World Bank Lending $700m to Morocco to Support “Digital Transformation,” Including Islamic Finance, MSME Finance, Mobile Payment Systems, Angel Investing
The World Bank recently approved loan funding of EUR 611 million (USD 700 million) for the nation of Morocco with the objective of promoting a “digital transformation.” The project will be implemented through 2024 by the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, focusing on three pillars: (1) “enhancing financial inclusion for individuals, and micro, small and medium enterprises,” including access to insurance, agricultural finance and various Islamic financial services; (2) improving digital infrastructure, including measures intended to reduce the cost of mobile payments; and (3) supporting angel investors. One of the program strategies is to fund lenders to expand micro-enterprise lending. Half of this funding is to be on-lent to women directly or to enterprises led by women. Additional program goals include improving accessibility to broadband Internet and increasing the number of businesses that are registered online. The program is part of a larger effort by the Moroccan government to promote economic growth and socio-economic inclusion through digital technologies.
The World Bank Group is a multilateral organization whose goal is “to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way.” As of 2018, it has 189 member nations. The group encompasses: (1) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which make up the World Bank; (2) the International Finance Corporation; (3) the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and (4) the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. During the 12 months ending June 2018, the World Bank Group disbursed funds totaling USD 46 billion.
The World Bank provides grants, loans and equity investments as well as technical support to entities based in middle- and low-income countries. As of June 2018, IBRD and IDA reported total assets of USD 403 billion and USD 206 billion, respectively. As of the same month, they reported outstanding loans of USD 184 billion and USD 146 billion, respectively. During the 12 months ending June 2018, IBRD disbursed USD 17 billion in new loans and IDA loaned USD 14 billion.