POSITIONING MAURITIUS AS AN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CENTRE FOR AFRICA

Mauritius continues to play an important role in driving quality investments across the African continent. According to FDI Intelligence, it is estimated that total cumulative investments from Mauritius to Africa for 2012 & 2013 were approximately USD 3.47 billion. As a result, Mauritius was the 10th largest FDI source country for Africa in terms of project value for that period. This represented around 3.5% of total investment value made in Africa during this period.

It is in this context and with the aim of reaffirming the position of Mauritius as a leading financial and investment centre for Africa that the Board of Investment organized the 4th annual Private Equity Mauritius conference on the 25th and 26th September 2014. Themed ‘Capitalising Africa’s Growth’, the conference had a special focus on the evolving nature of investment needs of Africa, implications for its development and how best, as a regional financial centre of substance, Mauritius could act as a catalyst in this process.

Africa has reached a stage in its development process where the move from ‘Aid to Trade and Investment’ has become crucial. As the need for a defragmented Africa is strongly being felt among investors, the conference provided a key platform for discussions by some of the most active Development Finance Institutions (DFI), Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) and social and impact investors in the continent. Most of these players, including the IFC, the African Development Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the USA, the China.

Africa Development Fund as well as some of the leading foundations have already trusted Mauritius as their financial centre for their Africa- linked ventures.

The conference witnessed the participation of some 300 professionals, including more than 100 foreigners from 20 different countries. It regrouped some of the most respected speakers in the African private equity and investment sphere, including Dr Martyn Davies from Frontier Advisory, Terry Smith from Fundsmith, Anne-Marie Chidzero from Africap Microfinance and Gail Mwamba from Private Equity Africa, amongst others. Commenting on the conference, Terry Smith stated, “I made a lot of new contacts and gained useful insights into aspects of what is undoubtedly an area of significant growth, namely private equity investment in Africa”.

Establishing itself as a leading deal-making platform, the conference has allowed many African companies as well as upcoming Private Equity funds in the process of fund raising to connect with potential investors from the DFI, SWF and PE investors’ community. Moreover, it has equally been an excellent platform for some of the most active funds in Africa and other emerging regions to share their views on why they have chosen Mauritius to set up their full fledge front and back offices.
(Source: Board of Investment)