IFC Helps Deliver Vital Infrastructure in Morocco

IFC is using its public-private partnership expertise to assist the government of Morocco to support private investment in infrastructure.

Improving Water Supply

IFC recently announced that it will be supporting the development of a new desalination and irrigation plant to improve the water supply to a vital agricultural region.

IFC will advise the Ministry of Agriculture on structuring a public-private partnership to build the desalination and irrigation plant in the Chtouka area, a region near the coast that relies heavily on agriculture. Demand for water in the area has grown together with trade to Europe, depleting the aquifer in the region.

The plant will have an estimated annual capacity of between 60 and 85 million cubic meters. IFC will help ensure that the project is financially and environmentally sustainable.

“This project will restore a sustainable balance in water use in Chtouka and maintain the high value added of agricultural production in the area," said Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries.

“Encouraging private investment in infrastructure and ensuring the environmental sustainability of projects are IFC priorities in the Middle East and North Africa. The desalination and irrigation plant in the Chtouka area will support agriculture, an important industry in Morocco, and help create jobs for the surrounding community,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa.

Helping Increase Private Investment in Infrastructure
With help from IFC advisory services, Morocco is embracing a greater role for the private sector in the provision of vital infrastructure in the country. This commitment is evidenced by a recent agreement between IFC and Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to help the country establish a public-private partnership (PPP) unit that will develop large projects to improve infrastructure and service delivery in rural and urban areas.

Samir Mohammed Tazi, Director of the Department of Public Enterprises and Privatization (DEPP) within the Ministry of Economy and Finance, says, “It is important to further develop public-private partnerships in Morocco, taking into consideration international best practices and leveraging the successes already achieved in the country.”

Improved infrastructure and public services are the foundations of strong, sustainable economies, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, where people have primarily relied on the state to provide essential services that require major capital expenditures.

IFC also advised Morocco on the El Guerdane Irrigation Project, which was successfully awarded in 2005 and began operation in 2009. It was Morocco’s first public-private irrigation project and brought improved irrigation services to 2,000 farmers. IFC also recently signed an agreement with Morocco’s Agency for Solar Energy to help structure a PPP for Morocco’s largest solar power plant at Ouarzazate.