In 2022, the City of Casablanca, Morocco, was selected as a grantee of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), the MMC’s instrument to channel international funding directly to cities to implement inclusive projects of their own design.
With support from the GCF, the City of Casablanca is renovating its Souk of African Solidarity to provide opportunities for migrants impacted by the climate crisis to open businesses in the heart of the city.
Morocco is both a destination and transit country for migrants from across Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 100,000 migrants live in the country, many of them undocumented. Migrant communities in Morocco, especially Black migrants, face discrimination and often struggle to access the formal economy and essential services.
The existing Souk of African Solidarity is both a lifeline and public health risk for sub-Saharan migrants in Casablanca. Its state of disrepair is slowing sales for migrant-run shop owners and putting them at risk of disease and further economic marginalization. The souk’s renovation serves as an opportunity for the city to both introduce new green technologies to a public marketplace and invest in their migrant business community
Casablanca is using the GCF grant to strengthen the city’s climate resilience and promote the socioeconomic inclusion of sub-Saharan African migrants in the city.
The project is renovating a historic souk (market) in the heart of Casablanca. Improvements are making the souk more climate friendly and accessible for migrant shop owners and their customers. The city is implementing energy efficient and sustainable water, electricity, and sewage systems while creating new pedestrian alleys and public-friendly spaces to encourage visitor traffic. Renovations also incorporate green spaces and rest areas into the souk.
These efforts upgrade a historic market and economic hub for the city’s sub-Saharan African migrant community, making it more welcoming, safe, and green for local merchants and tourists alike.
Nabila Rmili, Mayor of Casablanca
With support from the Global Cities Fund, the African Souk Solidaire will provide the space and resources for African migrants and refugees to contribute to a greener and inclusive local economy.
Stay tuned for more impact updates at the end of Casablanca’s GCF grant term!
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