Mauritius to boost export of construction services to Africa
A half-day workshop to help contractors and consultants seize opportunities for construction in Africa was organized jointly by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and Enterprise Mauritius on September 26 at the Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes.
Anil Bachoo, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, highlighted the challenges that the construction industry is facing. Recently, Statistics Mauritius stated that the construction sector is expected to decline further by 9.4% after the contraction of 3.0% in 2012.
He mentioned that the industry was once contributing around 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing around 55,000 people. While the situation has deteriorated last year due to a number of factors, the government is leaving no stone unturned to give a new boost to the industry, he assured.
After a series of consultative exercises, the CIDB has come up with a Sector Strategy Paper which highlights the state of the construction industry, its weakness, its strengths and opportunities.
Bachoo said the government has endorsed the Strategy paper and a high level committee will monitor the implementation of the recommendations. He urged the participants not to rely exclusively on local demand, but to venture overseas. The minister pledged the government’s support to the participants in their endeavour to export their services.
Amédée Darga, chairperson, Enterprise Mauritius, urged contractors and consultants to take advantage of the African continent which is opening up to the world. He said that if participants have made up their minds to enter new ventures, this workshop would help them better understand how to capture and tap those opportunities.
According to African standards, Mauritian firms are considered too small to carry out big projects, he noted. Therefore, it is imperative that the firms engage into partnerships with local and international firms to make the most of the prospects available in Africa, he emphasized.
The CIDB is a statutory body formed to bridge the gap between the government and construction industry stakeholders. It encourages the participation of small and medium enterprises in the construction industry, besides implementing government policy in the construction industry, and regulating and registering construction works and service providers. The Enterprise Mauritius is similarly a collaborative partnership between industry and government that aims to help businesses in Mauritius expand into regional and international markets, and helps develop their internal capability to meet the challenges of international competition.
Source: Government of Mauritius