The Forum, participated by 300 entrepreneurs and government ministers, represented a unique opportunity to analyze the current status of the climate technology sector in Morocco and the region, and an excellent platform to discuss concrete actions and policies to support clean-tech entrepreneurs and SMEs in their development of innovative solutions to climate change.
The MCIC will reinforce and complement the World Bank’s support to Morocco as the country enacts a pioneering plan to develop and install a range of clean energy options - by 2020, the country aims to produce 42 percent of its total electricity from renewables. By building local capacity in the solar sector – especially among entrepreneurs and SMEs – the MCIC will allow local companies to participate more in development of large concentrating solar power plants that the World Bank is supporting through loans.
The Climate Technology Forum, held in Skhirat this week, represented a stepping-stone towards better understanding of the great potential of climate technology and local small and medium enterprises. More than three hundred entrepreneurs and international climate experts participated in the Forum to discuss the latest trends in clean technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The agenda included thematic sessions and panel discussions on financing strategies, challenges of green businesses, development of new clean-tech markets, and effective mechanisms to support clean technologies.
Speakers inaugurating the event included Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, Abdelkader Amara, Minister for Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, Mustapha Bakkoury, President of MASEN, and Simon Gray, World Bank Director for the Maghreb Department. Jonathan Coony, Coordinator for infoDev’s Climate Technology Program and Manaf Touati, Energy Specialist, also spoke, outlining planned activities of the MCIC and its links to the global network of CICs.
The Forum confirmed Morocco’s strong commitment to building competitive green industries to achieve both economic and environmental objectives. The country is one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the North-Africa region and depends on fossil fuel imports to generate over 98 percent of its energy.
To support Morocco’s green growth strategy, infoDev partnered with the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) to establish the first Climate Innovation Center (CIC) in the region. When fully operational, the center will provide financing, mentorship, and advisory services to the growing number of local clean-tech entrepreneurs operating in the solar energy sector. The Morocco CIC will also increase the scope of its activities and the reach of its services by joining the Solar Cluster, a collaborative platform that brings together local enterprises, academia and R&D institutes operating in the solar energy sector.
“The Morocco CIC represents a key instrument in enabling the local industry players to integrate more effectively the value chains of major projects such as the Ouarzazate solar power station also supported by the World Bank” said Simon Gray, World Bank Director for the Maghreb Department.
The Morocco CIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of climate innovation centers across seven other countries. The Morocco CIC is supported by the World Bank Group and is managed by the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency.