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Partnership represents first-ever, non-sovereign guaranteed commercial loan to a Moroccan subnational government
Casablanca, Morocco, January 23, 2020
— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing $100 million in financing to Region Casablanca-Settat to fund high-impact regional infrastructure projects, in what represents the first-ever commercial loan to a Moroccan subnational government without sovereign guarantee. IFC’s contribution is in the form of US-dollar and EUR-based long-term financing, including $48 million from IFC’s innovative syndications platform, the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program.
The partnership is part of a broader World Bank Group effort that combines World Bank projects to support sector reforms and IFC investment instruments to support Morocco’s regional development and decentralization agenda. The partnership also represents IFC’s first investment in a subnational infrastructure project in the Middle East and North Africa and demonstrates Morocco’s leadership in this area.
IFC’s loan will be used by Region Casablanca-Settat to contribute to the financing of two new tramway lines for the city of Casablanca. The expansion will add 39 stations and 26 kilometers of track to the existing tramway network and reduce travel times by up to 40 percent. IFC’s support will also help the Region upgrade several hundred kilometers of rural roads in remote rural communities, connecting some 400,000 people to schools, hospitals, and other services.
“Region Casablanca-Settat is the economic heart of Morocco and by expanding public transit and the local road network, we can help connect people, especially those living in rural areas, to jobs and services, thus reducing regional disparities and improving the quality of people’s lives,” said Mustapha Bakkoury, President of the Regional Council of Region Casablanca-Settat.
This is a pioneering initiative by Region Casablanca-Settat as it marks the first time a subnational government has raised commercial financing without a sovereign guarantee—financing backed by the national government—opening doors for other regions and subnational governments to do the same and meet Morocco’s ambitious decentralization agenda.
“Morocco has worked successfully in recent years to add to its infrastructure base, but significant needs remain,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa. “Empowering local and regional governments to access commercial financing without sovereign guarantees is one of the effective ways to accelerate investments in local infrastructure and improve the everyday lives of the country’s citizens.”
IFC’s long-term financing to Region Casablanca-Settat is flanked by a comprehensive technical assistance program delivered through IFC’s Cities Initiative. Through the program, financed by the Government of Japan, IFC seeks to ensure the sustainable and cost-efficient management of new and existing rural roads, build local capacity to implement projects according to international best practice and further engage upstream to create future opportunities for expanding modern infrastructure services.
For more information about IFC’s Cities program, please visit:
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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