In line with its objective to support regional development, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved Mauritius’ Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2014-2018. The board of directors met in Tunis on Wednesday to finalise the bank’s strategic business plan in Mauritius for the five-year period.

Taking into account the strategic importance of Mauritius to the region and the bank, the paper recognises the country’s outstanding performance and strong economic fundamentals.

It also factors in the positive spillover effects of Mauritius’ economic development into the rest of the Sub-Saharan region through peer learning with countries on the mainland, with the AfDB playing a crucial catalytic role.

The CSP is designed to help Mauritius build its competitiveness and resilience to exogenous shocks so as to enhance the quality of growth and accelerate the country’s transition to a high income country from a middle income economy.

Given the bank’s widespread presence in Mauritius and its Middle Income Country (MIC) Trust Fund Grant facility which is targeted at MIC economies like Mauritius, the CSP would deepen the bank’s technical and knowledge advisory role in Mauritius.

The blueprint for the bank’s operations in the island economy is aligned to the government’s draft ten-year Economic and Social Transformation Plan and its three-year rolling Program Based Budget results framework.

Further, the CSP adheres to the parameters of the country’s Vision 2020 and is anchored on the African Development Bank’s Strategy 2013-2022 focusing on inclusive and green growth, which also promotes the concept of Maurice Ile Durable.

The strategy draws on the bank’s comparative advantage to support interventions in Mauritius under the two complementary pillars of building infrastructure and Public Private Partnerships as well as deepening skills and technology development.

Pillar 1 targets policy reform activities aimed at addressing bottlenecks in energy, transport and water and sanitation infrastructure. This would enable Mauritius to improve the quality and capacity of infrastructure so as to attract higher value-added investments, enhance the domestic private sector’s capacity to penetrate the regional market and improve public service delivery.

It would also promote a gradual transition to “green” growth by supporting the government, enhance resource use efficiency in the utilities sector, achieve policy clarity on the share of renewable energy in the national production mix, and reduce underground water pollution.

For its part, Pillar 2 focuses on actions and policy reforms that will help improve the quality and relevance of education, particularly higher education and Technical, Vocational Education and Training, as well as strengthen human capital. This would enable Mauritius to address the skills gap and enhance the country’s productivity and innovation capacity.

The group’s active portfolio in Mauritius at end April 2013 amounted to $678.6 million. The Competitiveness and Public Sector Efficiency Program budget support loan accounted for 99.74% of the total net commitment while four MIC Grants in the transport and governance sectors made up the remaining 0.26%.

Image: (African Bond Markets): Taking into account the strategic importance of Mauritius to the region and the bank, the paper recognizes the country’s outstanding performance and strong economic fundamentals.

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