AfDB grants’ US$100mn loan to develop SMEs in Mauritius

Woman mauriThe AfDB loan aims to promote woman employment for the inclusive growth in Mauritius. (Image source: USAFRICOM/Flickr)The African Development bank (AfDB) has approved US$100mn loan for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Mauritius

The loan was approved through the AfDB’s public sector window to MauBank Holdings Ltd. in Mauritius.

According to AfDB, the grant aims to expand its SME business across sectors and foster private sector investments in a wide range of sectors, such as manufacturing, trade, agriculture, aquaculture, ICT and transport.

Through the support, MauBank projects an increase in its SME clients from 4,400 to 6,000, including 1,500 women and 300 youth enterprises by 2027. This will, in turn, allow these enterprises to expand their capacity, generate additional sales and grow business operations as well as employment, including for women and youth.

MauBank Holdings Ltd is wholly owned by the government of Mauritius, which commits to support MauBank to deliver its 10-Year SME master plan launched in 2017. The Master Plan is aligned with the AfDB’s High 5 agenda, one of them is to Industrialise Africa.

The Master Plan focuses on raising SMEs’ contribution to GDP from 40 to 52 per cent by 2026, while increasing SMEs’ share of national employment from 55 to 64 per cent.

There are more than 100,000 registered SMEs in Mauritius, which contribute approximately 40 per cent of GDP and employ more than 280,000 people. These firms operate across a wide range of sectors, including food and beverages, textiles, furniture, paper products, chemicals, rubber and plastic, handicrafts, pottery, jewellery, trade and commerce.

The AfDB loan is expected to contribute to gender equity and social inclusion, particularly benefitting female workers and entrepreneurs. According to the bank, some priority sectors of MauBank, such as agriculture, food processing, textile, handcraft and service sectors, have high potential for female employment.