Like finance ministers around the world, Renganaden Padayachy has been waking up late at night worrying about how he is going to keep the lights on given spiralling energy bills. The answer: a huge push into green energy. “By 2032, 60% of our energy production in the energy mix will come from renewables”, says Padayachy. “It is going to have a major impact on our trade balance”.
He is also hoping that in so doing, Mauritius will be able to become a hub of green energy expertise and innovation. And perhaps repeat a trick that it has already managed in various other sectors, including textiles and food processing, where the country gradually moved into higher and higher value niches.
“We were a poor country after independence… we got a report from a Nobel laureate saying this country was going to hit problems because it had no resources”, says Padayachy. “The only resources were the people, so development started with free education, with our welfare state.”