The Moroccan City Aspiring to Become Africa’s Silicon Valley

The Moroccan City Aspiring to Become Africa’s Silicon Valley
Rendering of interior of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University / Source: Wikimedia/Aminezr23

The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University known as “UM6P” first opened its doors to students in 2013. Today, it reportedly has more than 5500 students from around the world. It’s located in and around Benguerir, a town between Marrakech and Casablanca that hopes to become Africa’s Silicon Valley. 

Created by the state-owned mining giant OCP Group, UM6P’s mandate has expanded from serving the needs of the company to becoming a global center for innovation. 

“One of the ingredients of the Silicon Valley’s success in California is the proximity between academics and industries. It was built over the course of about thirty years. We are trying to shorten this time,” Khalid Baddou director of institutional affairs at the university recently told Worldcrunch.

UM6P currently has partnerships with multiple prestigious institutions and has partnered with Plug and Play, an investment fund from Silicon Valley known for incubating Google during its formative stages.

But despite its global connections, UM6P’s goal remains focused on advancing research and development for Africa by Africans. Priorities include: the digitalization of education in Africa, the training of 100 doctoral students to remain in their home countries and foster local development and the education of prospective African university teachers.

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