This article was sponsored by OCP
MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) has issued a guarantee to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank of France and BNP Paribas of France to cover loans of up to EUR 570 million to OCP Group, the world’s leader in the phosphate fertilizer market.
The guarantee extends for a period of up to 10 years and covers against the risk of Non-Honoring of Sovereign Financial Obligations of a State-Owned Enterprise. OCP Group will use the funds to finance the construction of a new university campus for the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) near Morocco’s capital city of Rabat which first phase was launched in October 2021. Two new phases will be completed by 2024.
This operation is a first in the education sector in Morocco and Africa. It confirms UM6P’s robust and sound financial strategy. It is also a testament to the Group’s approach of the knowledge economy and one of many elements that confirm OCP’s credibility in the ESG landscape.
The new campus will offer high quality education to 2,000 students in the fields of economics, governance, political sciences, international relations, behavioural and social sciences, hospitality business and management. In addition, the campus will house a new faculty of governance and include Morocco’s first school and business incubator for artificial intelligence. The facility will also have multi sport centres, digital learning laboratories, a language centre, a library, and hotels to host university guests and train students in the School of Hospitality Business and Management.
UM6P is at the core of OCP’s innovation, sustainability, strategy, and transformation strategy over the past 15 years. Founded in 2017 with a first campus in Benguerir, near Marrakesh, UM6P provides more than 80 percent of OCP’s research and development activities in strategic areas such as fertilisers, industrial facilities, clean energy and sustainable water management. In addition, the university also contributes in developing training programs with OCP’s Learning Institute to enable OCP’s human capital achieve its full potential.
“We are very grateful for MIGA’s vote of confidence in our plan to grow UM6P’s reach and educational capacity for the long-term returns it delivers. MIGA’s support in developing our new campus facilities in Rabat will allow us to increase skills, innovation and development in important fields that the current campus does not offer. UM6P’s mission is to consolidate Morocco’s frontline position in these fields, in a partnership-based approach to boosting skills training that are relevant for the future of Africa. OCP Group has grown to become a major player in plant nutrition, and remains convinced that education and R&D are key levers for both the future of food security and community development. This is an exciting development not just for Moroccan students, but for young people across Africa.” said Hicham El Habti, President of UM6P.
“MIGA is proud to be part of this project where its guarantee is unlocking financing from international lenders at competitive terms to fund the development of cutting-edge facilities in the country,” added Hiroshi Matano MIGA Executive Vice President. “Furthermore, the expansion of UM6P’s R&D facilities will boost Morocco’s competitiveness and contribute to the training of current and future human capital that will benefit the country.”
With MIGA’s support, OCP Group has committed to pursue its progress towards green building certifications through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program for many of its campus facilities in Rabat, in line with its commitment to the “Smart City” spirit of UM6P’s campus in Benguerir, which was the first project to receive this certification in Morocco. Moreover, UM6P will secure third-party verification and will be monitored by a LEED accredited professional. The new campus will include facilities and auxiliary work, with the most important two being the addition of hydraulic structures to protect the campus against the risk of flooding and the burial of a 60 Kv electrical line along with the rehabilitation of an associated substation.
OCP Group is a long-term partner of the World Bank Group. In June 2021, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member, and OCP signed a $100M financing agreement to expand OCP Africa’s logistics networks and increase the availability of fertilisers, adapted to local soils and crops, in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. IFC also helped OCP obtain the leading global business certification for gender equality – EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) – which was announced in March of this year.