Morocco_World_Bank World Bank Approves 500 Million USD to Support Morocco’s Financial and Digital Inclusion Reforms - Embassy of Morocco in South Africa

 

The World Bank has approved a 500 Million USD Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program, which will support key policy reforms to promote an enabling environment for digital transformation in Morocco.


Building on continuing government reforms, the current DPF – the first in a programmatic series of three operations – seeks to improve financial inclusion and access to more competitive digital infrastructure and services for businesses and individuals, the World Bank says in a press release. 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. During this 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,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Director for the Maghreb, quoted in the release.


“Through the current support, we aim to boost this potential and leverage digital transformation for more inclusive growth,” he added.


In addition to promoting microfinance, the program 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.


“It is especially critical to promote digital inclusion across the country so that no one is left behind, including in rural areas. This requires reforms to further promote competition and investment in order to expand access to broadband services. Access to broadband infrastructure proved to be vital for business continuity during the crisis and will play a key role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Arthur Foch, Senior Digital development specialist and co-Task Team leader.


The 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.


The DPF also paves the way for the Intelaka entrepreneurship program by supporting reforms conducive to startups’ development and creating new asset classes for early-stage financing for innovative enterprises. Finally, the program supports the participation of small businesses in government procurement as an enabler for economic inclusion and recovery.