The five-year strategic development plan in Casablanca, Morocco’s capital, will strongly push for the modernisation of its public transport system, whereas Algeria’s next five-year investment plan reduced the transportation sector investment by 80 per cent compared to the previous five-year plan.

The latest five-year transportation investment plan in Algeria, which accounts for more than two-thirds of annual transportation contract awards in the maghreb region, has been reduced from €35.7bn ($42.6bn) to €7.7bn, according to a report by Oxford Business Group.

It is understood that low oil revenues triggered the drastic fall in the country’s medium-term transport budget allocation. Oil accounts for more than a third of Algeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and approximately two-thirds of its export revenues.

The 2015-2020 Casablanca Strategic Development Plan, on the other hand, allocated 80 per cent of its budget to improving transport infrastructure. An estimated 60 per cent of Morocco’s population now live in cities, with Casablanca being the largest.

The Maghreb countries – Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco – awarded an estimated $21.8bn worth of contracts in the transport sector between 2011 and 2015, according to data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

Rail accounted for 44 per cent, or $9.6bn, of awarded contracts reflecting the priority assigned to improving both urban and mainline rail infrastructure. Algeria accounted for 83 per cent of the total rail contracts awarded during this period.

Roads accounted for a slightly higher share than rail at 45 per cent, or $9.8bn, with Algeria accounting for 82 per cent of the total.

The value of contracts awarded in 2015 dropped by more than half compared to the previous year’s total contract awards, with Algeria awarding contracts worth $1.5bn in 2015, merely a third of the value of contracts it awarded in 2014.

Overall an estimated $5.4bn of contracts are to be awarded this year, although delays are highly likely.