MOROCCO – The Euromed University of Fez (UEMF) has launched a new industrial zone project known as the Fez Smart Factory which is expected to improve the socioeconomic condition of Moroccans by creating over 5,000 jobs.

This would boost employment opportunities in Morocco especially now when the country has lost over half a million jobs due to the corona virus pandemic.

Data from Trading Economics show that the unemployment rate in Morocco rose to 12.3% in the second quarter of 2020 from 8.1% in the same period a year ago.

This according to Trading Economics, was the highest jobless rate since the last quarter of 2003, as the Covid-19 pandemic and related measures that came with it affected severely the labour market.

The number of unemployed went up by 496 thousand to 1.477 million while employed decreased by 589 thousand to 10.49 million.

According to Morocco World News, the large infrastructure, to be built in the campus of UEMF, requires an investment of MAD 104 million ($11.18 million).

The Millennium Challenge Account-Morocco (MCA-Morocco) is expected to provide up to 50% of the budget through its Sustainable Industrial Zones Fund (FONZID) while the Fez-Meknes Regional Council will cover the remaining costs.

UEMF, the Fez-Taza section of the General Confederation of Enterprises in Morocco (CGEM), and engineering company Alten Delivery Center-Maroc will be responsible for the project execution to other aspects of the project.

According to UEMF, the objective of the Fez Smart Factory is to establish innovative industrial reception areas to develop the competitiveness of the regional industry by focusing on Industry 4.0.

The industrial zone also aims to provide the necessary conditions for existing industrial units to achieve a digital transition and promote the use of smart technological tools.

Extending over 11 hectares, the Fez Smart Factory will include a large business center that will host 40 entrepreneurs, 30 startups, 10 engineering companies, five research and development laboratories, and several incubators.

The industrial zone will also include the first Industry 4.0 model factory in Morocco. The factory will host up to 93 different smart workshops.

After its achievement, the project is expected to boost Morocco’s economy by generating over MAD 5 billion ($537.39 million) in investments.

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