WB backs Morocco’s digitalization & inclusive growth with $500 Mln funding

The World Bank announced on Tuesday a $500 million funding to help Morocco speed up its digital transformation and enhance its economic and social inclusion.

The WB financial support will serve to improve financial inclusion and access to more competitive digital infrastructure and services for businesses and individuals. It also aims to spur private sector growth through access to finance for startups and youth-led enterprises.

“The Covid-19 outbreak demonstrated the paramount importance of digitalization as a means to ensure business continuity and promote innovation”, said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Maghreb Country Director.

During this global health crisis, “Morocco’s digital transition accelerated rapidly, showing the country’s capacity for a greater scale up. Today, more than ever, digitalization opens new opportunities for Morocco, ranging from more fluid economic transactions to better services to citizens and businesses,” added Mr. Hentschel.
The WB funding, released within the frame of its Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program, will support Moroccan Govt’s efforts to digitalize key services for individuals and businesses and strengthen the resilience of households and firms.

“Access to finance through digital financial services, credit, social protection programs, and insurance will allow individuals and households to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risks, and improve the overall quality of their lives,” said Djibrilla Issa, Lead Financial sector specialist and Task team leader.

In addition to promoting microfinance, the DPF will support access to foreign currency for startups. “This is a critical measure for innovative Moroccan startups that are striving to compete locally and globally. It will allow them to import digital services that are not available in Morocco in order to enhance their product and service offerings and boost their competitiveness,” said Dalia Al Kadi, Senior Economist and co-Task team leader.

Digital connectivity, the backbone of the current reform momentum, requires the availability of a reliable, safe, and competitive digital infrastructure.

The WB program will support key policy reforms to promote competition and universal access in the telecommunication and broadband sector, providing opportunities for the digital transformation of enterprises and administrations.

It also backs the “Intelaka” entrepreneurship program by supporting reforms conducive to startups’ development and creating new asset classes for early-stage financing for innovative enterprises.

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