MOROCCO – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, Côte d’Ivoire’s multilateral development finance institution has approved US$236 million loan for Agricultural development in Morocco.

The funding will finance the Program for Supporting the Inclusive and Sustainable Development of Agricultural Value Chains (PADIDFA) while reinforcing sustainable job creation.

The program aims to support rural job creation through the inclusive development of agricultural value chains and increase the sustainability and effectiveness of jobs created through green governance and water resource management,

In addition to financing the implementation of agriculture, environment, employment and vocational training strategies, the operation supports three of the Bank’s five strategic priorities that is Feed Africa, Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa and Industrialize Africa.

It is also a vital move based on the Country Strategy Paper 2017-2021 for Morocco where the second pillar focuses on improving living conditions through employment for young people and women living in rural areas.

“Creating employment and, in particular, sustainable and quality employment for rural youth and women, is a strategic priority for the African Development Bank in North Africa”, said Mohamed El Azizi, Bank Director General for North Africa Region.

Leila Farah Mokaddem, the Bank’s country manager for Morocco said the project was an important contribution to the implementation of the Green Morocco Plan by adding value to production.

The project is projected to boost Morocco’s exports revenues to US$4.76 million by 2030 and save 990 million cubic meters of water.

By 2020, it aims to mobilize US$423.97 million of private investment in the agricultural sector to create thousands of jobs for young people and women in rural areas.

According to AfDB, foundational infrastructure, covering the energy, water, transport, agriculture, and social development sectors, will compose 80 percent of the total financing.

The partnership between Morocco and the bank dates nearly half a century ago with more than 160 projects and programs with cumulative financial commitments of nearly US $10 billion having been implemented in the country.