Rabat – The Head of Government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, presided over the regional communication meeting held in Dakhla to address the projects under the Southern Provinces Development Program (2015-2021).The attending ministers presented the current state of affairs of the major development projects in each government sector.Speaking at the meeting, El Othmani pointed out that the region’s Development Program includes 149 projects. He specified that 21 projects are now complete, 75 are in progress or in their final phase, while another 50 are awaiting their launch. He noted that the work is advancing at an accelerated and balanced pace. EducationThe Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research, Said Amzazi, mentioned that the region of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab ranked second nationally in this year’s Baccalaureate exams with an 84,58% passing rate. He added that the region has a high enrollment rate compared to the national average. Amzazi also recalled the signing, under the new Southern Provinces Development Program, of a partnership agreement with the Council of the region. The MAD 64 million partnership allowed the construction of 8 schools and the extension of others, in addition to the creation of classes for pre-school education and the upgrading of other schools in rural areas.As for vocational training, the Minister announced that a Higher Institute of Hotels and Tourism and a Center for Crafts will be established.LogisticsThe Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Abdelkader Amara, said that his department is closely following the project of the road connecting Tiznit to Dakhla on a distance of 1,055 kilometers.He added that the Atlantic Port’s construction site has been changed in order to gain more sea depth, recalling that the overall cost of this large-scale project is close to $1 billion.Health Anas Doukkali, Minister of Health, noted that health services in the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region are improving. He indicated that the number of hospital beds increased from 50 to 80 between 2013 and 2018.He also pointed out that the number of practicing doctors and nurses in the region has also increased. Doukkali noted that 4 health projects out of 5 have been completed, with the exception of the project of the Higher Institute of Nursing and Health Development, which has a completion rate of 85%.TourismThe Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts, and Social Economy, Mohammed Sajid, underlined that the region’s tourism has experienced a growth rate of 21%.He stressed that the construction of high-end hotel units constitutes considerable support to the natural and ecological potential of the region. This will help strengthen the position of this region as a promising tourist destination.Referring to the airport of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, the minister said that this airport’s infrastructure, which has a maximum capacity of 300,000 passengers, has now reached 200,000 passengers. He suggested the possibility of expanding the airport or building another.Urban developmentThe Minister of Urban Policy, Abdelahad Fassi Fihri, said that the ministry’s program for urban upgrading cost MAD 1.5 billion since 2008. The program includes the upgrading of several streets, public lighting, landscaping, urban planning, road markings, pedestrian crossings, and car parks.