ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Nov 20 – Morocco signed an agreement Saturday with Ethiopia to build a giant fertiliser unit aimed at making Addis Ababa self-reliant in fertiliser by 2025.
The announcement was made as Morocco’s King Mohammed was in the Horn of Africa nation on a visit aimed at strengthening economic and political ties.
The agreement, signed by the Ethiopian government and Morocco’s state-owned phosphate mining company OCP-SA, which will invest $2.3 billion (2.1 billion euros) between 2017 and 2022 to build the complex in the eastern city of Dire Dawa.
“It is our biggest investment outside Morocco,” said OCP CEO Mostafa Terrab.
“Our aim is to reduce Ethiopia’s dependence on fertiliser imports,” he said.
According to OCP, Ethiopia will be able to produce 80 percent of its fertiliser needs through this complex in 2022 and be self-sufficient in fertiliser three years later.
Agriculture is a key sector in Ethiopia and accounted for 42 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2015, according to Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency.
The two countries also signed a slew of pacts on commerce, investment, taxation, agriculture, water and irrigation.