Africa News Bulletin

Money talks in Morocco’s pivot to Africa

Morocco has reshaped its world view since the financial crisis. With increasing emphasis on anglophone economies, Rabat is looking to be a trans-continental player.

Morocco spent the decade following the global financial crisis making an increasing commitment – driven by King Mohammed VI – to building business and political links across Africa. This meant going far beyond the country’s traditional francophone links. Progress is such that “Morocco now plays a major role in Africa, which today has become its vital space”, according to a senior executive in a leading Casablanca bank.

Financial institutions led the way.

Attijariwafa Bank (AWB), BMCE Bank of Africa (BOA) and Banque Commercial Populaire (BCP) moved quickly to fill the growing vacuum left by the retreat of major Western banks. The big three Casablanca banks now make between a quarter and a third of their net consolidated profits in other African markets; BOA’s network has grown the African contribution to its overall profit to 35%; for BCP it is around 25% and for AWB 31%.

Such is the extent of the pivot to Africa, after years of greater focus on Europe and the Middle East, that the continent now represents more than 50% of Morocco’s foreign direct investment (FDI).

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