Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – Mauritian Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade minister Nandcoomar Bodha on Wednesday said “Africa is the rising niche market and the Mauritian enterprises should explore the various investment opportunities that the continent can provide ranging from technology to food security.”
Speaking in Port-Louis at a national workshop on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) National Response Strategy, Mr Bodha said “the future is in Africa as the continent has huge economies such as Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana and Egypt, among others, which represent huge potential for investment.”
“The Government is striving towards developing the Africa strategy and that on this score, a sum of around Rs 10 billion to Rs 12 billion has been earmarked for investment projects in Africa”, he emphasised.
Botha announced that Mauritius will invest shortly in a warehousing project in Maputo, Mozambique, followed by Mombasa. He told local entrepreneurs that the connectivity issue is being worked out to ease doing business in Africa.
Mr Bodha called upon member-countries to propose their tariff offers at the earliest and to ratify the AfCFTA treaty.
“With the coming into operation of the AfCFTA, both the public and private sectors should collaborate towards initiating projects in Africa by opening new markets and to use the funds earmarked by the Government for such projects”, he said.
According to the minister, the African market is an emerging one and with the setting up of the AfCFTA, all member-countries will start reaping the trade benefits.
The Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritius and Seychelles, Mr Vincent Degert, said trade is one of the strategic and traditional area of mutual interest for the EU and African Union cooperation under the EU-Africa Strategy.
“Over 72 billion euros has been allocated by the EU to support investment in Africa”, he indicated, recalling that the EU released its new strategy for Africa in March this year, with focus on five partnership areas that are green transition, digital transformation, sustainable growth and jobs, peace and governance and migration and mobility.
One official from the ministry said that the African Continental Free Trade Area National Response Strategy has been developed with technical support from the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the European Union to help African Member States implement the AfCFTA agreement to leverage business opportunities in Africa.
A total of 54 countries have, so far, signed the AfCFTA agreement with 30 countries having ratified it. Mauritius was the fifth country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ratify the agreement in September 2019.
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