Morocco to finance phosphate production in Mali

Destined exclusively for the African market

BAMAKO - Morocco is to build a production unit for phosphate destined exclusively for the African market, an official told AFP on the sidelines of a state visit of King Mohammed VI to Mali.
"Africa has more than 80 percent of the world's reserves of phosphate and exports the raw material to other regions, notably for the production of fertilisers," Mostafa Terrab, CEO of Morocco's state-owned phosphate company OCP, said late Wednesday.
"But this continent also needs it... Hence the decision of His Majesty the King to dedicate a production unit of fertiliser to Africa alone," Terrab told AFP at a meeting of business leaders and government ministers in the capital Bamako.
Mohammed VI arrived in Mali on Tuesday with a large entourage of ministers and industry captains for a five-day official visit which concludes when he heads to neighbouring Guinea on Sunday.
Morocco invests heavily in Mali's banking and telecommunications sectors and is looking to strengthen its presence in agriculture, infrastructure, mining and energy.
"Mali and (Morocco) need to establish a cohesive economic collaboration and increase our trade for the wellbeing of both countries," said Amina Benkhadra, head of Morocco's National Hydrocarbons and Mining Office.