Mauritius has great systems coordination and stakeholder representation: Report
Behind the industrial strategy of the island’s manufacturing sector lies a network of government and private sector institutions, notes the 2014 Economic Report on Africa in its Mauritius case study. (Image: FANA Broadcasting Centre)
‘Mauritius shows how high-level coordination failures can be overcome through the state’s dedication to strong representation of all stakeholders and explicit creation of systems coordination,’ states this year’s Economic Report on Africa, in one of its country case studies.
The report also reveals that ‘behind the industrial strategy of the Mauritian manufacturing sector lies a network of government and private sector institutions responsible for drafting policies, negotiating and fulfilling international agreements and elaborating export promotion programmes’.
The 2014 Report, under the theme Dynamic industrial policy in Africa: Innovative Institutions, Effective Processes and Flexible Mechanisms, has been co-produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission.
The report was presented during a seminar this morning at the National Assembly in Port Louis by Mr Hopestone Chavula, Economic Affairs Officer, Macroeconomic Policy Division, UNECA.
Other speakers were Foreign Affairs Minister Arvin Boolell, Enterprise Mauritius Chairman Amédée Darga and Mr Boodhoo, deputy director of the International Trade Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.
The event was organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade under the aegis of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Trade, in collaboration with the UNECA and the Joint Economic Council.
In his keynote address, Minister Boolell, said that Africa remains our hinterland despite a slight feeling of disappointment as, unfortunately not much is happening when it comes to moving the process at the level of regional organisations.
“The disappointment is also due to the fact that despite commitments given by heads of states that there would be a continental Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by 2015, it is a dream that is yet to become a reality,” he pointed out.
According to the Minister, setbacks on the African continent such as conflicts should not deter us from looking positively towards Africa.
“We need to be practical and pragmatic and this is what Mauritius is doing despite its limited resources by in fact mobilising these resources to be bullish on the African continent,” he said.
Minister Boolell also stated that when the issue of dynamic industrial policy in Africa is discussed, it is crucial to get macroeconomic fundamentals right, address sectoral issues and see what Africa has in abundance, and how to harness those resources for the benefit of one and all.
Written on the basis of eleven country case studies across the African continent, including that of Mauritius, the report calls on African countries to introduce credible industrial policies and promote effective industrial policy organizations to enhance the structural transformation of the continent.
According to the report, transforming Africa’s industrial landscape has failed partly because countries used industrial blueprints characterized by the lack of dynamism and high level coordination, as well as inadequate consultations with stakeholders, notably those of the private sector.
This year’s report builds on the previous work of the 2011 edition on the role of the state in economic transformation and last year’s report on leveraging Africa’s comparative advantages in commodities to industrialize.
Beyond an analysis of the continent’s industrialization problems, and based on the experience of industrializing countries in the global south, the report offers an institutional framework for designing and implementing industrial policy in Africa and recommends that governments with few resources should create “pockets of infrastructure” focused on sectoral or clustering needs of industrial expansion.