Rabat reforms legislation to spur PPPs

30 August 2020
North African country overhauls public-private partnership law and forms fund to attract investors

Morocco’s appetite for public-private partnerships (PPPs) continues to grow as Covid-19 weighs on the country’s economic prospects.

Among the most recent and notable state efforts to spur PPP projects in the country has been the formation of the Strategic Investment Fund.

Minister of Economy, Finance & Administration Reform Mohamed Benchaaboun says MD45bn ($4.9bn) will be allocated to the fund.

Under Morocco’s 2020 amended appropriation bill, MD15bn will be allocated to the fund from the state budget, while MD30bn will be mobilised through national and international financial institutions, in partnership with the private sector.

It is expected that the fund will help Rabat finance major infrastructure projects, provide access to equity capital for local companies and help create jobs in the country.

Legislative changes underpin the domestic growth-led model that economists are recommending for Morocco

Legislative updates

Earlier this year, under Benchaaboun’s oversight, the Moroccan House of Representatives also approved amendments to the country’s PPP law.

Among the key updates approved in January was an extension of the scope of application to other public bodies, particularly local authorities and legal persons that are responsible for executing a significant portion of public investments.

The National Public-Private Partnership Commission was also established to develop a national PPP strategy and adopt a phased PPP programme.

Other amendments approved included simplifying the unsolicited bid proposal process, clarifying the conditions for using the negotiated procedure and aligning the provisions of the law with those of sectorial laws that allow the use of PPP contracts.

World Bank estimates suggest at least 29 PPP projects have been developed in Morocco to date

Domestic growth

These legislative changes underpin the domestic growth-led model that economists are recommending for Morocco. Economist Abdelghani Youmni said in May that Rabat must focus on PPPs to drive post-pandemic recovery instead of relying too heavily on “western-style, loan-based” growth.

Calling on Rabat to move away from publicly procured projects, Youmni added: “Morocco could be a reliable partner for the colocation of industries as an eco-responsible partner for Europe and an essential hub for exchanges with the African continent.”

World Bank estimates suggest at least 29 PPP projects have been developed in Morocco to date. Recent projects that have crossed the financial closure stage include a Gaza onshore wind power project worth about $125.7m (MD1.2bn); a Tangier City waste treatment services plan valued at $104m; and the Oualidia 1 and 2 wind farms, with a combined value of $25.8m.


> Algeria: PPP framework fails to modernise
> Bahrain: Manama ramps up its PPP plans
> Egypt: Mixed results for Egyptian PPPs
> Iraq: Crises and protests curb Iraq PPPs
> Jordan: Construction sector eyes PPP opportunities
> Kuwait: Corner turned on water and power schemes
> Lebanon: PPPs offer route to recovery
> Morocco: Rabat reforms legislation to spur PPPs
> Oman: Muscat risks PPP confidence loss
> Saudi Arabia: Riyadh refocuses PPP plans
> Tunisia: PPP plans draw broad support
> UAE: PPPs expected to take off in UAE
> Other GCC: Gulf state bolsters legislation to drive PPPs

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