The mobilisation of diaspora communities for the sustainable development of their countries of origin takes different forms, the most common being the transfer of capacities through short term capacity building missions in national institutions and the transfer of funds through remittances to family members. A more recent form of diaspora implication is the development of entrepreneurship initiatives by diaspora members in their country or region of origin. IOM Belgium, with the financial support of the Belgian Development Cooperation, has been supporting these type of entrepreneurial initiatives through a specific project with the Moroccan diaspora.
The MEDMA project (« Mobilisation des Marocains résidant en Belgique pour le développement du Maroc ») was carried out as a pilot project for three years until mid-2015 with the aim to encourage and support Moroccans residing in Belgium to contribute to the sustainable development of Morocco by developing and implementing new investment projects. The project focused on three regions of the country: Tangier/ Tetouan, Taza/Al Hoceima/Taounate and the Oriental.
Several partners were involved in the implementation of MEDMA: the project was implemented by IOM, in close cooperation with the Embassy of Belgium in Morocco, and the national partners: the Ministry in Charge of Moroccan Living Abroad and Migration Affairs (MCMREAM) and the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans Residing Abroad (FHII-MRE).
Eleven investment projects (and the project initiators were supported in developing businesses in various sectors (e.g. IT, consultancy services, farming, paramedical training school, etc). Following a call for proposals in Belgium and the selection of the investment projects in July 2013, the MEDMA project bearers were supported in the process of establishing their businesses. This included:
- Professional trainings through the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS) in order to draw an operational business plan;
- Training on the existing national legal, administrative and financial procedures of a business creation in Morocco;
- Work-related missions in Morocco to carry out the various steps linked to the development of the projects and receive technical advices from the national and regional institutions;
- Financial assistance for fees and expenses directly related to the creation of the investment project such as administrative fees, feasibility market research, visibility materials, etc
A final conference was organised in June 2015 in Rabat with IOM’s Director General, Morocco’s Minister in Charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration Affairs, the Belgian Ambassador in Morocco, and the General Treasurer of the Hassan II Foundation for Moroccans Residing Abroad and the MEDMA beneficiaries.
For further information, contact Ms. Coryse Lehembre (email: email@example.com, tel: +32 (0) 2 287 75 15)