The Economic Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning & Development (MOFEPD) will host the Africa Partnership Conference (APC) on the 2nd and 3rd October 2023 at the Intercontinental Balaclava Fort, Mauritius.
The conference themed ‘Unity in Partnership: Enabling Sustainable & Inclusive Investment’ echoes with our objective and is testament to the role Mauritius can play in driving quality investments into Africa.
The Africa Partnership Conference (APC) is EDB’s flagship event, connecting project promoters from African countries, including Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), with venture capitalists, fund managers, DFIs, tax advisors, institutional investors and entrepreneurs. By fostering collaboration and facilitating insightful debates on crucial matters shaping Africa’s growth prospects, the APC aims to position Mauritius as a leading investment and trade hub in the region.
The Africa Partnership Conference serves as a platform for African leaders, business players and stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogues and collaborations aimed at fostering economic growth, sustainable development, and regional cooperation across the continent.
The Africa Partnership Conference will feature a diverse array of sessions covering critical topics such as regional trade, infrastructure development, technology, environmental sustainability, project financing and human capital investment. It is our conviction that through collaborative efforts and shared experiences, we can pave the way for a brighter future for the African continent.
- strengthen Mauritius as a prominent gateway for cross-border investments;
- reaffirm Mauritius’ jurisdiction, including its International Financial Centre, the Mauritius Freeport, and manufacturing capabilities, as a crucial asset in aiding Africa’s development and value chain progression;
- promote and showcase new and innovative products and services that can bridge Africa’s financing gap, including the upcoming ESG framework, financing of movable assets, VAITOS, VCC, and Fintech;
- leverage on the AfCFTA and other regional blocs like COMESA and SADC to boost intra-regional trade;
- create a matchmaking marketplace for African project promoters with fund and wealth managers domiciled in Mauritius; and
- facilitate networking opportunities between C-Level executives from key associations, institutions, and IPAs with local business operators
Panel 1: How to bolster Intra-Africa trade and enable investors to access and seize the huge market opportunities in Africa
Now that the AfCFTA has successfully finalized and addressed the soft barriers to trade, including removal of custom tariffs and a harmonization of rules of origin, this panel will address the major hindrances towards improving intra-regional trade.
Panel 2: Financing African Infrastructure Projects: Driving Investment, Development and Sustainable Growth in Africa
African states have demonstrated an average annual growth rate of 5% in the past two decades, but global institutional investors remain on the sidelines. Is there an overblown perception of risk when it comes to investing in Africa’s infrastructure?
Panel 3: Trade Financing as a Driver of Development in Africa
Trade remains a key driver of Africa’s social and economic development, despite the trade finance gap which is estimated to be around USD 81 billion by the African Development Bank. Various studies show that although trade finance is popular among banks in Africa, yet the participation rates continue to decrease. To unlock Africa’s potential and accelerate economic development there is a strong need to boost access to finance and facilitate trade. This session will explore the challenges & opportunities in making trade financing cost-effective and accessible across the continent.
Panel 1: Dissecting the path towards Sustainable Development and Prosperity in Africa (Miteeja)
As per the 2020 Annual Impact Investor Survey published by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), 43% of impact investors have funds allocated to Africa – more than any other emerging market region, while 52% of investors surveyed plan to expand their exposure across the continent in the next five years. This session aims to provide for a coordinated mechanism to chart the path towards fostering an enabling environment for inclusive and resilient investment across the African Continent.
Panel 2: Breaking through Africa’s 3% Glass Ceiling
Despite being blessed with over 30% of the global mineral reserves, 60% of the world’s untapped arable land and while being home to 17% of the world population & the fastest growing demography on the globe, Africa only attracts 3% of global FDI on average while African trade stands at below 3 % of global trade and Africa’s GDP is less than 3% of global GDP. This panel aims at exploring how IPAs as the vanguard of economic development for any country are addressing challenges amidst an ever-changing, uncertain, and complex global landscape. IPAs will demonstrate their relevance and how they are responding and adapting. It will provide insights into their strategies for addressing global changes and challenges that affect the attraction and targeting of Foreign Direct Investment projects in Africa.
Panel 3: Expanding footprint into Africa
While some large Mauritian conglomerates have already taken the bet of entering the African market, today we are also witnessing SMEs expanding into the continent to tap into the wealth of opportunities. Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic and exogenous factors such as the war in Ukraine, Mauritian companies consolidated their investments and continued to expand their footprint into Africa. According to the official statistics published by the BOM on 4th Aug 2023, Outward Direct Investment (ODI) swayed back to growth from MUR 10 billion in Q1 2022 to MUR 114 billion in Q1 2023, recording a 91% growth as compared to the same period last year. Africa remained the preferred outward investment destination for Mauritian domestic companies. This panel will bring together Mauritian entrepreneurs who will share their hands on experience in successfully venturing into the continent. It will also highlight the expertise and blueprint that Mauritius has developed to invest and expand in Africa.
Panel 4: The MIFC- Paving the way towards inclusive growth in Africa
Investment into Africa has grown in prominence, and this is substantiated by two major trends observed since the pandemic including growing investment appetite and increasing rate of return on African investment projects. According to UNCTAD Investment Trends Report, greenfield investment projects in Africa exhibited a double-digit growth rate of 36% from 2021-2022 giving a clear signal of investment appetite of businessmen targeting Africa. From a return perspective, projects in Africa are expected to yield anything between 12.5% to 30%, while similar projects undertaken in the rest of the world would generate between 3% – 10% if well executed. How can the Mauritius International Financial Centre position itself to support investors in implementing projects across the continent?
Please visit the website on https://event.apcmauritius.com/