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1 Mar 2024 • Conference

7th Pension Funds and Alternative Investments Africa Conference

The 7th edition of the Pension Funds and Alternative Investments Africa Conference was held on Thursday at the Intercontinental Resort, Mauritius. It was attended by 200 delegates from 25 countries including Angola, Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The theme of this year’s edition was ‘Reshaping African markets: Deciphering the Conundrum for Growth’, whereby the main focus was on exploring the economic growth and potential of the African pension funds and alternative investment market. The EDB, as an institutional partner to the organisers, namely AMEtrade from the UK was joined by the Economic Council for Africa, the Trade and Development Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation.

In his speech, Mr Ken Poonoosamy, Chief Executive Officer at the Economic Development Board highlighted on the challenges that the financial market has been facing over the past two years including the equity markets and the crisis that it has undergone. However, he mentioned, despite these challenges, the alternative investment industry as a whole has remained relatively resilient. Mr Poonoosamy pointed out that according to Preqin Global Alternatives Reports, the alternative investment industry Assets Under Management is forecasted to grow at an average of 9.3% from 2021-2027. This is higher than the projected 4 to 6% growth for the traditional investment.

“Against this landscape, Mauritius continues to be a fund domiciliation centre of choice and boasts around one thousand funds, a collective Assets under Management in excess of USD 130 billion and a sizeable number of them from development finance institutions and sovereign wealth funds.  A number of global alternative asset managers have also set up their offices in Mauritius.”, he added.

Along with the CEO of the EDB the other keynote speakers iterated that with the current geo-political storms in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (China-Taiwan/USA tensions), the persistent high inflations in key economies, exchange rate pressures and rising defaults across developing markets have substantially raised the cost of finance. Thus, the opportunity for Private Equity Funds (PEF) and Private Debt Funds (PDF) to make inroads in substituting traditional financing is on the rise across the continent.

Mr Poonoosamy concluded by emphasising on the role of Mauritius as an ideal hub connecting global investors with opportunities in the Continent, by facilitating cross-border investments through the Mauritius International Financial Centre. (Mauritius IFC).