‘Mauritius will continue to fulfill its promise of delivering on the “Africa We Want” in line with the vision of the African Union Commission’s 2063 Agenda and work towards a common objective of creating a sustainable and inclusive environment to attract investment for Africa’s growth’.
This statement was made by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, this morning, on day two of the Africa Partnership Conference (APC) being held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava.
Other personalities present today included the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Board (EDB), Mr Ken Poonoosamy, and the Vice-Chairman of the EDB, Mr Issa Mohamad Soormally. As for the Secretary-General (SG) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mrs Rebeca Grynspan, she participated through videoconference.
In his address, the Minister highlighted that the two-day conference serves an opportune platform to cement the bond among APC countries in the pursuit to unify the continent and foster a conducive investment climate. “Government is taking purposeful strides in advancing the Mauritius for Africa Agenda and raise the country’s standing as an important economic hotspot for Africa,” he said.
The COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis compounded with high inflation have shaped investment decisions over the last decade and it is crucial to tap on the potential of Africa to propel the continent to greater heights, he pointed out.
The Financial Services Minister emphasised that Africa’s renewable energy opportunities are boundless in particular for solar, hydro and geothermal energy sources. The continent has around 65% of uncultivated, rich and fertile arable land; its population is expected to reach over two billion people by 2050; and consumer spending is estimated to reach USD 2.5 trillion by 2030, while business-to-business investments over USD 3.5 trillion in the same period, he indicated. A shift in investment to Africa’s booming consumer market where investments can find long-term value is essential, he said.
Minister Seeruttun, moreover, observed that the Mauritius International Financial Centre is key to driving quality foreign direct investments in the continent adding that Mauritius contributes around 9% of overall foreign investment into Africa.
He also elaborated on the exit of Mauritius from the FATF list in 2020 and affirmed that the country will work towards sustaining these reforms and ensuring the effectiveness of the measures undertaken to promote the jurisdiction as a destination of high repute as well as guide African countries to implement the FATF recommendations.
The Financial Services Minister reiterated Government’s pledge to continue to play a decisive and impactful role to unlock Africa’s multibillion-dollar investment opportunities.
As for UNCTAD’s SG, she emphasised the need to attract big market players and massive investment in the African continent to drive Africa’s growth progress in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
For his part, the Vice-Chairman of the EDB stated that Mauritius with its robust financial system has established itself as a jurisdiction founded on good governance and transparency, thus creating a favourable environment for investment. For him, it is imperative for the public and private sector to create a favourable climate and attract capital by leveraging on technology to drive sustainable development across the continent while enhancing the quality of lives of African people.