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AfricaMoney | August 19, 2017

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US holds out Mauritius as shining example of financial transparency to African leaders

US holds out Mauritius as shining example of financial transparency to African leaders

Mauritius was cited as an outstanding example by President Obama where structures to ensure financial transparency are well established. (Image: File Pic/ Official State Photo by Lawrence Jackson from 2009)

During a meeting of African Heads of State and Government led by US President Barack Obama in Washington on August 6, 2014, Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam advised African leaders to take Mauritius as a shining example of financial transparency.

He exhorted his fellow heads of state and government to set up transparent legal structures in their respective countries in order to ensure a steady stream of investments.

Following Prime Minister Ramgoolam’s speech, President Obama also stressed that Africa will be able to achieve a growth in investments on the back of transparency and legal guarantees because, in the absence of such safeguards, companies are not willing to make investment in the region.

Here, Mauritius was cited as an outstanding example by President Obama where structures to ensure financial transparency are well established.

The Mauritian Prime Minister went on to stress that legal structures have been set up in the island economy to ensure transparency and guarantee property rights.

Further, in an attempt to reassure investors, the island has maintained its recourse to the UK Privy Council, which has created a robust and transparent investment environment.

Also, together with the participation of the International Arbitration Court in Hague, Mauritius has set up an arbitration centre with the aim of allowing parties to resolve any dispute relating to economic activities.

In addition, to better regulate the flow of investments, Mauritius has signed agreements with at least 35 jurisdictions.

Ramgoolam added that it is crucial to establish structures of transparency to fight against tax fraud as well as the flow of funds linked to terrorism in African countries, and he made reference to the decision of Mauritius and India to share information on investors.

Besides, the latter recalled that Mauritius was the first African country to sign the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the United States, which aims at ensuring transparency in investment, and he requested African countries to take similar initiatives to improve their standing with investors.

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