Rabat – Morocco and Spain signed on Tuesday a cooperation agreement that aims to empower more than 3,000 innovative Moroccan women and youth through entrepreneurship.
The administrative protocol aims to empower women and young people of the Casablanca-Settat, Souss-Massa, Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, and Oriental regions over the course of three years.
Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui and Spain’s Ambassador to Morocco, Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner Rodriguez, signed the agreement along with a representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Ignacio Martinez Boluda.
AECID is set to contribute €600,000 to beneficiaries who present innovative projects.
The initiative follows the International Forum for Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls. The event took place on October 10, the National Day of Moroccan Women.
Head of the Moroccan Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani underlined during the forum that Morocco has invested in providing a supportive cultural, social, legal, and economic environment to empower Moroccan women and girls.
The Moroccan Spanish agreement also serves as a recovery plan to address the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis on the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS), according to the Ministry of Tourism.
Fettah Alaoui said that the four regions involved have a rich potential in human and natural capital that the ESS can further develop, according to Morocco’s state media.
Promoting ESS in these areas will advance job and wealth creation and sustainable development and empower women and youth, especially from rural areas, the minister underlined.
The government representative also indicated that the agreement provides a “unifying framework for Moroccan-Spanish collaboration,” improving efficiency and results by boosting operational scope and coherence.
The convention follows recommendations from a cooperation contract between the Spanish development agency and Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism, which ran from 2015-2019.
As part of the collaboration, the Ministry of Tourism launched several studies on the matter. These included a study to identify potential sectors to support in the four regions as well as a study on implementing and developing capacity-building programs and encouraging ESS actors, among others.
The agreement, according to Fettah Alaoui, will help develop innovative projects with little capital and very high added value, citing the green, blue, and circular economies, in addition to its aim to empower Moroccan women.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental right but also a necessary foundation for building a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world, according to the Sustainable Development Goals, which Morocco actively pursues.
A more equitable and inclusive approach to establishing sustainable economies is necessary now more than ever, the Spanish ambassador stressed upon Tuesday’s signing.
Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) revealed in August that Moroccan women’s participation in economic life was a mere 22% in 2018, compared to 48% globally.
The commission recommended a direct transfer of funds to women working in the unstructured sector to boost their economic participation.