The Bank of Mauritius is setting up an innovation center. This will be used to promote innovation and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies in the Mauritian banking sector.

The launch of the Bank of Mauritius innovation center will take place on September 4. This platform will facilitate brainstorming sessions, hackathons and exploratory programming sessions to move the industry forward. The innovation center will also have a regional aspect since it will benefit from the support of other central banks in the region. Harvesh Seegolam explains that they will share and solve their problems so that our region does not lag behind in terms of innovative practices and processes. The Governor of the Bank of Mauritius participated in the protocol part of the “Digital Finance in Africa” workshop. Organized by the Regional Center of Excellence and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the workshop took place at Le Meridien hotel on June 20.

“The innovation center is an initiative taken by several central banks around the world. We want to show that we have potential in Mauritius to come with solutions in the digital world to improve banking and financial services. Other governors in the region have been invited to join this initiative and use the Mauritius innovation hub to solve problems at the region level. In doing so, Mauritius will remain a leader in innovation and in the banking sector,” explained Harvesh Seegolam.

Digital currency

On the other hand, regarding innovations, after progress in its research for the implementation of a retail digital currency, the Bank of Mauritius launched a pilot project with a commercial bank in January. Harvesh Seegolam points out that a series of pilot projects is planned. “Subsequently, how the digital currency will be launched in Mauritius will be determined,” he explained.

BoM Act Amendment


The Bank of Mauritius Act will be amended to improve the operational independence of the banking regulator. The decisions of the Bank of Mauritius are taken independently, assures Harvesh Seegolam. During the crisis period, explains the BoM governor, the authorities and the Central Bank had to look in the same direction. “All central banks have done this without exception. Which does not mean that we have lost our independence.

It was the philosophy of the Central Bank,” he says. However, he adds, several central banks are analyzing how to further improve operations and strengthen laws that will push this independence further. A new BoM Act will be introduced soon. The Bank of Mauritius works and consults international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on this matter.

Return to normal for the currency market

Total FX inflows figures in 2023 compared to 2019 indicate a return to normalcy for the foreign exchange market, according to Harvesh Seegolam. The latter maintains that the level is more or less the same. After two years of crisis which influenced incoming currency figures, the beginning of this year, continues the governor, shows a gradual return to normal. The Bank of Mauritius monitors foreign exchange market operations on a daily basis and will intervene if necessary.

Debt and obligations


Dr Carmine Di Noia, director of finance and business at the OECD, concedes that debt is a major problem around the world. There is a significant amount of debt and bonds around the world, approximately one hundred trillion in sovereign bonds and corporate bonds. However, debt and bonds are not necessarily a negative issue. “The role of savings bonds is important, especially in times of crisis. We have entered a new era of monetary tightening. It is likely that central banks will no longer buy sovereign bonds,” he explains. Over the next three years, a large number of sovereign and corporate bonds will mature. Refinancing these debts will be difficult, fears Dr. Carmine Di Noia. “There will be an absorption problem. We must examine this question carefully. »

In numbers

Bank of Mauritius forecasts for 2024
Harvesh Seegolam: “Inflation at 4.9% will put us in the 2 to 5% range. This figure aligns with projections from the International Monetary Fund. The new monetary policy framework helps to reduce inflationary pressures in the country.”

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