CDG Institute: Reducing territorial disparities through advanced regionalization

As a considerable socio-economic problem, territorial disparities have become a concern for government leaders and businesses in Morocco, in their role as actors, aiming to improve the living standards and conditions of the population through the implementation of advanced regionalization.

In this sense, the CDG Group Institute organized, this Wednesday, a webinar on the theme “Mitigate territorial disparities”, allowing its panelists to exchange and debate around the action plans and provisions to be put in place to reduce these differences and inequalities between territories.

For 20 years, Morocco has made progress in terms of development at the national level by reducing the rate of poverty, providing access to basic infrastructure, creating employment… However, there is still a development gap in the 12 regions and within its regions, and persists especially between urban and rural areas.

Territorial disparities can take the form of inequality in health, education, job opportunities, infrastructure, urban planning… and from there, the various public policies and strategies have been designed with the aim of mitigate this inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities on citizens and avoid the heavy consequences.

In this regard, Abdelaziz Adidi, Professor of Higher Education, Former Director of the National Institute of Planning and Urbanism, specifies that “territorial disparity is measured by means of a certain number of social indicators, such as illiteracy, schooling, unemployment, etc. Today another form of divide is being added, these are digital disparities. We note that there is a real gap between regions or within the same region in relation to the connection rate, in terms of mobile networks and internet coverage, for example.”.

And these inequalities, he adds, constitute a real blocking factor for development. Among the factors which explain the disparity in Morocco, one finds in the first place the physical geography then the historical factor (reliefs, climate, soil quality, water…) and the sectorial approach which was adopted after colonization. Public policies also contribute to widening these territorial disparities“.

For his part, Said Laith, Director of Development of Rural Space and Mountain Areas, Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, noted that “it all depends on the context and the scale adopted to reduce these disparities. We cannot speak of reduction of disparity in a given region by trying to reduce the gap of production and wealth in comparison with a region in the context conferred by its geographical position in the country which has allowed an accumulation of development in suitable infrastructures and investment attractions and has also made it possible, through its positioning as an economic hub, to have an impact on all countries”.

For him, “a better knowledge of the potential of the regions and the possibilities of their exploitation, constitutes the first strategic step that the regions are able to adopt or improve and diversify the resources for the creation of wealth”.

Access to basic social services, access to employment, the attractiveness of territories, particularly for young people and the promotion of economic sectors, constitute appropriate themes and practical scales for reformulating projects and programs that can contribute to the reduction of territorial disparities“, says the expert.

Advancing, for his part, the example of Draa-Tafilalet, Hro Abrou, President of the Council of the Region, said: I can tell you that our plan for regional development and the strategy of advanced regionalization as well as government programs will really give us support to reduce territorial disparities in this region. This has been targeted by several programs which benefit from the global and national envelope granted and which target problems such as drinking water, electricity, health, education and opening up..

Thanks to these interventions, he assures, “the region has been able to achieve improvements in social disparities. There is still more to be done for the future, but what has already been achieved will facilitate this reduction”.

Intervening on behalf of the French Development Agency (AFD), Pascal Collange, Morocco country manager in the Africa department, notes that ” Ihe most important thing is to be able to work as closely as possible to the realities of each region in the broad sense and over time, with an axis and a development strategy that are global and sustainable over time”.

“The role of AFD in Morocco, he explains, is to finance things that work and we find that in the Kingdom, there are many ambitious projects. This is why Morocco is AFD’s first country of intervention in the world with a financial exposure of 3.7 million euros, half of which is for the State and the other half for a a wide variety of borrowers“.

And to conclude: AFD wants to work and collaborate in Morocco, so we are working on the shared priorities of the two countries. And in this sense, actions which contribute to improving the daily life of Moroccans, are financed fromsince 2018“.

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