Morocco secures US$450m loan from World Bank to improve its digital infrastructure

MOROCCOThe World Bank has announced through a press release that it would be awarding Morocco a US$450 million loan through its Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program.

The loan aims to expand the availability of financial services and digital infrastructure for individuals and businesses, as well as improving financial inclusion and digital entrepreneurship. This is the second of three DPF loans the World Bank plans to give to Morocco.

Morocco plans to use the loan to continue to improve its digital infrastructure with the intent to provide better accessibility and boosting the financial resilience of households and micro-, small-, and medium-size enterprises.

One way that officials plan to accomplish this goal is through the expansion of digital ID access, to allow easier access to welfare and more efficient cash transfers within the country.

This would give Moroccans living in rural areas unprecedented access to government assistance during times of economic hardship.  

World Bank Maghreb Country Director Jesko Hentschel highlighted the need for improved financial and digital access, for Morocco’s most vulnerable, including women, youth, informal workers and smaller enterprises.

These needs were made apparent during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, and Mr. Hentschel emphasized improved access to digital services was critical to reducing their social exclusion, during the height of the pandemic.

Furthermore, Onur Ozlu, a senior economist working with the World Bank to implement this program, has stated that the DPF loan will promote innovative financing solutions, such as crowdfunding, which could be a crucial factor in many Moroccan startups receiving the investment capital needed to fund their entrepreneurship.

Lastly, the DPF program will also seek to make the country more inclusive for women, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected during the pandemic.

The program aims to ensure women have more access to economic opportunity in Morocco and encourage the creation of a good environment for women-led start-ups and for increasing women’s representation in business.

Africa has one of the lowest rates of financial access for women in the world, and the DPF program is an important step in ensuring that women are given a fair opportunity to excel in the future of Moroccan entrepreneurship.  

Morocco has taken several steps recently to ensure that the national economy pivots smoothly into a post pandemic setting.

Through the socioeconomic improvements planned with the World Bank, Moroccans will be able to join the global economy with a more comprehensive level of government support than ever before.

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