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‘Mauritius is catalysing finance for Africa’ – Padayachy

By Nicholas Norbrook

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Posted on October 12, 2022 07:27

Mauritius Minister of Finance Renganaden Padayachy
Mauritius Minister of Finance Renganaden Padayachy (rights reserved)

Mauritius is the African poster child for development through trade; now it wants to take its experience back to the continent says Renganaden Padayachy, Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Development . In this in depth interview he calls for immigration to help boost Mauritius’s falling demography, and explains the unconventional policies used by the Central Bank in 2020 to save the hotel sector, and avoid sparking a run on the banks.

Like finance ministers around the world, Renganaden Padayachy has been waking up late at night worrying about how he is going to keep the lights on given spiralling energy bills. The answer: a huge push into green energy. “By 2032, 60% of our energy production in the energy mix will come from renewables”, says Padayachy. “It is going to have a major impact on our trade balance”.

He is also hoping that in so doing, Mauritius will be able to become a hub of green energy expertise and innovation. And perhaps repeat a trick that it has already managed in various other sectors, including textiles and food processing, where the country gradually moved into higher and higher value niches.

“We were a poor country after independence… we got a report from a Nobel laureate saying this country was going to hit problems because it had no resources”, says Padayachy. “The only resources were the people, so development started with free education, with our welfare state.”

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