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Who is Mostafa Terrab? The Businessman Who transformed Morocco’s Fertilizer Company into One of the Best in the World

| How Africa News


Mostafa Terrab is a Moroccan businessman and industrialist who serves as the Chairman and CEO of the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP Group), a Moroccan state-owned crop nutrition production company. Since 2019, he has also served as President of the International Fertilizer Association.

OCP began as a state-owned phosphate mining company in 1920. Mostafa took over as CEO in 2016 and transformed OCP from a mining company to one that converts Morocco’s phosphorus reserves into a diverse range of sustainable and high-quality products for farmers on five continents.

Under his leadership, OCP has grown to become one of the world’s leading and most efficient manufacturers. The company’s equity value and revenues increased significantly, with a remarkable $6 billion turnover in 2020. It also expanded into India and South America in 2020, and increased its annual exports to Africa from 50,000 tonnes to 3 million tonnes. The company was also involved in soil fertility mapping in some African countries, with the goal of tailoring its plant nutrition products to each country’s soils and crops.

Mostafa assembled a formidable team to help him grow the company, and they were successful in transforming OCP from a single entity to the conglomerate known today as OCP Group, with subsidiaries focused on various interests. Phosboucraa, OCP North America, OCP Africa, and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) are all part of the OCP Group.


In the Moroccan Sahara, Phosboucra operates OCP mines and a fertilizer production facility in Boucraa. It helps farmers working in arid conditions and provides jobs and development opportunities to rural communities in Africa.

OCP North America

OCP North America is responsible for expanding the Group’s presence in North America, developing relationships, and providing plant-based nutrition solutions tailored to the needs of North American soils.

OCP Africa

OCP Africa promotes long-term growth in Africa’s agriculture sector by developing fertilizers tailored to local conditions and crops and collaborating with governments, NGOs, and private enterprises to connect farmers to agricultural services, knowledge, and resources.

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P)

UM6P is a knowledge center dedicated to research, innovation, and quality education with the goal of developing Africa’s agriculture industry and addressing global food security issues.

In keeping with his pragmatic leadership style, the Group unveiled its 2021- 2030 strategy, which includes a green shift that will be implemented using innovative methods developed at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. The strategy aims to make the industry more environmentally friendly by focusing on decarbonization and water conservation.

Following His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s decisions during his visit to Nigeria in 2016, the Group signed an agreement with the Government of Nigeria in March 2021 to build a $1.3 billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria.

Education and Career

Mostafa graduated from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in France in 1979. He earned a master’s degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982 and a doctorate in operations research from the same university in 1990. He worked as an Assistant Professor and Researcher while pursuing his Ph.D.

From 1990 to 1992, he was a professor in the Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, as well as the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

In 1992, he returned to Morocco and was appointed Chargé de Mission to King Hassan II. Later in his career, he served as Secretary General of the Middle East and North Africa Economic Summit. He was appointed Director-General of Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) in 2006, and he became Chairman and CEO of OCP Group in 2008, when the company went public.

He was elected President of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) in June 2019, a global association of 480 fertilizer industry organizations from 68 countries, and a member of the Committee for Moroccan Development the same year. He was awarded the Frederick C. Hennie III prize in 1998 for his contributions to MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The New African Magazine named Mostafa one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2013, 2020, and 2022.

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