U.S. gives boost to young Moroccan entrepreneurs
Vice President Joe Biden said the United States plans to invest an estimated $50 million to support young entrepreneurs
The United States plans to invest an estimated $50 million in public-private partnerships to support young entrepreneurs in Morocco, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday.
Biden made the announcement on the second day of the fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit being held in Marrakech.
The investment will be made through the Millennium Challenge Corp., which had previously invested close to $700 million in the North African kingdom.
Pending MCC board approval and congressional notification, the new investment will be made as part of an agreement that is expected to be signed in 2015, the White House said.
Biden said the United States and Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo are working together to establish a training academy for entrepreneurs in Morocco.
The academy will train 150 students each year from Morocco, Ivory Coast and Senegal, focusing on maintaining industrial and commercial equipment.
The training will also include developing technology and business skills to prepare students to meet the demands of the job market or establish their own free enterprises.
Biden also said the U.S. government, in partnership with Morocco’s northern neighbor Spain, will provide a $7 million credit guarantee to help finance a state-of-the-art cold storage facility at the Tanger-Med port in Morocco.
The cold storage facility seeks to support Morocco’s agriculture value chain by enabling increased agricultural exports to key markets and facilitating job creation across the sector.
Morocco has had a free-trade agreement with the United States since 2004. The White House said the planned investment is designed to support that agreement.
During his speech, Biden focused on the importance of a fair education system, empowering women to boost the spirit of entrepreneurship, and combating corruption.
“Around the world we work to connect entrepreneurs. This includes promoting transparency and fighting corruption,” he said.
“It takes a universal education system, a value system that gives people the freedom to try and fail, a society that empowers women,” Biden added.
“Without empowering women, everything else we want to achieve is exponentially harder.”