MIGA Supports UM6P’s Opening of a Cutting-Edge University Campus in Morocco
WASHINGTON, DC, July 12, 2022 — The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group (MIGA) has issued a guarantee to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank of France and BNP Paribas of France amounting to EUR570 million to cover loans to OCP Group, a major player in plant nutrition and world leader in the phosphate industry. The guarantee extends for a period of up to 10 years and provides protection from the risk of non-payment by a state-owned enterprise. OCP Group will use the funds to finance the construction of a new university campus for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) near Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.
“MIGA’s support is helping unlock competitive financing from international lenders to fund the development of cutting-edge education facilities in Morocco,” said Hiroshi Matano, MIGA Executive Vice President. “Furthermore, the expansion of UM6P’s R&D facilities will boost the country’s competitiveness and contribute to the training of current and future human capital.”
The new campus will offer high-quality education to 2,000 students in the fields of economics, governance, political sciences, international relations, behavioral and social sciences, hospitality business and management. In addition, the campus will house a new faculty of governance and include Morocco’s first school and business incubator for artificial intelligence. The facility will also have multisport centers, digital learning laboratories, a language center, a library, and hotels to host university guests and train students in the School of Hospitality Business and Management.
Hicham El Habti, President of Mohammed 6 Polytechnic University, said, “We are very grateful for MIGA’s vote of confidence in our plan to grow UM6P’s reach and educational capacity for the long-term returns it delivers. MIGA’s support in developing our new campus facilities in Rabat will allow us to increase skills, innovation and development in important fields that the current campus does not offer. UM6P’s mission is to consolidate Morocco’s frontline position in these fields, in a partnership-based approach to boosting skills training that are relevant for the future of Africa. OCP Group has grown to become a major player in plant nutrition and remains convinced that education and R&D are key levers for both the future of food security and community development. This is an exciting development not just for Moroccan students, but for young people across Africa.”
Morocco has been prioritizing development of human capital and higher education. As a result, enrollment rates in higher education grew from 15 percent to 38 percent between 2010 and 2018, higher than enrolment growth in the MENA region overall. Higher education in Morocco is available through public, public-private partnerships, and private institutions. In this context, the development of high-quality private sector institutions such as UM6P is considered critical to complementing public efforts to increase higher education’s overall enrollment capacity.
OCP Group plays a strategically important role in Morocco’s economy and national development strategy being the country’s largest private employer, and a major exporter, and contributor to the GDP. This role arises not only from OCP’s position as one of the top largest producers and exporters of phosphate products, but also from its core mission to maximize sustainable value creation in all that it does.
UM6P is at the core of OCP’s innovation, sustainability, and transformation strategy that was led by OCP Group over the past 15 years. Founded in 2017 with a first campus in Benguerir, near Marrakesh, UM6P provides more than 80 percent of OCP’s research and development activities in strategic areas such as fertilizers, industrial facilities, clean energy and sustainable water management. In addition, the university also contributes to developing training programs with OCP’s Learning Institute to enable OCP’s human capital to achieve their full potential.
With MIGA’s support, OCP Group has committed to pursue its progress towards green building certifications through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program for many of its campus facilities in Rabat, in line with its commitment to the “Smart City” spirit of UM6P’s campus in Benguerir which was the first project to receive this certification in Morocco. Moreover, UM6P will secure third-party verification and will be monitored by a LEED accredited professional.
The new UM6P campus has earned a Social Loan label thanks to scholarships granted by the OCP Foundation. Moroccan and other African students from underserved low-income households will thus benefit from affordable high quality tertiary education. For this reason, the qualification has been confirmed to be aligned with the Loan Market Association’s Social Loan Principles by Moody’s ESG, an external third-party reviewer.
André Gazal, Global Head of Export Finance at Crédit Agricole, CIB added: “We would like to thank once again OCP management for their confidence. Special thanks as well to MIGA institution for the fruitful cooperation and support on this transaction. We are extremely proud to have successfully concluded the financing of this landmark project presenting such a great social relevance for our client OCP and Morocco. Through its innovative structure demonstrated with an embedded interest rate swap covered by MIGA’s NHFO-SOE policy, the transaction is a first of its kind. The social qualification illustrates once again that Crédit Agricole CIB is one of the leading and major players in the field of sustainable export financing.”
Completion of the campus also includes auxiliary works, with the most important two being the addition of hydraulic structures to protect the campus against the risk of flooding and the burial of a 60 Kv electrical line along with the rehabilitation of an associated substation.
Yasser Henda, Global Head of Export Finance BNP Paribas, CIB said, “BNP Paribas is proud to support the OCP Foundation to expand Morocco’s educational sector. These world class facilities will be accessible to students from all social backgrounds from Morocco and more widely from Sub-Saharan Africa, including a business incubator for artificial intelligence. This is in line with our ambition to support ESG related initiatives and the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals. The impacts of the new campus of the UM6P are both visible and measurable in the improvement of access to high quality tertiary education in a campus built according to the highest standards including green building international guidelines. BNP Paribas Export Finance also thanks OCP and MIGA for their trust and for a strong collaboration on highly valuable development and investment targets.”
OCP Group is a long-term partner of the World Bank Group. In June 2021, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member, invested $100 million in OCP to help it expand its logistics networks and increase the availability of fertilizers, adapted to local soils and crops, in Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. In September 2020, IFC signed an advisory agreement with OCP aimed at strengthening the rice sector in Cote d'Ivoire and the millet sector in Senegal. IFC also helped OCP obtain the leading global business certification for gender equality—EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) — that was announced in March of this year.
About Mohammed VI Polytechnic University:
The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is a hub of education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, aspiring to become a solid bridge of knowledge between Morocco, Africa and the world.
Located in the “Mohammed VI Green City” in Benguerir, near Marrakech, with branches in Rabat and Laayoune, UM6P applies a “learning by doing” approach and develops sound partnerships with world-wide class universities, to promote leadership and training in focused research areas.
By contributing to the training of a new generation of researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders, UM6P is committed to positioning Morocco and Africa at the forefront of technology and human Sciences.
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war & civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders.
Since its creation, MIGA has issued over $65 billion in guarantees across 120 developing countries.
Elizabeth Howton, (202) 458-5922, firstname.lastname@example.org
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