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September 2014 - Capitalising Africa's Growth

Dear Valued Investors,

Market volatility, economic unpredictability and shifting investment trends compel us to anchor the future of our financial and investment platform in a robust global environment.

Our fourth edition of the Private Equity Mauritius Conference held on 25th and 26th September has reinforced BOI’s initiative while confirming international interest for this forum, especially with the pertinence of the theme “Capitalising Africa’s Growth”. However, our deliberations transcended the mere factor of growth to prod into the social impact of investments and their incidence on the quality of life of the peoples who are the recipients of funds for development.

There is a consensus that our endeavour to tackle poverty alleviation, social housing, education and climate change will be the gauge to measure the success of all our financial enterprises. The USD 93 billion required annually for infrastructure development in Africa are of such magnitude that funding from private equity firms will not be sufficient to even make a dent in the economic environment. Therefore, the role and involvement of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), and the prioritising of social and impact investments remain key features on our agenda. The inputs from DFIs and SWFs, rather than mere private equity, to mitigate risks and strengthen the investment environment will give a new dimension to infrastructure projects on the continent.

Besides, efficient legislation and service providers are required to achieve our objectives. In this undertaking, Mauritius is well positioned to act as a long-term enabler for the following reasons, namely its network of DTAAs, its recognition on the OECD white list and its governance, amongst others.

In fact, our rank in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) 2014 is a confirmation of the leadership role we play. Mauritius comes out first in the IIGA for the eighth consecutive year. Among the 52 countries rated by the Foundation, Mauritius scored the highest overall mark of 81.7 points. The country is looked up to as a trend setter and an example to follow.

In this issue, we also give you an overview of the fourth edition of the Private Equity Mauritius Conference as well as an interview of Mr Terry Smith, founder and CEO of Fundsmith. He shares the reasons that have prompted his group to choose Mauritius as their international financial services platform.

Finally you will be apprised of our plea to business angels so that innovative entrepreneurs may receive the vital funding, the monitoring and guidance they urgently need to see the materialisation of their business dreams.

We wish you an enjoyable reading.

Ken Poonoosamy
Managing Director

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