Africa Partnership Conference Fosters Sustainable and Inclusive Development

The Africa Partnership Conference (#APC2023) took place at the InterContinental Hotel in Mauritius from 2 to 3 October 2023. The focus of this edition was on “Sustainable and Inclusive Development” through “Unity in Partnership”.

Mauritian Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy, #AfCFTA Secretary-General Wamkele Mene, Indian Economic Advisory Council Member Sanjeev Sanyal, UK Trade Envoy Andrew Selous, and other eminent personalities delivered keynote speeches or took part in panel discussions. Nearly 500 participants from government, private sector and civil society coming from 30 countries attended the conference.

APC Panel Discussion on Sustainable Development in Africa

Minister Padayachy emphasized the unparalleled opportunities presented by the economic integration of the African continent under the #AfCFTA. It is evident that unity and partnership are the cornerstones to realize the potential of the huge African single market.

Mauritius is acting as the financial gateway to Africa. As a matter of fact, several Development Finance Institutions (#DFI) and institutional investors — such as British International Investment (BII), Dutch Development Bank (FMO), German Credit for Reconstruction (KfW), Norfund, Proparco, GroFin — have set up regional offices in the Mauritius jurisdiction to manage funds targeted at the African continent.

In the same vein, Secretary-General Mene spoke passionately about the #AfCFTA as the key instrument for the economic uplifting of Africa. He sees intra-Africa trade playing a pivotal role in the future development of Africa. However, many institutional reforms and trade barriers would need to be ironed out in order to bring about prosperity across Africa. For instance, the Pan-African Cross-Border Payment and Settlement System is already operational with 50 banks using it across Africa.

Advisor Sanyal highlighted that the success of India is based on reforms to improve efficiency and encourage entrepreneurship. Taking inspiration from the meteoric rise of India, he put forward the urgent need to reform the Country Credit Rating system which is biased against Africa and other developing countries. Due to inadequate risk and credit assessments, African countries are crippled by poor ratings which put capital out of reach.

Signature of Cooperation MOU Among Mauritius Ministry of Finance, AFD and Expertise France

Special Envoy Selous indicated that one of the focus areas of the UK is in Climate Finance to ease the #GreenTransition. He also pointed out that the City of London remains a great place where investments can be mobilized for the development of Africa. He made it a point to invite the participants to the UK-Africa Investment Summit which is scheduled to take place in London from 23 to 24 April 2024.

The Chairperson of the Mauritius Economic Development Board Hemraj Ramnial invoked the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela to build “The Africa We Want.” Recently at the #G20 Summit, the African Union (#AU) became a permanent member during the Indian Presidency at the initiative of PM Modi. As a reputable regional #IFC, Mauritius is working to close the financing gap for Africa to move closer to the goals defined by the #AU in its #Agenda2063.

During the #APC2023, the Mauritian Ministry of Finance signed a cooperation MOU with the French Development Agency (AFD) and Expertise France to promote responsible economic development in line with #SDG. Moreover, the Mauritius EDB signed another MOU with the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) to foster investment in innovation and #digitalization.

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