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Why Banks in Morocco Are Spreading the Wealth Around Africa

Jan 11, 2019 | 12:00 GMT
A picture taken on March 12, 2018, shows a ship docked at the Tanger Med container port and Renault terminal in Ksar Sghir, near the northeastern Moroccan port city of Tangiers overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar.

A ship is docked at the Tanger Med container port and Renault terminal in Ksar Sghir, near the northeastern Moroccan port city of Tangiers. As Moroccan banks integrate themselves more deeply across Africa, they are serving as pioneers for the large and medium-sized Moroccan companies also pursuing opportunities in promising African markets.

(FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

A new source of foreign direct investment is emerging in many sub-Saharan African nations: the kingdom of Morocco, situated right on the continent itself. Owing in part to quick and decisive reforms in 2011, Morocco largely avoided the Arab Spring turbulence that shook other parts of the Arab world in North Africa and the Middle East. And in recent years, solid growth in the manufacturing, tourism and energy sectors, as well as a rapidly expanding financial sector, has fueled the development of a very strong Moroccan economy. As long-dominant European banks gradually disappear from Africa, Morocco is using its newfound financial muscle to project power across the continent in the hopes of becoming a wealthier and more internationally influential country, but it still needs to address problems at home if it wants to remain one of the most stable states in Africa....

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