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Center for Regional Studies
Center for Regional Studies
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About the Center

Mission Statement

The United States Naval Academy’s Center for Regional Studies serves to enhance the educational opportunities of midshipmen through support for the study of different regions of the world, curricular innovation, and community outreach. Currently, the Center is comprised of six regional fora: Africa Forum, Asia Forum, Eurasia Forum, Latin America Forum, the Middle East Forum and the newly created Forum of Emerging Frontiers covering the Artic, cyber, space, deep sea, and other gray zones. The Center helps constituent Academy faculty members expose future Navy and Marine Corps officers to the array of disciplines that pursue a comprehensive understanding of regional and international dynamics across the globe.

Upcoming Talks

22 March 2023 - "Financing the Development of the Blue Economy in Morocco"
Michel Noel, Senior Consultant at the World Bank
Time:  1900-2000
Rickover 110

The Government of Morocco is launching a national strategy for the development of the blue economy. In this framework, it is establishing a number of maritime protected zones (MPZs)along its Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. This has strong implications for the development of the blue economy, which includes sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, ports, maritime transport, offshore renewable energy, and coastal tourism in the regions that border the MPZs. As part of this effort, the World Bank is helping the Government to develop a range of financing instruments to support the sustainable development of various types of enterprises and infrastructure projects in the sectors of the blue economy around these MPZs. These include startups and young Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), established SMEs, large enterprises, infrastructure public-private partnership projects, and public infrastructure projects.

The lecture will present the different types of specialized financing instruments being developed in this context, including blue venture capital and private equity funds, blue loans guarantee facilities, and blue bonds. The presentation will cover the common features of these instruments, as well as the specificities of their structuring to meet the needs of the various types of enterprises and projects.

Michel Noel is Senior Consultant for the World Bank. He was Head of Investment Funds in the Financial Access, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice, Equitable Finance and Institutions Vice-Presidency of the World Bank. Previously, he was Practice Manager for Non-Bank Financial Institutions in the Financial Access, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice and Lead Financial Sector Specialist in the Africa Region and in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the Bank. He was on secondment from the Bank to Dexia Asset Management in Geneva and London from 2000 to 2003 working on local infrastructure private equity funds. Previously, Mr. Noel held a number of positions in the Africa and Europe and Central Asia Regions of the World Bank. He also consulted for the OECD Development Research Center in Paris.

Mr. Noel holds a MA in Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Namur, Belgium.

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