Morocco: Africa's new industrial base and an indispensable partner for Europe

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic sounds the death knell for countless future challenges for the world. Europe, in particular, is becoming aware of its dependence on Asia and its lack of sovereignty. To break this deadlock, Europe will once again turn to one of its key partners: Morocco.

Morocco aims high and goes far

Morocco dreams of becoming the industrial base of the old continent, which is doing everything it can to free itself from the influence of the powerful China. That being said, European countries are also looking to reduce logistics distances, cut costs and minimize their carbon footprint. Moreover, even if labor costs remain higher in Morocco than in China, they are far more advantageous than within Europe itself.

Moroccan economist Najib Akesbi confirms this:

"We have to be clear: Europe cannot relocate everything. But relocation to the Europe-Mediterranean region would be a good compromise between the low costs of remoteness and the very high costs of proximity”.

Morocco is well aware of its many strengths, and for several years now has been implementing a strategy that has enabled it to achieve numerous successes in the automobile and aeronautics industries. This strategy is based on several axes, including diplomacy, which has led to the ratification of some sixty free-trade agreements, notably with Europe and the United States. These successes have enabled Morocco to become a key industrial player. For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, Morocco impressed the world with its efficient crisis management. The country managed to avoid mask shortages by converting its industrial sites to mask production. In addition, at the cutting edge of aeronautics, Morocco has used the skills of its engineers in the medical field to manufacture a number of high-tech respirators.

The question is how, in just a few years, Morocco has managed to industrialize and become a world leader in the aeronautics sector.

An investment in talent training

In the heart of Morocco, in Casablanca, the Institut of aeronautics professions (IMA) stands as a bastion of excellence for Moroccan youth in the field of aeronautics. Indeed, Morocco's recent strategic ambitions have accelerated the development of aeronautical training. At the IMA Institute, aeronautics training has grown significantly. In less than a decade, the number of students enrolled has risen by more than 30%, offering a gateway to working life for young graduates. In addition, investment in state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment at the IMA has created an environment favorable to learning and research.

As the birthplace of numerous research and innovation projects, Morocco has seen notable advances in fields such as the design of intelligent drones, aircraft... These achievements have enabled the country to position itself as a leading player in aeronautical research and development. These cutting-edge advances have also led to partnerships with world-renowned aerospace companies such as Boeing and Safran, positioning Morocco as a major industrial hub.

A partnership with Safran that turns ambitions into reality

The partnership with Safran has been central to Morocco's success story. One of the crucial elements of this cooperation has been Safran's massive investment in Morocco's infrastructure, which has considerably boosted the country's production capacity and enabled an accelerated modernization of the Moroccan aerospace industry. As a result, ultra-modern production centers equipped with the latest technological advances have come into being.

The partnership with Safran has also enabled technology transfer. Indeed, the company has shared some of its technological know-how with Moroccan engineers, which is essential for industrialization, to foster the development of a highly qualified workforce. Training programs have been set up, enabling Moroccan engineers to acquire cutting-edge expertise in the design, production and maintenance of aeronautical equipment.

From dreams to reality: that's what Morocco is all about. Today, more than 120 companies in the sector operate in Morocco, compared to less than 5 in the early 2000s. The economic benefits of this excellence have boosted Morocco's GDP by over 5% and created 15,000 direct jobs.

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