King Mohammed VI has announced the launch of MAD 77 billion projects in the so-called Western Sahara region, this Saturday afternoon in Laâyoune.

On Saturday, King Mohammed VI co-chaired a ceremony in Laâyoune in Southern Morocco, to launch the second installment of the Sahara development plan.

A budget of MAD 77 billion was made available to implement a number of projects for 2016-2021 in the so-called Western Sahara.

The projects concern three main southern regions – Sakia El Hamra Laâyoune, Dakhla Oued Ed-Dahab and Guemim Oued Noun – are expected to create 120,000 jobs.

Under the new plan, a big Atlantic port will be built in Dakhla and a university hospital will be set up in the Moroccan Sahara capital, Laâyoune.

New infrastructure projects will also be implemented between 2016 and 2021 in the southern regions, including a bus station, a phosphate training college, a theater, sports complex, and new headquarters of the southern provinces agency.

King Mohammed VI launched these projects during his forth visit to Laâyoune, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Green March.

Last night, during his speech, the monarch insisted that Morocco wishes to enhance the influence of the Sahara region as an economic hub and a crucial link between Morocco and its African roots.

“I have therefore decided to muster all the means available, by the grace of the Almighty, to implement a number of major projects as well as social, medical and educational programs in the regions of Laayoune-Saqia el-Hamra, Dakhla-Oued Eddahab and Guelmim-Oued Noon,” King Mohammed VI said.

He also promised that “revenues from natural resources will continue to be invested in the region, for the benefit of the local populations and in consultation and coordination with them”.