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Hosting African Economic Conference Is An Honour For Mauritius – Minister

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Mauritius Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr. Renganaden Padayachy has expressed his excitement over the opportunity given to his country to host this year’s edition of the African Economic Conference (AEC).

The AEC is Africa’s leading forum for discussing the continent’s emerging challenges and opportunities and is jointly hosted by the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.

This year’s conference will be held in a hybrid format, with in-person delegates gathering in the coastal city of Balaclava, northwest of Mauritius. It will be held under the theme “Supporting Climate-Smart Development in Africa”.

Announcing the event at a press conference, the minister said the island nation is set to host the 2022 AEC from 9-11 December, adding that hosting such a high-profile event is truly a privilege and an honor for Mauritius.

Addressing the theme of AEC 2022, he referenced the World Risk Report 2021, which described Africa as the most vulnerable continent to climate disasters and Mauritius as highly exposed to the impacts.

The minister said the government is highly committed to accelerating the country’s green transformation process, targeting to generate 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“Sustainable growth and inclusive development do involve a cleaner, greener, and more climate resilient economy”, he said.
In his remarks, African Development Bank (AfDB) Deputy Director General for Southern Africa, Kennedy Mbekeani commended the government of Mauritius for agreeing to host this year’s AEC.

Mbekeani said AEC 2022 offers a platform for in-depth reflection on strengthening institutional capacities to develop climate-smart innovative mechanisms to bolster Africa’s resilience and the drive to switch to low-carbon development pathways.

“Water supplies and food production might be hampered by changing weather patterns. Africa’s most vulnerable regions are also among its most fragile due to their dependence on unimproved commodities and lack of economic variety”, he added.

According to him, creating climate-smart policies could become a driver of development across Africa, and investments in building resilience to climate change could have wider economic and social benefits.

He also highlighted the AfDB’s new Climate Change and Green Growth Policy and Strategy for 2021-2030, which aims to address climate financing disparities across Africa and strengthen the continent’s voice on climate change issues.

Experts have warned that most of Africa will suffer from extreme weather events, which have become more frequent and severe, causing damage to agriculture, tourism, cities, infrastructure, water, energy systems, and even the extractive sector.

Since its inception in 2006, the AEC has supported research, policy discussion, and knowledge sharing on issues affecting Africa. This year, Mauritius is expecting over 400 in-person attendees.

At the press conference were UNDP’s Senior Economist for Mauritius and Seychelles, Tony Muhumuza; the Advisor to African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Eric Ogunleye; the Bank’s AEC Task Manager, Adeleke Salami; and other senior government officials, including Deputy Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Vish Soondram.

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