‘Ocean Economy’ in Mauritius Could Pave the Way to Economic Stability



Ocean tourism is a driving force of the Mauritius economy; due to a slowdown in the sector, government is exploring new ways of utilizing the ocean and its resources. 

The tourism sector in Mauritius has developed rapidly over the past decade and is currently a major contributor to economic growth on the island, accounting for up to 11% of total GDP. In the wake of the global financial crisis, tourism in Mauritius has slowed down, inciting fear in a small nation that has become accustomed to steady growth rates. In response to this slow down, Prime Minister Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam plans to create an ‘ocean economy’ aimed at tapping into the vast potential of the available ocean resources.

The term ‘ocean economy’ implies the strategic development of a variety of marine related industries. Business opportunities in this field can be grouped into five clusters: marine services (marine tourism and marine pharmaceuticals); petroleum, minerals, and ocean energies; fisheries and aquaculture; seaport related activities; and deep ocean water applications. There has already been some development in the marine pharmaceutical sector. Advanced research on marine sponges has shown these organisms could potentially be used in drugs for cancer treatment; there has also been an ongoing search for eight marine organisms known to be beneficial in pharmaceutical products and valuable to the industry as a whole. Plans for a pump that would cycle cold deep water to cool buildings are also gaining momentum. The project aims at reducing carbon emissions on the island and reducing the environmental impact of the country. In general, the plan for an ocean economy will ideally restore economic growth, diversify the economy, and protect it from future external fluctuations.

Environmentalists and animal rights activists have voiced concerns over the effect of increased resource pressure on the health of the ocean ecosystem. The Mauritian government has responded by emphasizing their sustainable approach towards the development of the ‘ocean economy’. Mauritius has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a law that demands the protection and preservation of the marine environment. If Mauritius can utilize this vast resource in a sustainable manner, it may prove to be a winning strategy to consolidate an already strong economy.


For more details: http://travel.cnn.com/could-mauritius-ocean-economy-be-future-island-states-854421?hpt=hp_bn5


IMF Upgrades Botswana’s Growth Forecast

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO), released on 9 October 2012, projects that Botswana’s real GDP will grow by 3.8 per cent this year; this is an increase from April’s WEO, which predicted 3.3 per cent growth. The October WEO expects inflation in the range of 7.5 per cent and the 2012 current account balance to be a positive 3.9 per cent of GDP, reflecting strong exports of goods and services.

However, the WEO also reported several threats to Botswana’s continued economic growth. Through trade, the economy is strongly linked to South Africa, which provides over 70 per cent of the country’s goods. This is problematic for Botswana due to South Africa’s close ties with the crisis-ridden Euro area.

Furthermore, the IMF reported that the risk of higher food prices to net food importers like Botswana would erode savings the national and local levels. Finally, the IMF warned that a prolonged slowdown in China   – a major market for Botswana’s copper, nickel and coal – could adversely affect GDP and employment figures.

To avoid unnecessary damage to the domestic economy the IMF recommends that Botswana continue strengthening policy buffers and preparing contingency plans to deal with any economic downturn.

On a positive note the Pula Fund, one of the country’s key sources of protection from external market shocks, has made strong gains following its precipitous decline during the global recession, recovering from P43.5 billion at the end of 2009 to P55.6 billion in July 2012.



Nigeria: President Obama Praises the Country’s Economic Development

The US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum, hosted by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDOA), has been taking place in Washington, D.C.  On August 27th, Ambassador Eunice Reddick spoke on behalf of President Obama praising the economic growth of the country and encouraging the continued cooperation between the US and Nigeria. The United States has actively aided Nigeria in further solidifying the country’s democratic institutions and free trade mechanisms, particularly through the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The speeches made at the US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum confirmed that the future of the relationship between the two countries will continue to be strong and mutually beneficial. In particular, there was mention that the US would provide aid to strengthen the agricultural sector in Nigeria through improved infrastructure and technology. This is of particular importance since approximately 70% of the Nigerian population is employed through agriculture. The US has also confirmed its commitment to helping the energy sector in Nigeria prosper through a focus on private investment.

Nigeria is clearly still developing economically, but it has shown clear signs of progress that have been noticed by the United States. This recognition of Nigeria as a future economic powerhouse can only further help the country realize its full potential.
link to the article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201208280171.html

President Goodluck Jonathon and President Barack Obama

Tanzania: From Least Developed Country to Middle Income

Tanzania Minister for Industry and Trade Dr. Abdhallah Kigoda has high hopes that the country will move to the middle income status. He hopes Tanzania can achieve this by improving industries, trading with partner states, and finding market access for their products.

Kigoda made these statements during the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation day in Dar es Salaam last week, and wanted to assure the private sector that he recognized their contribution toward the national economy. Kigoda spoke of the benefits of the commitment by the private sector and the  government in this time of economic growths. The overall goal of private and public support seemed to be attracting investment to Tanzania to drive economic growth.

Kigoda also spoke of the need for the private and public sectors to work together, and trust each other. If the private sector trusted the government more, they could work together as one and have a stronger voice on development issues.

The idea here seems to be a good one, and cooperation within the economic sector is important for any type of growth in the future. This will be particularly attractive to investors- a public sector that is stable with the support of private sector companies would be much more likely to receive the investment that Tanzania needs to drive economic growth into the next class.