The new urban development program of Agadir is expected to make the coastal city a national model in terms of infrastructure.
Rabat – The 2020-2024 urban development program of Agadir, central Morocco, is set to kickstart a new stage in Agadir’s economic and social development process, announced Morocco’s Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit.
The development plan, launched on Tuesday, February 4, will confirm the city’s position and reinforce its attractiveness as a national and international tourist destination, added the minister in his speech at the signing ceremony.
The program will reinforce the basic infrastructure of the Souss-Massa region and its road network, including the establishment of a railway between Marrakech and Agadir. It will also consolidate the strategic position of the region, he continued.
The strategy intends to improve human development indexes in the region, enhance the living conditions of the population, and strengthen basic infrastructure for better services and mobility, noted Laftit.
After highlighting the region’s economic assets, the Moroccan official said the city has the potential to become an attractive and competitive economic hub, capable of meeting the challenge of advanced regionalization and consolidating its national and continental influence.
There are several ongoing infrastructure projects in the Souss-Massa region, notably in terms of reducing territorial and social disparities, industrial acceleration, as well as agriculture, tourism, and solidarity economy, highlighted Laftit.
The urban development program of Agadir is the most-recent in a series of development programs launched across Morocco, recalled the interior minister, citing the projects previously launched in Rabat, Tangier, Marrakech, Casablanca, Al-Hoceima, and the southern provinces.
Authorities aim to implement mechanisms to ensure rigorous and transparent monitoring of the planned projects and to make sure they respect the set deadlines and objectives, Laftit underlined.
The program’s drafting was based on a participatory approach between the government and the region, and gave priority to projects that promote sustainable development, economic diversification, and improvement to the region’s attractiveness, concluded the minister.
Material and spiritual development
Meanwhile, the Minister of National Planning, Urban Development, Housing, and Urban Policy, Nouzha Bouchareb, stressed that the program aims to make Agadir a center for the development of the Souss-Massa region.
Bouchareb pledged that her department will contribute to the program through a number of very structuring projects, notably the upgrading of neighborhoods, local facilities, and infrastructure.
The projects will raise the position of Agadir and place it on a path of integrated development, for the benefit of the local population and the region as a whole, she concluded her statement to the press.
The Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Taoufik, said that the program seeks to create the necessary balance for Agadir’s development between the spiritual, religious, and the city’s daily life.
Taoufik also reiterated Laftit’s words, saying that the program will mark a new start for the city.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs will contribute to the development plan through two major projects, announced the minister. The projects are a scientific, cultural, and religious complex, with an investment of MAD 90 million (about €8.48 million), and a large mosque, costing MAD 50 million (around €4.7 million).
The population of the region is strongly attached to the values of the country, notably Islam, according to Taoufik.
Improved transport and infrastructure
For his part, the Minister of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, told the press that the framework-agreement intends to combine efforts and establish cooperation mechanisms in order to find the means to achieve the expected objectives, particularly regarding urban transport.
The government and local authorities in Agadir have signed a partnership agreement for the implementation of several projects, including an urban transport line with an estimated budget of MAD 1.2 billion (about €113.04 million), announced Benchaaboun.
The transport line’s achievement will constitute a qualitative leap for Agadir, he added.
Finally, the Minister of Tourism, Handicraft, Air Transport, and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, told the media that the development program will upgrade Agadir, a city with great potential.
Agadir is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco and the top seaside tourism destination, recalled the minister.
The tourism ministry will collaborate with other government departments and with the region to put in place a larger and more elaborate plan to make tourism one of the economic and social motors in the Souss-Massa region, announced Fettah Alaoui.
The 2020-2024 Agadir urban development program, worth MAD 6 billion (around €565.59 million), aims to promote the city’s role as an integrated economic hub and center for the entire region.
The program revolves around six main axes, presented by the Governor of the Souss-Massa region, Ahmed Hajji.
The axes include implementing new urban transport lines, building new road entrances to the city, developing tourist zones, preserving the environment, promoting the city’s cultural heritage, and strengthening basic social amenities.