Over the past two decades, the Tangier-Tétouan region has experienced sustained economic growth. However, in parallel, it has witnessed the emergence of social inequalities that the social and solidarity economy seeks to address. The development of cooperatives represents a considerable opportunity to promote balanced socio-economic development by enabling the integration of the most vulnerable populations, including women, youth, artisans, and project initiators, into the development of their region.
Starting from the early 2000s, the cooperative sector in the Tangier-Tétouan region has seen significant growth, reaching a remarkable peak by 2005. This sector has evolved with the emergence of new cooperatives in various fields such as recycling, agriculture, and renewable energy, offering a rich and diversified range of products. The region holds significant potential, particularly concerning sought-after local products like goat cheese, olive oil, honey, figs, as well as the perpetuation of ancestral craftsmanship passed down through generations, especially in the artisan sector, such as weaving and leatherworking.
The year 2023 holds particular significance for the cooperative sector in the region, with the establishment of cannabis production and transformation cooperatives following the regularization of this activity through the implementation of Law 13.21 concerning the lawful use of cannabis.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
Celebration of World Cooperative Day
The delegation of Tangier, in partnership with the Association for Women’s Action in Tanger, played an active role in celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives. As part of this celebration, an information day was jointly organized with the central theme being “The Role of Cooperatives in Achieving Sustainable Development.”
The objective of this day was to raise awareness and inform the public about the crucial role that cooperatives play in promoting sustainable development. It is an essential domain in which cooperatives contribute significantly, whether in terms of economic, social, environmental, or community development.
This initiative highlighted the achievements and positive impacts of cooperatives in the Tanger region, emphasizing their importance in job creation, environmental preservation, gender equality promotion, and poverty alleviation.
Following the successful “Solidarity Generation” prize-giving ceremony organized by the Office of Cooperation Development (ODCO), the delegation has taken measures to ensure effective follow-up for the participating cooperatives. In this context, the Nokhat Al Boughaz cooperative, specializing in pastries, and the Baraim Annakhil cooperative, focused on primary education, were awarded checks worth fifty thousand dirhams each, just like the Colainord and Raw Material Transporters cooperatives. This simultaneous check award symbolizes the delegation’s ongoing commitment to supporting and developing local cooperatives, thereby contributing to the strengthening of the region’s economic and social fabric.
On August 9, 2023, a training session took place at the National Agency for the Promotion of Jobs and Skills (ANAPEC) headquarters in collaboration with ODCO and Barid Bank, targeting women actively engaged in the agricultural sector, particularly those involved in strawberry picking in the provinces of Andalusia, Spain. This training led to the acquisition of diplomas in the agricultural field. On this occasion, the ODCO representative conducted a presentation on the procedures for establishing cooperatives, their functioning, as well as their crucial role in setting up income-generating activities.
On July 26, 2023, an awareness session was organized under the guidance of the Spanish association Women in conflict zone (MZC), specifically targeting African women residing in Morocco. The aim of this initiative is to educate and inform these women about the establishment of cooperatives. At the end of this training, two cooperatives will be established, each focusing on distinct areas: one will specialize in home healthcare services, providing valuable assistance to individuals in need of in-home healthcare, while the other will focus on the valorization of African-origin products, thus contributing to economic development and promoting these products in the local market.
PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS
The “Mourafaka” program is part of a strategy aimed at minimizing the inherent risks associated with starting a business, a critical stage for the success of a cooperative project. It is based on a comprehensive support approach lasting 24 months, during which cooperatives receive essential assistance to strengthen their governance, management and production capabilities, economic performance, and their ability to market their products. This initiative is the result of a successful collaboration between the Tanger delegation and the consulting office DMIC, who worked together to identify the expected key outcomes of these 12 coaching sessions. Through this program, 23 cooperatives operating in various sectors have been able to benefit from strategic support, thereby contributing to their sustainable development and success in the market.
Successful cooperative models
The COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Bab Sebta crossing have had a devastating impact on women who were engaged in transporting goods through the crossing, plunging them into a precarious situation of poverty. In order to reintegrate into society, these women came together to create a collective project. This is how the Al Hout Al Azraq cooperative was born, specializing in traditional fishing and net-making. Their goal is simple: to obtain a stable income to ensure a decent life for their families. This cooperative has received the support of the Tangier-Med Foundation thanks to the “Solidarity Generation” 2022 Award, organized by the ODCO.
The newly created Anjra Lidiraza Cooperative stands out for its resolute commitment to development and professionalization. Its members actively took part in the training sessions on administrative management offered by the regional delegation. Although the cooperative is still in the early stages of its journey, its members have an unwavering desire to diversify their activities and improve the quality of their products. This desire for growth is further supported by the acquisition of substantial equipment financed by the Tangier Med association, thus strengthening their capacities and competitiveness in the market. The Anjra Lidiraza cooperative is thus positioning itself as a promising player in the cooperative landscape of the region.