Germany thumbs down OCP credit in Western Sahara  

Germany's state-owned development bank will not finance projects in Western Sahara.
Published: 13.05 - 2020 14:12Printer version    
"The existing contracts for the above-mentioned development credit explicitly exclude the financing of economic activities in Western Sahara.“ That is the clear answer of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of 7 May 2020 in response to questions raised by Member of Parliament Eva-Maria Schreiber (die LINKE) on the geographic spending of a credit accorded to Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company OCP SA.

The German state-owned development bank KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) had granted a credit of €200.147 million for a water investment programme to OCP. OCP operates the phosphate reserves of Morocco, but also illegally exploits the Bou Craa phosphate mine in occupied Western Sahara – a Non-Self-Governing Territory over which Morocco has no sovereignty or international mandate. Eva-Maria Schreiber had requested the Federal Government to clarify how it would ensure that OCP's development credit would not be used in the territory.

"It is commendable that KfW takes measures to avoid supporting the occupation of Western Sahara. It is worth to remind that OCP's entire operation on occupied land is facilitated by Continental and Siemens. It is regrettable that German private industry is acting to uphold Morocco's military occupation", Tim Sauer of WSRW Germany stated.

Continental is maintaining OCP's conveyor belt system under a contract that is expiring in June 2020. WSRW urges Continental not to renew the support for Morocco's illegal phosphate industry on the territory.

In recent years, many international companies have stopped importing phosphate rock from Western Sahara, following increasing pressure from investors concerned about the legality of the operation and related human rights violations. In 2019, only a handful of importers were still involved in the trade, and Morocco’s export figures from the territory it militarily occupied had fallen to their lowest level in years. Read more about these developments in the 2020 edition of P for Plunder, our annual overview report documenting Morocco's trade in Western Sahara's conflict mineral in 2019.

The statement that the German Government has now issued, is a confirmation of the bank’s position on Western Sahara. In July 2016, KfW wrote to WSRW that “we are not financing projects in Western Sahara and we are not planning to do so in the future”. The bank was at the time being mentioned by Moroccan media as co-financing renewable energy projects in the occupied territory. KfW was clear that those allegations were misleading, as it did support such projects in Morocco proper, but not in Western Sahara.

In November 2016, Moroccan media reported that KfW had supported energy projects in the occupied territories [or download]. That coverage was "misleading", according to a mail sent by KfW to WSRW on 3 March 2017. "KfW is co-financing only NOOR IV in Ouarzazate / Morocco and not NOOR Laayoune and NOOR Boujdour", KfW wrote in an email.

KfW's position is also in line with that of the German Government. In 2017, the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy clarified to the German Parliament that “The Federal Government does not support the economic activities of German companies in Western Sahara and does not secure business through export credit and investment guarantees”.

A 2019 analyis of the Bundestag's research department concluded that Morocco is to be considered an occupying power in Western Sahara, and that its settlement policy - described as the transfer of its own civilians into the territory as well as indirect measures in promotion thereof - substantiates a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention.

It remains to be clarified by KfW where exactly the mentioned water investment programme of OCP is located.

Since you're here....
WSRW’s work is being read and used more than ever. But our financial situation is tough. Our work takes time, dedication and diligence. But we do it because we believe it matters – and we hope you do too. If everyone who reads our website or likes us on Facebook, would contribute to our work – 3€, 5€, 27€ … what you can spare – the future of WSRW would be much more secure. You can donate to WSRW in less than a  minute here.



08.09 - 2020 / 16.06 - 2020Soon 10 years of wrongful imprisonment: release Gdeim Izik group now
08.09 - 2020 / 07.09 - 2020DHL: ignoring Saharawi rights for 5 parcels a day
24.08 - 2020 / 24.08 - 2020Concrete plans for third solar plant in occupied Western Sahara
10.08 - 2020 / 18.07 - 2020Voltalia to construct wind farm in occupied Western Sahara
28.07 - 2020 / 22.07 - 2020Will Deutsche Post's AGM provide clarity on Western Sahara operations?
27.07 - 2020 / 01.07 - 2020New Indian construction company in occupied Western Sahara
27.07 - 2020 / 20.07 - 2020Continental still unclear about future supplies to Western Sahara
22.07 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Conflict Bitcoin miner keeps silent on Dakhla wind farm plans
19.07 - 2020 / 13.07 - 2020Siemens yet again evades questions on Western Sahara
16.07 - 2020 / 29.06 - 2020Namibia slams Spain for failing to respect Saharawi rights
03.07 - 2020 / 02.07 - 2020Swiss supermarkets ban produce from occupied Western Sahara
03.07 - 2020 / 11.06 - 2020HeidelbergCement cites local benefits, ignores consent
02.07 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Fishmeal: German government data confirms import controversy
26.06 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Turkey: biggest funder of occupation of Western Sahara
25.06 - 2020 / 05.05 - 2020These are the vessels that provide fuel for the occupation
23.06 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Protesters set up roadblock to stop conflict minerals in New Zealand
13.06 - 2020 / 13.06 - 2020WSRW urges shareholders to challenge Continental
06.06 - 2020 / 06.06 - 2020Norwegian gas transport avoids Western Sahara at last minute
28.05 - 2020 / 28.05 - 2020World Bank removed erroneous maps
27.05 - 2020 / 27.04 - 2020Russia-Morocco controversial fisheries deal on the horizon


Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation. News Archive 2020 News Archive 2019 News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy