Africa-Press – Mauritius. The Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, had a high-level working session, this afternoon, at Renganaden Seeneevassen Building in Port-Louis, with a delegation from the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the context of the launch of a Feasibility Study for the setting up of a Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SPAZ) in Wooton, Mauritius.
The delegation comprised the Regional Sector Manager in AfDB’s South Africa Country Office, Mr Neeraj Vij, and the Principal Agricultural Economist, Dr Chukwuma Ezedinma.
The purposes of the establishment of a SPAZ in Mauritius are to increase production and competitiveness of the Non-Sugar Sector, better help integrate the country in the regional markets, and leverage opportunities provided by inter-African trade. The setting-up of the Zone followed an assessment of the Non-Sugar Sector carried out by the AfDB wherein a feasibility study was recommended.
Moreover, the AfDB conveyed its approval for a Middle-Income Country Technical Assistance Fund (MIC TAF) Grant of approximately US$ 143,927 to cover the various components of the SPAZ Project, namely a full Feasibility Study and the Master Plans; the presentation of the Feasibility Report and Master Plans to the Government and stakeholders; as well as project coordination and management.
In a statement after the working session, Mr Vij affirmed that the support of the AfDB to the Non-Sugar Sector in Mauritius was discussed with Mr Gobin, and that the Institution looked forward to strengthen the ecosystem in this sector.
He averred that there was expectation for the Feasibility Study to be brought up in line with the Budget 2022-2023 process so that the SPAZ Project could be eventually launched by the third quarter of this year.
It is noted that the delegation from AfDB will be conducting a two-day technical workshop on 16 and 17 February 2022 regarding the development of the SPAZ, including the programme for the Feasibility Study.