Morocco’s 2016-2021 development program in the southern provinces has reached a completion rate of 70%, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has announced.
Since 2016, the Moroccan government and local authorities have completed 179 development projects in Morocco’s southern provinces, for a total budget of MAD 13.2 billion ($1.45 billion).
Meanwhile, 336 projects are ongoing and 236 others are still in the planning phase. The planned projects have an overall budget of MAD 25 billion ($2.75 billion).
El Othmani presented the progress rate of Morocco’s development program in the south during a parliamentary session today, November 30.
According to the head of government, the 2016-2021 program is proceeding according to the pre-established schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Moroccan government is set to launch new major projects in 2021, El Othmani announced. The projects include the new Dakhla Atlantic Port, a seawater desalination plant to the north of Dakhla, and several wind farms across Western Sahara.
The government will also closely follow up on the investments of public enterprises and establishments. Morocco expects public companies to invest MAD 4.5 billion ($495.18 million) in the southern provinces in 2021 through various projects.
In addition to announcing future investments, El Othmani highlighted the positive impact of the achieved projects on local populations.
According to the head of government, the schooling rate of children and young people, aged six to 22, has reached 81.8% in Morocco’s southern provinces. This exceeds the national rate of 74.9%.
The rates of access to drinking water and electricity are also higher than the national average, at 93.7% (against 72.9% nationally) and 93.8% (against 91.9% at the national level) respectively.
In terms of road infrastructure, Morocco’s southern provinces now have a 9,300-kilometer network of paved roads, including 4,400 kilometers of national roads. In 1975, the region only had 350 kilometers of roads.
In terms of socio-economic indicators, the growth rate of gross income per capita in Morocco’s southern provinces is among the highest at the national level, reaching 5.8% per year.
The indicators testify to Morocco’s fruitful efforts in combating territorial disparities. Thanks to the ongoing development program in the southern provinces, the quality of life of the local population has significantly improved in line with King Mohammed VI’s vision for the country’s prosperity.