By Nassrallah Belkhayate, reporter
Covering an area of 53,789 km2, or 7.6% of Moroccan territory, the Souss Massa region is home to two prefectures, four provinces, 154 rural communes and 21 municipalities. Its population is 2,676,847. The region has many natural resources, including fertile land, large forest areas (argan, cedar, oak, etc.), fish reserves, attractive tourist sites and mineral deposits (silver, manganese, barite, iron and gold ).
“Despite a dry climate, reads in – the Conjoncture -, one of the main economic sectors of the region is agriculture which totals a useful surface of 616 500 hectares of which 30% are irrigated. These lands are located mainly in the plain of Souss-Massa, where are mainly cultivated the primeurs and citrus fruits. The region also has a large fishing port and small ports dedicated to artisanal fishing. Several industries processing seafood for export have established themselves there. Thanks to its unusual and varied landscapes (beaches, mountains …) and its historical and cultural heritage, the Souss Massa region attracts tourists from all over the world. First tourist region nationwide it has a capacity of 35,500 beds or 18% of the national total. ”
The Souss-Massa region managed to drain almost € 1.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 491% compared to the previous year; we are already seeing the start of 213 projects for a creation of 12,793 jobs. The region traces the lines of its economic positioning and is planning several point-to-point studies for key sectors.
Leading the way, the tourism sector, which continues its momentum at a growing pace, and occupies the first place in terms of committed investment, this is reflected in the statistical data of the Regional Center for Investment (CRI) Souss Massa. First the seaside resort of Taghazout which spreads over an area of 615 ha in front of a coastal strip of 4.5 km of beaches of exceptional beauty. With a series of impressive strong projects.
This is the hotel “Riu Tikida Argan Bay Taghazout”, a 5 * hotel complex with 500 rooms for more than 912 million DH (90 million euros) to create 357 direct jobs. Another 5 * hotel of 205 keys will be created under the brand name “Hyatt Regency” carried by Madaef SA for 520 million DH with 300 direct jobs. Also in Taghazout Bay, the project of realization of a real estate residence of tourist promotion (RIPT), carried by the Company Sud Partners for 400 million DH by generating 100 direct jobs.
The company “Pickalbatros Morocco for Tourism and Investment” for its part has obtained the realization of a 5 * hotel with a capacity of 400 rooms for 665.5 million DH with more than 420 direct jobs in sight. Seven other components are on the program at the resort level: a Hilton hotel, a Marriott hotel, a tennis academy, a golf academy, an argan center, a beach club and a theme park for a global investment of MAD 964 million which will create 545 direct jobs.
Moreover, and in terms of tourism animation, the year 2017 was also marked by the validation of an amusement park in the area of Anza. It is carried by the company “Agadir Delfin World” for a budget of 7.5 million DH and twenty direct jobs forward.
Water Desalination Project: This first mega-site of its kind in Africa, is initiated by the Department of Agriculture at the request of farmers and their associations. The project of a budget envelope of 4.4 billion DH, is a model of public-private partnership and the result of a process of cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and the National Office of Electricity and Energy. Drinking water to pool land and infrastructure resources. It aims to provide for irrigation in the Chtouka area and the drinking water of Grand Agadir. Scheduled for 2020, the commissioning of the desalination unit will provide 275,000 m3 / day at a rate of 150,000 m3 / day to cover drinking water needs, and a flow of 125,000 m3 / day to meet needs. in irrigation water. Its facilities will eventually allow a total capacity of 400,000 m3 / day.
The Palais des Congrès: This is a project that will require a total investment of more than 1.4 billion dirhams and will be launched in two phases. The first concerns the construction of the convention center, which will include a modular space that can accommodate more than 2,000 people with a 500-seat auditorium in addition to the business center arranged in office desks. As for the second phase, it concerns the creation of a leisure mall with 7 cinemas, a bowling alley and a Kids Park in addition to a business park and a 5-star hotel with a capacity of 150 rooms, and 2 independent riads. The management of this establishment (Mariott City Center) which has already received the provisional ranking “5 stars” with a customer-oriented positioning “business” will be provided by the Marriott US hotel group with which the investor had already signed an agreement. However, all components will require 48 months to complete. Ultimately, the project will create approximately 700 permanent and 2,000 indirect direct jobs
The mega industrial project of Souss-Massa: It is his ambition to create 24,000 new jobs in the future, in partnership with professional federations and private investors. And in terms of agro-industrial production, Souss-Massa will become a real platform for processing agricultural products for the local market and export mainly to the African continent.
Ecosystems: In addition it is 500 million Euros of investment that the infrastructure of the shipbuilding sector will engage at the national level and the sector of chemistry will know, meanwhile, a personalized follow-up, for a development of the sectors organic chemistry and green chemistry. With new ecosystems that will be developed in emerging sectors such as levers of industrial acceleration, automotive subcontracting, offshoring, leather, building materials and plastics.
Such a regional ambition boosted by an adequate financial strength implies the establishment of five essential levers:
An industrial free zone with an area of 300 hectares, 50 of which for the first tranche will be located in the municipality of Rare (Prefecture of Agadir Ida-Outanane) and will be called “Export Free Zone of Souss-Massa” in comprising 11 sectors: agro-food, chemistry-parachimie, automobile, aeronautics, renewable energies, textile-leather, building materials, plastics, naval industry, IMME and services related to these activities.
OFPPT: A commitment of the Office of Vocational Training and Promotion of Labor (OFPPT) for quality training of human resources.
Technopark: it is the fruit of a partnership with the region of Agadir, the chamber of commerce and industry of Souss Massa and the Technopark. The project will require 30 million dirhams, half of which is financed by the Souss-Massa Regional Council for the period 2018-2019 for participation in the construction and development of the building. The region and the chamber of commerce will make available a building that is under construction, and the Technopark management company will take care of the operation. The building meets certain prerequisites in terms of interior architecture and cutting of places. It is a first to have a Technopark building designed at the base to house technological start-ups. The capacity in Agadir will be 80 companies present on site. It is planned to provide the same services that exist on Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier. But also to put technology at the service of the development of certain specificities of the region such as tourism, aquaculture or local products. This future entrepreneurial hub, with an area of 10,000 m², will be located in Tilila district, Bab El Madina is managed by the management company MITC (Morocco Information Technology Company) with mixed capital that manages all sites. CDG is involved at 18%, the State has 33%. The rest are Moroccan private banks. This building will be aimed at SMEs and start-ups in the ICT sector and will provide ready-to-use premises with support services. “For the first axis of regionalization, in the course of 2019, we are counting on the opening of a fourth Technopark in Agadir to support the entrepreneurship and innovation dynamic in the South region, in line with the development plan. 2014-2020 industrial acceleration in the Souss-Massa region “, says Lamiae Benmakhlouf, General Manager of MITC in a statement.
The City of Innovation: It will provide the region with a technological hosting infrastructure, facilitating the support of young people carrying innovative projects. The Cité en projet will thus provide the region with a technological welcome infrastructure, facilitating the support of young people carrying innovative projects. The platform will be set up in Ibn Zohr University in Agadir. It will cover an area of 4,900 m² and will house, among other things, a creative center, a coworking space, offices for startups, a BtoB free space and offices for SMEs, clusters and researchers. The project will require 45 million dirhams of investment which will go to the development and the equipment of the City. This will constitute a structure for monitoring, prevention and search for innovative solutions to issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals and technological progress. Once back on track, the project aims to promote the sharing and transfer of North-South, South-South knowledge, by hosting an African R & D hub and position the region in relation to Morocco’s ambition towards Africa. It also aims to promote decentralized cooperation and scientific diplomacy and support the creation of innovative companies through the incubation and enhancement of research. The Cité is the result of the joint commitment of Ibn Zohr University and the Souss-Massa region in partnership with the Ministries of Education, Industry and the wilaya of the region.
The allocation of 50 million Euros from the Industrial and Agricultural Development Funds to industrial projects in the Region; the private sector of the Souss-Massa Region plans to invest 50 million euros in these industrial projects. Thanks to this new involvement of all stakeholders, the industrial projects that will be developed in the Souss-Massa region, can be carried out by the operators with a contribution limited to 20% of the amount of these projects. A further 20% will come from private investors in the region, with an additional 20% coming from grants from the Industrial Development Fund and Agriculture. And the remaining 40% will be financed, on advantageous terms, by the banking sector.
Thus, on January 28, 2018, in King Agadir, King Mohammed VI presided, the ceremony of presentation of the regional variation of the Industrial Acceleration Plan 2014-2020 in the region of Souss-Massa and signature of eight conventions and a protocol allowing, a great first in the kingdom, the implementation of the Industrial Acceleration Plan at the level of this region as well as the realization of 11 industrial investments in this same region. This is the royal kickoff.
Here are the conventions and protocol signed:
1-Convention for the declination of the Souss-Massa region of the automotive, leather, naval, chemistry, plastics, construction materials and offshoring ecosystems.
2-Convention to support the training needs of human resources of the industrial development strategy of the Souss-Massa region by 2020.
3-Convention for the establishment of a City of Innovation in the Souss-Massa region.
4-Convention for the development, development, promotion, marketing and management of the Souss-Massa Free Zone.
5-Convention for the declination of the strategy of development of agro-food industries at the level of the region of Souss-Massa.
6-Convention for the financing of the Agribusiness Development Program.
7-Convention for the establishment of a Technopark in the Souss-Massa Region.
8-Convention for the accompaniment to the setting up of a Private Fund for the development of the investment in the Souss-Massa region.
9-Protocol for the realization of 11 industrial investments concerning four sectors of economic activity: building materials, plastics, the paper and cardboard industry and Offshoring.
The first ecosystem, “Building Materials”, concerns three sectors. The “prefabricated” sector, which consists of the creation of production units for prestressed concrete products and prefabricated concrete products, entrusted to “Sadet”, “Vetcam”, “Daoud Building” and “Sicmaco”. The “Cement and Valorization of waste” is a sector that focuses on the establishment of a platform for energy recovery of household waste by the installation of a production plant RDF (fuel fuel substitution), entrusted to Moroccan cement and Lafarge Holcim. It is also the “Briqueterie” sector, whose project for the creation of a brick-making unit is carried by “Briqueterie d’Atlantique”.
The second ecosystem is related to the plastics industry, which includes the packaging and plasticulture sectors. The packaging sector is concerned by the establishment, by “SGIPS”, of a unit for the manufacture of trays and agricultural boxes, while that of plasticulture includes the creation of units for the manufacture of irrigation tubes. for agriculture (Amal Plastic Bands) and irrigation tube manufacturing and Signage (Fellah Manufacturing) mulch films.
The third ecosystem “paper and cardboard industry”, whose purpose is the establishment of a recyclable paper and cardboard collection center and extension of the corrugated cardboard unit of Agadir, is carried by “GHARB Paper and cardboard (GPC) “.
With regard to the “Offshoring” ecosystem, which concerns the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) sector, it consists of the creation of a new customer relations center entrusted to “Webhelp Agadir” whose general manager is Philippe Broutin, who has already fulfilled part of the commitment with an investment of 25 million dirhams by creating 300 jobs out of the 950 planned between 2017 and 2020.
In the end, through this vast industrial project of Souss-Massa launched on 28 January 2018 in the city of Agadir, the Moroccan Sovereign has implemented the Industrial Acceleration Plan corresponding to territorial development balanced, inclusive and dedicated to the specificities of the region. The aim is to boost this region as an economic hub that is able to create employment from the potential, wealth and productive assets of the local economy through integrated, inclusive growth. and supported throughout the entire territory. The exemplary success of this future economic miracle of Souss Massa will serve as a roadmap for the other regions of Morocco and by extension of Africa.
Emergence of major projects
The port of Agadir: With its 3,000,000 tons of goods, 75,000 passengers, 140,000 tons of fish and 45,000 containers per year, the Port of Agadir solidly participates in the national economic development of Morocco. Annual traffic is expected to reach 16 million tonnes by 2030. the National Ports Agency (ANP) provides an envelope of 2.8 billion dirhams for the expansion of the port infrastructure. It is expected, in this sense, to look once again at a merchandise reception capacity that meets the expectations of major global investors and at the connectivity of the port with the national road network with direct routes to ensure ideal timing. for the delivery of materials.
The Abdelmoumen Pump Energy Transfer Station (Step) project: It will require an investment of 3.8 MMDH and consists of storing energy in hydraulic form and will produce 350 MW. Located 70 km from Agadir, this project will be carried out on an area of six hectares in the municipality of Bigoudine, under the province of Taroudant. It is part of the plan for the development and integration of renewable energies in Morocco. With a duration of 48 months, the project started in April this year and mobilizes 200 direct and indirect jobs.
The Halieutis Plan: It focuses on his vision of promoting the sector on three components: sustainability, performance and competitiveness. Axes declined in 16 projects. Among the projects expected at the regional level, I quote the project of realization of the zones of aquaculture or twenty-three aquaculture projects which will be launched in the region of Souss-Massa, for an investment of 400 million Dirhams aiming 620 direct jobs .
Agropole Souss Massa: It spreads over an area of 55 ha, to be realized in 3 phases. The first tranche totals 22 ha. The investment reached 260 million DH, of which 120 million DH for the off-site. 10,000 jobs, of which 6500 direct will be created. The Region is considered as the 1st region primeurist and agrumicole of the country with a regional GDP of 17,3% / national of 9%, and a total 451 165 ha of cultivated grounds of which 106 664 ha equipped with system drip irrigation . The valorization of regional agricultural products will take another dimension with Agropole d’Agadir. A 75 ha reference regional platform for the processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural products in an agro-industrial activity zone, a logistics and services zone, commercial and distribution platforms, as well as a center reception desk for business and personal services with a “Qualipôle”, a research and control center laboratory and a training center.
Crafts: A project is underway to create a specific label for handicrafts in the Souss-Massa region to promote the quality of these products by recognizing the specificities of their geographical origins. The label will allow artisans in the region to improve the quality of their products, facilitate their marketing on the market and enhance the traditional heritage of the region.
Rural action: An allocation of 45.7 MDH was allocated to AREP (Regional Project Implementation Agency) for this exercise, for the construction and equipment of hospitals and health centers in addition to construction. primary school classes and courses in rural areas. With regard to the progress of projects, launched in 2017, as part of the program to reduce spatial and territorial disparities, it ranges between 60 and 100%.
Air: The region Souss Massa grants a subsidy of 24 Million dhs to Air Arabya to open 3 new lines Rabat, Fez and Tangier and remains waiting for a convention to sign with the RAM for better prices on the airline of Casablanca Agadir .The increase in attendance is therefore closely linked to price. We expect better scores on the line Casablanca-Agadir whose one-way trip will be charged 550 DH, while it could reach 1000 DH during the high season.
Cultural heritage: The Souss-Massa-Draa region is a rich mosaic of cultural heritage, pointing to certain dangers that threaten this wealth, including the legal deficit in this area, the effects of rampant globalization, or certain actions of the world. ‘man. The preservation and enhancement of this heritage necessarily involves its in-depth knowledge and its mastery, on the way to the development of clear visions so that it can be at the service of sustainable development.
Agadir road – Dakhla: 8.5 billion dirhams for a 1055 km expressway of the Tiznit-Laayoune-Dakhla road. This major structuring project, which will have a positive impact on the different aspects of economic and social life, also has a deep sentimental dimension because, by linking the north and the south of Morocco, it gives an idea of the economic and social strength. patriotic links between the different regions of the Kingdom.
Project “Kitea Géant”: This project validated during the past year and carried by the Company “K Foncière” SARL will be located near the Grand Stade. It will spread over an overall area of 55,000 m2, and will require a budget of 140 million DH. In total, the new structure will create 350 permanent and 180 temporary jobs.
Health tourism: a cardiac center of Moroccan Heart Care for 40 million DH; a clinic specialized in reconstructive surgery, burn victims and esthetics carried by SA2 Company on an area of 9.986 m2, with a capacity of 24 rooms and 6 suites estimated at 38 million DH. A clinic specializing in radiotherapy and plastic surgery under the name of “Clinique des Roses” is also planned. Its capacity is 60 beds for a total of 60 million DH. And finally a training academy in health care to be carried out on an area of 4.23 m2 carried by the Company “Agadir Health Center”, for an investment of 41.5 million DH and allowing the creation of 40 direct jobs.
It is clear that Souss-Massa’s economic potential and investment opportunities are well established. The region has a Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2022 with a budget of 24.5 billion DH and remains undoubtedly one of the most successful and most promising regions of the kingdom, thanks to its contribution to 7.7% of national wealth, 44% of fruit and vegetable exports and 50% of national fish production. The Souss Massa Industrial Acceleration Plan presents, as we can see, the beginnings that lead us to believe that the regional economic miracle is now at hand.