Mauritius - The Wealthiest Country in Africa
Mauritius has surpassed South Africa as the wealthiest country in Africa on the back of its many initiatives and policies to attract investors. According to the latest report by New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank, the average wealth per person (wealth per capita) in the country amounts to just over $30,000 as at June 2021, which is well above 2nd placed South Africa ($11,000).
Over the past 10 years (2007 to 2017), the total wealth held in Mauritius has risen by 195% (in US$ terms), making it the fastest growing wealth market in Africa and one of the top 3 fastest growing worldwide over this period.
The country has built up a solid financial sector, specialising in offshore banking, fund management and private banking. When combined with an appealing tax regime, secure ownership rights, and a relatively low barrier to gaining permanent residency, it’s no surprise over 4,400 high net worth individuals (people with a net worth over US$1 million) have made it ‘home’.
According to Africa Wealth Report, the possible reasons for Mauritius high wealth per Capita are as follows :-
- Safety - Mauritius was recently rated by New World Wealth as the safest country in Africa, along with Namibia and Botswana. Notably, safety is one of the key drivers of wealth growth in a country.
- Ease of doing business in the country - Mauritius ranks 1st in Africa and 13th worldwide in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report.
- A thriving and growing financial services sector
- A fast-growing local financial services sector and stock market (SEMDEX)
- Strong High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) growth - a large number of wealthy individuals (HNWIs) have moved to this jurisdiction over the past decade. In addition, many locally born HNWIs have been created as the economy has grown. Mauritius is now home to around 4,400 HNWIs, compared to 2,500 HNWIs a decade ago.
- Secure ownership rights. Ownership rights are very strong in Mauritius, which encourages locals and foreigners to invest in property and businesses in the country
- Low taxes which encourage business formation and appeal to retirees. Notably, there is no inheritance tax or capital gains tax in Mauritius
- Low level of government regulation in the local business sector
- Well-developed banking system and stock exchange
The growth projections for Mauritius are strong. It is expected to experience wealth growth of 80% over the next decade (to 2030). This will make it one of the five fastest growing high-income markets in the world over this period, along with Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Malta. By 2030, HNWI (high net worth individuals with a net worth over US$1 million) numbers in Mauritius are expected to reach just over 7,800 compared to 4,400 currently.