Living Standards in Southern Provinces, the Highest in Morocco

michael-rubinLiving standards in Morocco’s southern provinces are among the highest in the Kingdom, thanks to the flow of investment and the momentum created by the structuring sustainable development projects initiated in the region, underscored a former senior official of the US department of Defense.

In an analysis published by The American Enterprise Institute (AEI,) a public policy research think tank, Michael Rubin, pointed out that the Moroccan southern provinces live at the rhythm of a reform dynamic under the leadership of King Mohammed VI.

Michael Rubin notes that since the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, the Sahara has “changed in both tone and reality” and that the Moroccan government “now focuses on sustainable development, the tourism sector, other businesses, and education.”

And the historic visit King Mohammed VI is currently paying to the southern provinces is precisely meant to give a new momentum to the socio-economic development of these provinces.

More importantly, Rabat has agreed to grant these provinces autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty in the frame of the advanced regionalization project, the author of the analysis recalled, adding that the autonomy proposal was supported by the US Government which called the Moroccan plan “a serious and credible proposal,” and that “a bipartisan group of 229 congressmen—including nearly every member of the leadership—expressed support for the Moroccan proposal.”

The US support to the Moroccan proposal seeking a final settlement of the Sahara conflict was reaffirmed when President Obama directed in the Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations law that the United States assistance to Morocco should also be available for assistance for the Sahara and when the Omnibus Spending Bill for 2016 specifically allows Morocco to use US aid anywhere in the country, including in its southern provinces, he recalled.

For Rubin, the southern provinces are reaping today the fruits of the reform dynamic, a dynamic that is strengthened by the large-scale projects King Mohammed VI is currently launching in Laayoune and Dakhla. These projects will require a total investment of around 77 billion dirhams, or more than 7 billion euros.


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