Mauritius and Senegal: economic growth vs. global warming

The Africa 2018 Forum was recently held in Paris. This meeting dedicated to investors in Africa brought together around a hundred senior executives and business leaders.

Rudy Casbi

The time is ripe for optimism among investors. Positive economic growth figures estimated at more than 3% give entrepreneurs a smile, “ the attractiveness of investment in Africa is growing, » says Alain Vilgrain, president of the French Investors Council for Africa. For the 2018 edition, a dozen round tables were planned, the subjects of which were discussed around the central theme, “climate issues: what business opportunities in Africa? ». This crucial issue is one of the major challenges for inclusive and sustainable growth on the African continent. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 240 million young Africans are already suffering from hunger. An increase of 1° in 2050 will increase this figure by 25%. According to this institute, child stunting among children through malnutrition could reduce the GDP of concerned African countries between 2 and 16%.

Senegal and the problem of Saint-Louis

Drought is not the only challenge facing the continent. Combating the erosion of maritime coasts and the risk of coastal flooding are also priorities. During his recent visit to Senegal, Emmanuel Macron the French head of state travelled with his Senegalese counterpart, Macky Sall to the commune of Saint-Louis. This coastal town is gradually disappearing, forcing the inhabitants to leave the region. Faced with this reality, Emmanuel Macron has pledged to give 15 million euros towards the construction of dams through the French development agency, AFD.

Mauritius saved by its fiscal policy

Senegal is not the only state in this case. Mauritius is just as concerned. This island located on the Indian Ocean was also the country of honour for the Africa Forum 2018 edition. « Mauritius has seen many entrepreneurs specializing in combating global warming set up in Mauritius,” explains Heerun Ghurburrun, director of the Paris office of the Economic Development Board – an institute responsible for attracting foreign investors to Mauritius. « The objective of the fight against global warming – relating to our needs – is not the only reason for Mauritius’ attractiveness,” he explains . He continues: »Our strong point remains our tax policy. If you are an executive Mauritian living abroad and returning home, you are exempt from taxes for 10 years, “ he argues.  This tax policy is also advantageous for those who are not Mauritian. The local law provides for a reduction of charges and taxes in the case of investments up to 100,000 euros on the island. Result: According to the latest Doing Business ranking, Mauritius ranked 25th among the countries where the environment is most conducive to commercial business.

Rudy Casbi
Crédit photo : Port-Louis, capitale de l’île Maurice crédit DR

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