Dakhla Connect Provides a Platform for Economic Growth in the MENA Region

Dakhla offers many advantages and opportunities for businesses, including a transport hub with links to Europe and Africa, excellent infrastructure, quality human resources, and exceptional nature and weather conditions. However, business opportunities in Dakhla are little known, and local businesses are not well connected.

MEPI’s “Promoting Economic Opportunity in Dakhla and Laayoune” project has helped solve this problem for the Regional Investment Center (CRI) and dozens of local businesses by establishing DakhlaConnect.com, a digital platform that provides information about key sectors in the region and companies that provide products and services in those sectors.

“Dakhla’s excellent business and investment potential are finally highlighted today thanks to the awesome DakhlaConnect digital platform which allows us to promote the economic assets and investment opportunities of the region, as well as to receive requests and many inquiries from investors from Morocco and around the world who connect directly to the DakhlaConnect platform and submit their business inquiries.” says Mr Mounir Houari, Director of the CRI of Dakhla Oued Eddahab.

Dakhla is the first region in Morocco to have a digital platform dedicated to marketing of the region and its businesses. DakhlaConnect.com provides a platform for local businesses to connect with potential partners for business opportunities. The platform also provides
customers and investors with practical information on the region’s plentiful potential. DakhlaConnect features key sectors in the region: tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, renewable energies, and logistics.

The DakhlaConnect platform is used by investors, vendors, suppliers, and entrepreneurs to obtain details on this relatively unknown region, the key economic sectors of the region, business partners in the region, and advantages and incentives available to investors.
The platform allows prospective customers and investors to search for businesses by name or by sector, and find out their address and geo-localized location in the map, or customers and investors can also search the map directly and locate all the local businesses by sector.

Since the January 10, 2021 official launch, there have been over 10,000 visits to the digital platform with over 100 requests for information received over the platform from potential investors (from Morocco, France, USA, Canada, Spain, UK, and other countries.); yet other investors or buyers visited the platform and contacted the regional investment center or other local stakeholders directly. Local firms have flocked to the platform and the number of firms registered to date and points of interest geolocated is already in excess of 5,000.

These achievements have been made possible thanks to the support and contribution of all local stakeholders in Dakhla, including local authorities (Wilaya), professional chambers (Commerce, Agriculture, Fisheries), and the Regional Investment Centre (CRI) of Dakhla Oued Eddahab, which plays a key role in supporting investors.

Dakhla Connect will help local firms increase sales to local and international firms and will help the region attract investors. This will create better paying jobs, including for women and others trained under the project’s workforce development activities.