In view of the important and vital role that the transport sector plays in overall sustainable development, and being particularly aware of the need to promote the local economy in the Sahara provinces, the central and the regional authorities in charge of the sector of transport in the Southern provinces have been insisting on accelerating the dynamics of all the components in this sector so that it can fully play its role. This has meant that these provinces, enjoy a strategic location and huge natural wealth, and they have now acquired thanks to the efforts of the State, an important system in road, sea and air transport. This has resulted in relieving the isolation of the region, boosting the local economy, positively impacting the standards of living through facilitating the movements of people, providing the necessary goods, and marketing the various products of the region.
The Region of Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra boasts a large national road network of about 964-Km in length, 856 of which are tarred and with a density of 0.54 Km per 100 km2. This is by the way a much lower rate than the national density amounting to 1.34 Km per 100km2. The provincial roads represent 580 Km, including 580 km tarred. The communes’ road are 958 Km long, with only 162 km tarred.
There are three ports in this region, two of which are operational, namely Al Marsa and Tarfaya while Boujdour Port is still under construction. These ports are part of the fishing ports that were developed thanks to the fishing activities and their strategic location. However, the regional importance is attributed to Laayoune Port Al Marsa, which was built in 1987 to meet growing needs in the sector of fishing and phosphate transportation. It is a multi-function port, with its overall operations reaching 2 million tons per year. It exports mainly phosphates, alga, fish flour and frozen fish. It also hosts an industrial area.
The Port of Al Marsa is 25 km from Laayoune City and contains facilities that date back to the Spanish colonization. Those facilities were set up to particularly meet the requirements of exporting phosphates of Boukraa. Despite that, and as part of the development of the Sahara provinces, especially with regard to fisheries in the region, the State has decided within its 1981-1985 plan to build a deep-water port that will be an important port compound as can be seen from the equipment that is already there.
The development of the new Boujdour Port will subsequently consolidate the port facilities and equipment in the region, and its operation will equally contribute toward economic growth of this coastal city.
These ports generally represent the necessary competitive advantages of the bulk of the trade from or into the Moroccan Sahara, particularly shipping which remains as the most economical way of ensuring sustainable provisions to these regions.