El Mansouri launches programs targeting the rural world and vulnerable territories

El Mansouri launches programs targeting the rural world and vulnerable territories

In accordance with the high royal instructions and the recommendations of the New Development Model, declined through the vision of the Ministry of Territorial Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and City Policy, aimed at supporting the integrated and sustainable development of the rural world and the strengthening of the economic attractiveness of these territories, the minister in charge, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri, made a field visit this week to the provinces of Azilal and Béni Mellal, to launch new projects and programs and inquire about the progress of strategic development projects initiated by the Ministry at the regional level.

On this occasion, Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri, who was accompanied by the Wali of the Region of Beni Mellal Khenifra, the Governor of the province of Azilal and the president of the regional council, officially launched the National Development Program integration of emerging rural centres, of the Integrated Development Program for Vulnerable Territories, as well as the implementation of the Technical and Architectural Assistance Program in rural areas.

These development programs aim to strengthen the links between urban and rural areas, reduce territorial disparities, provide public services and promote the attractiveness of rural areas, while ensuring their sustainable development at the level of all regions of the Kingdom, in order to improve the living conditions of the population of the targeted areas and to meet the needs of citizens in addition to supporting the middle class in the rural world, in accordance with the High Royal Instructions “said the minister quoted in a press release.

And to add: Taking into account the complexity of development in the rural world, this project requires the pooling of efforts, broad consultation and coordination on a large scale, first at the level of the ministry then with all the stakeholders in the rural world, while working to set up new modes of convergence, governance, coordination of interventions and agreements for the implementation of projects “.

Thus, within the framework of support for the development of the rural world, the ministry indicated that it is working on the establishment of the National Program for the Integrated Development of Emerging Rural Centers which aims to mitigate the impact of rural exodus, as well as to supervise public investments intended for these territories in order to encourage investment and job creation, to optimize available resources and to improve the well-being of the rural population.

To this end, 542 emerging centers housing 8 million inhabitants have been identified, within the framework of the program, in consultation with the territorial actors. A priority program consisting of 77 emerging rural centers has also been identified (01 center per province). This program has been the subject of setting up territorial projects which have resulted in action plans which will constitute a platform and a conventional framework with the local authorities.

Currently, 12 pilot regional centers have been identified (01 center per region targeting 127,000 citizens) subject to a pilot program which is being finalized to be launched shortly before generalization to the 77 centers of the priority program. This short-list includes the pilot rural center of Bzou, in the province of Azilal, which has been the subject of a mapping of territorial projects in order to carry out a simulation of the development of this center to visualize the impact of the interventions. planned, underlines the ministry.

During this field visit to Bzou, the Minister signed with the Wali of the Region of Beni Mellal Khenifra and the President of the Council of the Region a framework agreement relating to the priority program of integrated development for the rehabilitation of rural centers emerging in the Beni Mellal-Khenifra region, covering the period 2023-2027.
At the level of the commune of Afourer (Azilal), the minister kicked off the rehabilitation project for the center of this commune of Afourer for a total amount of 54 million dirhams.

The ministry points out that the choice of the Beni Mellal-Khénifra region is not fortuitous, given its capital importance at the national level because of its diversified natural and heritage resources and its continental location. It covers an area of ​​28,088 km² and has a population of approximately 2,520,776 inhabitants, 53% of whom live in rural areas. This region is made up of 135 local authorities, including 16 urban municipalities and 119 rural municipalities. And despite the assets and resources with which this region abounds, it suffers from certain territorial disparities and social inequalities which result in an increase in the poverty rate of more than 14% as well as in the vulnerability rate of more than 17%, not to mention the unemployment rate which exceeds 12%, underlines the same source.

This field visit made by Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri in this region was an opportunity to sign several agreements. Indeed, a memorandum of understanding relating to the program for the integrated urban upgrading of urban poles and a framework agreement relating to the program of technical and architectural assistance in the rural world over a period of three years (2024 – 2026) have been initialed. It is also, according to the same source, the signing of a financing agreement for the 2nd tranche of the program to upgrade the territorial municipalities of the Beni Mellal-Khénifra region.

In addition, the Minister chaired the launching ceremony of the design of the inter-municipal program for the promotion of vulnerable territories in the region of Beni Mellal-Khénifra. This is a new milestone in the process of territorial development of vulnerable territories aimed at bringing out a new spatial dynamic of inclusive and resilient development based on the design of concerted and shared territorial projects, in partnership with all the actors in order to improve the living conditions of the population.

In its press release, the ministry also recalled that the programs and projects which are the subject of the visit, or which have already been launched, are part of the implementation of the ministerial program 2021-2026. This program aims to establish a new generation of development projects and programs in response to the needs of citizens in the areas of infrastructure, economic, social, cultural and sports facilities.

This aligns with the aspirations and challenges of the new development model, particularly with regard to ensuring equity and effectiveness of public policies at the territorial level, adopting new approaches and establishing integrated systems to stimulate development at the regional level. Thus, these projects aim to adapt planning tools to the specificities of the regions, while improving access to housing, strengthening social cohesion and economic integration, in order to provide a better living environment for citizens and to promote well-being for all.

Furthermore, the ministry recalls that the programs and projects to which the ministry has contributed at the regional level, while highlighting the component of the reduction of development disparities between territories and support for social cohesion, which includes three main programmes, namely the program for urban rehabilitation and restructuring of under-equipped neighborhoods, which included 66 projects (56 completed and 10 in progress) for a total cost of approximately 1,004 million dirhams, with an estimated contribution from the ministry at 950.77 million dirhams, the support program for the regional project through the development of rural local authorities, which involved 119 local authorities for a total cost of around 650 million dirhams, with a contribution from the Ministry estimated at 500 million dirhams, the program for the improvement of cities and centers through the urban qualification mechanism integrated into urban policy, which included 27 projects for a total cost of approximately 883 million dirhams, with a Ministry contribution estimated at 587 million dirhams.

The Ministry’s efforts have also focused on the development of rural areas, through the implementation of the technical and architectural assistance program for the rural world, with a cost of 12 million dirhams over a period of three years, and a Ministry contribution estimated at 6 million dirhams“, it was pointed out.

Ultimately, as part of the implementation of the recommendations resulting from the National Dialogue on Town Planning and Housing, organized under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI, and launched by Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri, in September 2022, the ministry is working to strengthen and consolidate the achievements, to accelerate the pace of reforms and to implement effective projects and programs, while concretizing the various orientations and aspirations of the New Development Model and the National Charter of the ‘Investment to improve the attractiveness of territories.


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