World BankMorocco Loan – The World Bank announced on Monday that it have approved a $500 million loan to Morocco to support the North African country’s plan to boost digital inclusion reforms.
In a statement from the bank announced the decision of the institutions’ Board of Executive Directors to approve the loan. The loan is part of the Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing Project (DPF) to support mechanisms to promote digital transformation in Morocco.
The program seeks to enhance financial inclusion and “access to more competitive digital infrastructure and services for business and individuals.”
The World Bank lauded the “rapid” digital transition initiative during COVID-19, emphasizing that the pandemic has exacerbated the need for digitalization. The COVID-19 crisis urged the world to adopt alternative plans as private and public institutions shut their doors to avoid COVID-19 infections in working environments.
Like other countries, some of Morocco’s digitalization plans have seen light amid the crisis, including remote education, work, and judicial processes. During the crisis, “Morocco’s digital transition accelerated rapidly, showing the country’s capacity for a greater scale-up,” said World Bank Maghreb Country Director Jesko Hentschel.
Hentschel said digitalization offers new opportunities for Morocco, ranging from “more fluid economic transactions to better services to citizens and businesses.”
The World Bank Morocco Loan seeks to help businesses expand their projects, stressed lead financial sector specialist and task team leader Djibrilla Issa.
Dalia Al Kadi, a senior economist and co-task team leader, also stressed the importance of the program, which will allow Moroccan startups to “import digital services that are not available in Morocco”. The digital services aim to enhance the startups’ products and services and increase competitiveness, Al Kadi added.
The World Bank Morocco Loan is the second of its kind from the World Bank to Morocco in one week. On June 16, the World Bank issued a press release to announce the approval of a $48 million loan to help Morocco tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
The World Bank has also expressed its satisfaction with Morocco’s “effective approach” to curbing the spread of the pandemic.
Despite the importance of the loans in consolidating Morocco’s COVID-19 response, the country may suffer the effects of increased external debts.
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