Morocco’s OCP gets €570 million for the development of a brand new college campus for UM6P close to Rabat
The World Bank, through its Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), has just announced a €570 million disbursement guarantee for the construction of a new university campus for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) near Rabat. These funds are made up of loans whose guarantee lasts up to 10 years and which are allocated to the OCP group.
MIGA has issued a guarantee to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank of France and BNP Paribas of France amounting to €570 million to cover loans to Morocco’s OCP Group, a major player in plant nutrition and world leader in the phosphate industry.
OCP Group will use the funds to finance the construction of a new university campus for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) near Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.
“MIGA’s support is helping unlock competitive financing from international lenders to fund the development of cutting-edge education facilities in Morocco,” Hiroshi Matano, MIGA Executive Vice President, was quoted as saying in a MIGA press release.
“Furthermore, the expansion of UM6P’s R&D facilities will boost the country’s competitiveness and contribute to the training of current and future human capital.”
The new campus will offer high-quality education to 2,000 students in the fields of economics, governance, political sciences, international relations, behavioral and social sciences, hospitality business and management. In addition, the campus will house a new faculty of governance and include Morocco’s first school and business incubator for artificial intelligence. The facility will also have multisport centers, digital learning laboratories, a language center, a library, and hotels to host university guests and train students in the School of Hospitality Business and Management, the press release said.
Hicham El Habti, President of Mohammed 6 Polytechnic University, said, “We are very grateful for MIGA’s vote of confidence in our plan to grow UM6P’s reach and educational capacity for the long-term returns it delivers. MIGA’s support in developing our new campus facilities in Rabat will allow us to increase skills, innovation and development in important fields that the current campus does not offer.”
“UM6P’s mission is to consolidate Morocco’s frontline position in these fields, in a partnership-based approach to boosting skills training that are relevant for the future of Africa. OCP Group has grown to become a major player in plant nutrition and remains convinced that education and R&D are key levers for both the future of food security and community development. This is an exciting development not just for Moroccan students, but for young people across Africa,” El Habti said.
Completion of the campus also includes auxiliary works, with the most important two being the addition of hydraulic structures to protect the campus against the risk of flooding and the burial of a 60 Kv electrical line along with the rehabilitation of an associated substation.
Morocco has been prioritizing development of human capital and higher education. As a result, enrollment rates in higher education grew from 15 percent to 38 percent between 2010 and 2018, higher than enrolment growth in the MENA region overall. Higher education in Morocco is available through public, public-private partnerships, and private institutions. In this context, the development of high-quality private sector institutions such as UM6P is considered critical to complementing public efforts to increase higher education’s overall enrollment capacity.
OCP Group plays a strategically important role in Morocco’s economy and national development strategy being the country’s largest private employer, and a major exporter, and contributor to the GDP. This role arises not only from OCP’s position as one of the top largest producers and exporters of phosphate products, but also from its core mission to maximize sustainable value creation in all that it does.
UM6P is at the core of OCP’s innovation, sustainability, and transformation strategy that was led by OCP Group over the past 15 years. Founded in 2017 with a first campus in Benguerir, near Marrakesh, offering multidisciplinary vocational and technical training to Moroccan and other African youth, UM6P is fully owned by OCP SA through its foundation, OCP Fondation, and operates a first campus since 2015 in Benguerir Mohammed VI Green City with current enrollment of 2,182 students.UM6P provides more than 80 percent of OCP’s research and development activities in strategic areas such as fertilizers, industrial facilities, clean energy and sustainable water management. In addition, the university also contributes to developing training programs with OCP’s Learning Institute to enable OCP’s human capital to achieve their full potential.
With MIGA’s support, OCP Group has committed to pursue its progress towards green building certifications through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program for many of its campus facilities in Rabat, in line with its commitment to the “Smart City” spirit of UM6P’s campus in Benguerir which was the first project to receive this certification in Morocco. Moreover, UM6P will secure third-party verification and will be monitored by a LEED accredited professional.
The new UM6P campus has earned a Social Loan label thanks to scholarships granted by the OCP Foundation. Moroccan and other African students from underserved low-income households will thus benefit from affordable high quality tertiary education. For this reason, the qualification has been confirmed to be aligned with the Loan Market Association’s Social Loan Principles by Moody’s ESG, an external third-party reviewer.
OCP Group is a long-term partner of the World Bank Group. In June 2021, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member, invested $100 million in OCP to help it expand its logistics networks and increase the availability of fertilizers, adapted to local soils and crops, in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania.
In September 2020, IFC signed an advisory agreement with OCP aimed at strengthening the rice sector in Cote d’Ivoire and the millet sector in Senegal. IFC also helped OCP obtain the leading global business certification for gender equality—EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) — that was announced in March of this year.