access to quality basic services for all Moroccans.

Morocco is planting the seeds for inclusive and sustainable growth supported by a strengthened governance framework. On another hand, the government’s vision is realistic about the country’s human development and economic challenges in the medium to long term. In our meetings with the various stakeholders, developing the human capital, and especially reforming education stood out as the priority development area and we are hopeful that the country’s concerned constituencies will work together to enhance this sector that is critical for the country’s future. ” said Merza Hasan, Executive director.

On Thursday, Miriem Bansalah Chaqroun, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises chaired a meeting with the delegation that enabled a thorough discussion on private sector’s major constraints and achievements. The government’s ambition to foster a more competitive and open business environment was explored by the Executive directors who especially valued Morocco’s private sector dynamism; they especially encouraged the sector’s players to promote innovation and continue to advocate for greater support to Medium and Small enterprises as a major engine for value and job creation.

To better understand youth’s expectations in terms of social participation, education and economic opportunities, the Executive directors met with a group of active youth leaders in the city of Marrakesh. In a candid exchange, the delegation members stressed that youth is one of the World Bank Group’s major area of support and engagement in the Middle East and North Africa region. Youth participants reminded the delegation about Moroccan youth’s significant potential but highlighted the need for dedicated and sustained policies to promote their participation and help them achieve greater social and economic integration. Education reform was particularly stressed as youth’s main area of concern; attending participants expressed eagerness to see a more effective education system that can give them the skills to compete in the labor market.

The last two days of the delegation visit were focused on showcasing Morocco’s structural achievements and social projects in lagging regions. In Ouarzazate, the Executive directors met with Mustapha Bakkoury, President of MASEN (Morocco’s Agency for Solar Energy) to understand the Kingdom’s long term vision for renewable energy development. The visit to the Noor Ouarzazate solar complex enabled the delegation to observe first-hand the country’s ambitious solar program and the plant’s state-of-the art installations. In El Haouz’s rural areas, the delegation also visited several development projects supported by the National Initiative for Human Development as well as irrigation projects and agricultural processing units reflecting the two pillars of Morocco's Green agriculture Plan.

We are pleased to conclude this visit with a confident sentiment about Morocco’s resolute path to achieving inclusive growth. We are leaving Morocco with some lessons learnt enabling us to better grasp the country’s development realities and the main challenges ahead. We are hopeful that the country will remain committed to its valid development objectives and we look forward to observing greater human and economic outcomes to support the country’s long term vision for shared prosperity” said Christine Hogan, Executive director.

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The delegation of the Executive Directors include: Omar Bougara (representing Algeria, Afghanistan, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Pakistan and Tunisia); Mr. Merza Hasan, Dean of the Board of Executive Directors (representing 13 countries from the Middle East region as well as the Maldives); Mr. Seydou Bouda (representing Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal and Togo); Mr. Otaviano Canuto (represents Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Philippines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago); Mr. Kazuhiko Koguchi (representing Japan); Mr. Andin Hadiyanto (representing  Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam); Ms. Christine Hogan (representing Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean); Mr. Maximo Torero (representing Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay); Mr. Martin Poder (Alternate Executive Director representing Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway and Sweden); Mr. Gϋnther Schӧnleitner (Alternate Executive Director representing Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey).

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