These initiatives are the Atlantic port of Dakhla and the Tiznit-Dajla road

Mega-projects in southern Morocco will boost Africa's trade development

photo_camera PHOTO/GUILLERMO LÓPEZ/ATALAYAR - Dakhla

The mega-structures located in the south of Morocco will be a driving force for the commercial development of the entire African continent, according to a former Senegalese official at a conference called 'Dakhla as an African centre'. The main projects now underway in the Alawi kingdom are the new Atlantic port of Dakhla, which aims to become a major logistics hub and a key centre for fishing and commercial port activities, and the Tiznit-Dajla road.

According to former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad Mancor Ndiaye, he stressed that these new infrastructures will help the Kingdom open up to sub-Saharan Africa and boost the "development of intra-African and regional trade".

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New continental hubs

Morocco's southern regions, depending on their orography, are witnessing historic levels of economic growth in the industrial and financial sectors, Ndiaye said. The Senegalese ex-diplomat also stressed that, thanks to the progressive implementation of several projects in the region, southern Morocco is evolving towards its goal of becoming an industrial, logistical and tourism hub. At the same event, the head of the Information Department of the Moroccan Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasts, Ibrahim al-Hasnawi, stressed that the economy of the Moroccan region of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab has increased by up to 11.9% in the years between 2014 and 2019. Al-Hasnawi blames this economic growth on Morocco's National Strategy for the Development of the Southern Regions, which became operational in 2014.

Moreover, Al-Hasnawi pointed out, with regard to the economic potential of the region, that Dakhla-Oued Eddahab is the Moroccan region with the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the country. These good figures are due to the good results being obtained in the fishing sector and the service sector.

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Dakhla new hub of African commerce

Dakhla, located on Morocco's Atlantic coast, is an area of high strategic value particularly attractive to investors looking to root their operations in Africa and import to European markets. The new port to be built in the region is intended to stimulate the industrial capacity of the region as more companies move into the logistics hub adjacent to the port, which will stimulate economic growth in the region. On the construction of the port, Sanaa El Amrani, from the Ports and Maritime Public Domain Directorate in the Ministry of Equipment and Water, commented that "the creation of this new port on the Atlantic front responds to geostrategic objectives related to regional development and the specificities of the maritime fishing sector".

The port reflects Morocco's vision of the future to diversify economic activities in the region. According to forecasts, the port will be one of the most technologically advanced and will have a traffic of up to 2.2 million tonnes of marketed products in its first year of operation alone. The new port of Dakhla will serve as a link between the European and African continents. 

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The motorway linking the country

According to the Temporary Directorate in charge of the construction of National Road N掳 1 Tiznit-Dajla, a budget of 58.42 million dirhams was necessary. The motorway, which is located to the west of the Moroccan city of El-Ayoune, will be 7 kilometres long and the work is estimated to take 10 months. The creation of this new motorway is part of the development plan for the southern regions of the country launched in 2015 by King Mohammed VI.

The aim of this new road is to shorten distances in the country by reducing travel times and avoiding possible road closures due to flooding or silting, as well as reducing vehicle operating costs, and improving logistics services for the transport of people and goods.

In addition, the new motorway, which will be more than 1,000 kilometres long, will strengthen economic and commercial links between the different regions of the country and its African depth, as well as improving road safety.