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Bank Group Approves Mauritius’ 2009-2013 Country Strategy Paper

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Tunis, 9 September 2009 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday, 9 September 2009 in Tunis approved Mauritius’ Country Strategy Paper (CSP), which presents the Bank’s support program for the country from 2009 to 2013.

The CSP was prepared within the context of an economic and financial crisis. As part of its recent reforms, the Mauritian government built a strong economy resilient to external shocks. But the recent financial crisis and global economic conditions had adverse effects particularly on the traditional sectors of the economy particularly, tourism, textiles and financial services. Accordingly, after the progress observed over the last three decades when real GDP growth averaged 6% and nearly 5% over the past three years, it fell to 2.9% in 2008/2009.
The paper focuses on the government's development strategy, inspired by "Vision 2020: The National Long-Term Perspective Study” This vision focuses on the development of low-wage and labor-intensive exports that require advanced skills, higher value-added and knowledge-based products.

Under the Bank Group’s 2008-2012 medium-term strategy, the CSP conforms to the operational priority of increasing external competitiveness through the promotion of key infrastructure and the integration of countries in regional and international trade. It also calls for the promotion of stronger private sector and the development of human capital through improved public sector and basic services.

This CSP articulates the Bank’s proposed engagement across two pillars. The first pillar aims at reducing structural bottlenecks to competitiveness and trade in order to ensure sustained long-term growth with emphasis on trade integration. The second pillar deals with enhanced public sector efficiency and basic social service delivery with a view to sustaining and consolidating institutional reforms and policies.

The first pillar of the Strategy provides for a container port terminal expansion, a road construction project and the construction of a wind power farm. It also provides for a grant to the Regional Multidisciplinary Center of Excellence as well as technical assistance for the mid-term review of the information and telecommunication sector master plan. The second pillar comprises four operations including a multisector budget support program, two grants to prepare sectoral strategies on gender and sanitation as well as the extension of an ongoing sanitation project.

During the implementation of the CSP, the Bank Group will enhance dialogue and coordination of the implementation of the institution’s projects in the country with development partners by transferring the Country Economist to the field.

By end-2008, cumulative Bank Group assistance to Mauritius reached UA 180 million net, with 66% of the amount coming from the AfDB window, 2.4% from the African Development Fund (ADF), 1.6% from the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF), and 30% from the private sector window. There were 26 approved operations, four of which are ongoing. The total amount of the net active portfolio as of June 2009 was UA 28 million

* 1 UA Units of Account) = 1.6606 US$ as at 02/09/2009

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