Morocco: African Development Bank (AfDB) Financed Marrakech-Menara Airport

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Africa Development Bank has been widely known in Africa as a bank that supports economic growth and development. The Bank has recently put emphasis on five key priority areas that are critical for operationalizing Africa’s transformation, these are; i) light up and power Africa, ii) feed Africa, iii) integrate Africa, iv) industrialize Africa, and v) improve the quality of life for Africans.

The bank has recorded many successes like the just conclude 3 days mission to Sudan, which was essentially a follow-up on the Bank Group President’s recent visit to the country, entailed detailed discussions with the Sudanese authorities on practical steps towards enabling Sudan to take full advantage of opportunities emerging from the temporary removal of economic sanctions, and create avenues for the Bank to scale up development efforts in the country, in collaboration with other development partners.

Recently, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), accompanied by Yacine Fal, AfDB Deputy Director for North Africa, visited the Marrakech-Menara international airport in Morocco. The project was financed by the Bank as part of Morocco’s third airport project, which aimed to upgrade infrastructure at Casablanca, Fez, Agadir, Marrakech and Rabat airports.

President Adesina used the opportunity to appreciate Morocco’s strategy for next-generation transportation infrastructure development, calling the airport, “an impressive project that blends the modern and the traditional.”

However, the leadership of the National Airport Development Office, represented by Nawal Mounir and Director of the Marrakech-Menara Airport expressed their gratitude to this success. Nawal further explained that virtually all Morocco’s foreign investment is in Africa.

‘85% of Morocco’s Foreign Direct Investment is in Africa’ – AfDB

It was further confirmed that Morocco is not only in line with the African Development Bank’s High 5 priorities, the Kingdom is also “one of the Bank’s best performing portfolios on the continent,” said AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina during his first official visit to Morocco as AfDB president. He also hailed Morocco’s role on the continent: “85% of your foreign direct investment is in Africa” and applauded the wish expressed by Morocco a few days before his visit to re-join the African Union (AU).

In addition, Adesina further emphasized the excellent cooperation between Morocco and the AfDB, which he termed “solid.” He highlighted the Bank’s financial commitment of €240 million to the airport project, and the fact that the Bank was the sole international lender to contribute to the project’s financing. Adesina said he was very pleased to see the results of that support for the airport program, which also includes the Casablanca and Fez airports as well as the future Agadir air traffic control centre.

Similarly, the AfDB’s support is part of its “Integrate Africa” strategic priority, making Morocco a continent-wide air traffic hub serving several African regions. He also confirmed that the bank is at peace when African countries record successes through their support.

” We will continue to support African Nations” he concluded.

The construction of this airport will go a long way to increase business activities in the country. Also, the citizens tend to benefit through easy access to long distance travel. However, the people living in the airport environment are excited as it is also a source of employment which will increase their standard of living.

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