COMESA makes Mauritius its third bank hub in Africa
The President and CEO of the PTA Bank, Mr Admassu Tadesse looks on as Mauritius’ Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Xavier-Luc Duval inaugurates its third regional hub in Africa, Source: Government of Mauritius
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Trade and Development Bank made its Mauritian foray on September 30, making the island nation its third regional hub for business and investment-related activities.
The bank’s advent in Mauritius is in line with the Africa strategy of the government to attract more regional institutions to Mauritius and transform the island nation into a regional financial centre.
The office at the Blue Tower in Ebène was inaugurated by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Xavier-Luc Duval in the presence of the bank’s President and CEO, Admassu Tadesse. The inauguration of COMESA’s third regional hub follows closely on the footsteps of the host agreement for its establishment being signed in July between Duval and Tadesse.
Commonly known as the PTA Bank, COMESA’s banking entity is already present in Kenya and Zimbabwe. It is designed for entrepreneurs undertaking development investments and carrying out trade activities that drive the economy within the COMESA region.
Several international organisations are already operating in Mauritius courtesy its reputation for good governance, financial and political stability and sound legal structures. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Africa Training Institute has till date trained 70-odd participants while the IMF’s Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center South (AFRITAC South) has trained around 420 participants in the region. Besides, the Regional Multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence also caters to training needs in the region.
The PTA Bank will use Mauritius as a strong platform to advance regional economic integration and growth through trade and investment in the region. Its activities will focus on a five-year corporate plan to reposition itself as a tripartite bank. It seeks to expand its membership and sharpen its operational strategy for its recent funding and capital markets transactions.
Headquartered in Burundi, the PTA Bank was established in 1985 to facilitate export and import trade flows from, to and within the COMESA region. The bank has provided around $10 billion for the financing of trade and socio-economic investments in the region till date.
Source: Government of Mauritius
The PTA Bank was established on November 6, 1985 to serve the member countries of the Preferential Trade Area for the Eastern and Southern African States (PTA). While the PTA was later transformed into the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the bank still continues to be called the PTA Bank.
Although the bank is a COMESA institution, its membership is open to both non-COMESA States as well as institutional shareholders. The bank’s membership base covers the following member states: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Peoples’ Republic of China became the first non-regional sovereign state to join the membership of the bank in 2000. The African Development Bank (ADB) is its only institutional shareholder.
The bank’s mission is to be at the forefront of providing development capital, through customer focused and innovative financing instruments backed by competitively priced funds.
Source: Company Website