Mauritius finance minister Xavier Duval, has called on Africans to lend their support for re-authorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

He made this call for action on the occasion of the US-Africa Investment Forum Dinner with the theme ‘Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness in the new frontier’, which was held on 5 May 2014.

Incidentally, the AGOA significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

“Mauritius is a strong supporter and believer in the effectiveness of joint regional integration,” the finance minister noted.

The island economy has developed a robust Africa strategy to support entrepreneurs that seek to expand business operations into the African region, commented Duval.

“With a view to boosting trade in Africa, the Mauritian Government is working on providing a subsidy of 25 percent of the freight cost on containers exported to all countries in Africa except South Africa and Madagascar. This will be up to a maximum of $300 per container,” the finance minister said.

“The Export Credit Guarantee Insurance scheme for exports to Africa is being renewed. It offers a 50 percent subsidy on the cost of credit guarantee insurance by the government to enhance the role of Mauritius as a gateway to Africa,” he added.

Duval also highlighted that six high level conferences will be held by the Board of Investment across the continent to showcase investment opportunities in Africa.

Some leading African companies which attended the US-Africa Investment Forum were the Biege Group, Ghana, Cal Bank Ghana, Ibafon Oil, Nigeria, Energia Group, Orlean Invest/Intels Group, Chrome Group, Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, Agricultural Bank of Ghana, Standard Bank of South Africa and a host of other institutional investors.

The event recorded attendance from nationals of 14 countries covering the US, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, China, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Saudi-Arabia, Cameroun, Tanzania, Angola, South Korea and the Dominican Republic.

The keynote address for the evening was delivered by the Ambassador of Mauritius to the United States of America, H.E, Somduth Soborun who represented the Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius, Xavier Luc Duval.

Meanwhile, Duval received the Special Commendation Award from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, USA in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the macro-economic stability, growth and national prosperity of Mauritius and the creation and expansion of economic development opportunities for Africans.

The award ceremony was held on 5 May 2014 on the margins of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas. On the same occasion, VPM Duval also received the Southern African Economic Development Champion Award from the African Leadership Magazine.

Other recipients of this award include: the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, the President of Sierra Leone, Bai Ernest Koroma and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mukhtar Ramalan.

The US-Africa Investment Forum Dinner with the theme ‘Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness in the new frontier’ was held on 5 May 2014. (Image: African Leadership Magazine)

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