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Mauritius Intends To Position The Country As A Sustainable International Financial Centre, States PM

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Mauritius intends to develop an Environmental Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) framework to position the country as a sustainable international financial centre, stated the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava. He was delivering his keynote address at the opening of the 17th Edition of the African Economic Conference (AEC) held from 09 to 11 December in Mauritius. The AEC 2022 is focusing on the theme Supporting Climate-Smart Development in Africa.

The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy; the Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Professor Kevin Urama; the Assistant Administrator, Regional Director for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa; and the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Dr Hanan Morsy, also addressed the audience during the opening ceremony.

Speaking on the commitment of Government as regards climate change mitigation, the Prime Minister pointed out that the obligations of every climate regulatory agreement are being fulfilled. To this end, he enumerated some of the key measures comprising mobilisation of considerable resources since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015; a sum of 150 million USD provided to support climate agenda; revamping of the National Environment Climate Change Fund in 2018 with the provision of 50 million USD in support of flood mitigation measures such as the rehabilitation of degraded coastal zone and solid waste management.

Pravind Jugnauth being welcomed by Renganaden Padayachy at 17th Edition of the African Economic Conference
Pravind Jugnauth being welcomed by Renganaden Padayachy at 17th Edition of the African Economic Conference

Minister Padayachy further spoke of the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Mauritian economy whereby the country suffered a contraction of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 15 % in 2020. Expressing a positive outlook of the economy, he indicated that in 2022 the GDP growth will stand at 7.2 % and beyond 5 % in 2023 while emphasising that in 2022 the GDP will surpass the historic mark of Rs 550 billion and investments will exceed Rs 105 billion.

The Vice-President of the AfDB, for his part, called for a collaborative approach to strengthen Africa’s response to climate change and its ripple effects. The need for concretise actions and solutions was highlighted by Mr Urama. He further added that it is time for Africa to become self-sufficient in terms of producing its own food and developing green infrastructure.

Regional Director Eziakonwa from the UNDP underlined the importance to protecting the planet and to supporting the people in Africa with climate-smart solutions in the face of multiple economic shocks. For her part, Deputy Executive Secretary Morsy of the UNECA observed that the conference will provide an opportunity to synthesise the discussions made at COP 27 and propose recommendations to support climate-smart development for Africa.

17th Edition of the African Economic Conference
17th Edition of the African Economic Conference

17th Edition of the African Economic Conference

Organised by the AfDB, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the UNDP, the Conference has brought together around 200 participants namely policymakers, climate experts, representatives from the private sector and researchers to discuss the challenges posed by climate change, identify opportunities and strategies for regional member countries to build resilience and transition to low-carbon development pathways. It will also provide a platform to reflect on the ways countries can actively rebuild better from the COVID-19 pandemic with climate-smart solutions.

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