In 2006 the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Morocco began development of their first partnership to reduce poverty. The Moroccan economy had seen 30 years of relative macroeconomic stability but slow growth, which led to consistently high unemployment. The Moroccans sought to stimulate economic growth by investing sectors with high potential, where they had competitive advantages, and could increase employment.
MCC and Morocco signed a five-year, $697.5 million compact in August 2007 that invested in five project areas based on Morocco’s own national growth strategy. This strategy was designed to modernize industrial sectors and target areas where the country had competitive advantages, such as textiles, agribusiness, fishing and handicrafts. The compact ultimately focused on:
- fruit tree productivity;
- small-scale fisheries;
- artisan training and urban market rehabilitation;
- financial services; and
- enterprise support and training services.
The Government of Morocco and MCC spent 93 percent of the available funds to increase productivity and improve employment in these high-potential sectors by the end of the compact in September 2013, and nearly 1.7 million people were expected to benefit. Additional details of the compact results and impacts are shared in independent evaluations.