Morocco: Expatriates a catalyst for economic development

Rabat, 15 May 2015 (ECA) - In partnership with the Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs as well as the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), the  Sub-regional Office for North Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is organizing an expert group meeting on Capacity building to optimize the impact of remittances on development in North Africa. This event will take place in Rabat (Morocco), from 19 to 20 May 2015.

“Participants will focus on the case of Morocco. Experts from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan and Tunisia will exchange regional experiences and good practices with their Moroccan counterparts. Together, they will think of how migrants’ savings and remittances can support economic and social development in their countries of origin and take part in their structural transformation”, explains Mrs Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of the ECA office for North Africa. Minister in charge of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs Mr Anis Birrou will chair the opening session.

ECA will also present the results of a study on “Fund transfers by Moroccan Expatriates, their context, evolution and prospects for their strengthening”.

Migrants’ remittances are an important source of external financing in North Africa. However, the permanent settlement of new generations in host countries and migrants’ loosening family ties with their countries of origin may lead to a slow down or stagnation in money transfers to home countries.

Migrants’ countries of origin are aware of this phenomenon and attempt to channel expatriates’ savings and fund transfers towards development and productive investments by improving national strategic policies vis-à-vis expatriates, facilitating fund transfers, boosting investment opportunities and streamlining information on remittances.

A similar workshop on the case of Tunisia took place in Tunis from 21-22 April 2015, and another meeting is scheduled to take place in Algeria from 22-23 September. The meetings’ results will be echoed in a regional comparative analysis report covering Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its Office for North Africa aims to support the development of seven countries across the sub region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia and Sudan) by helping them formulate and implement policies and programs that support their economic and social transformation.


Date: 19-20 May2015

Location: Hôtel Tour Hassan, Rabat

Starting time: 19 May at 9:00

 [Press Release Arabic]