According to Spain’s Coordenadas Institute for Governance and Applied Economics; a prestigious think tank and research center, this objective overlaps with the country’s development plans.
With the aim of accelerating the development and socio-economic integration of its southern provinces, Morocco launched an ambitious $8 billion project in 2015, the Institute specified in a note presenting a study by its North Africa Working Group.
“The New Development Model for the Southern Provinces […] revolves around infrastructure to structure the territory of the Sahara region. The Tiznit-Laâyoune-Dakhla highway, the fishing port of Lamhiriz and the port of Dakhla Atlantic stand out for this purpose,” the study notes.
The development program also provides for the creation of a maritime freight line between Casablanca and Dakhla, the establishment of nautical links between the Canary Islands and Tarfaya and between the Canary Islands and Laayoune, the document argues.
It also notes that the construction of a University Hospital in Laayoune and a Technopolis in Foum El-Oued are also included in this development program, demonstrating “the great commitment of Morocco to the region and its inhabitants.”
“Morocco’s objective is to make this region the logistical and economic bridge between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa”, note the authors of the study, assuring that ”by the end of 2018, 48% of the objectives had already been achieved, giving a strong perceived impetus to the socio-economic dynamism, increasing the creation of businesses, jobs and attracting investment.”