Mauritius Is The Fastest Growing Wealth Market In Africa, Ethiopia Second
The following table details the performance of HNWIs (millionaires) in selected African countries between the end of 2006 and the end of 2016. As reflected, Mauritius was the top performing African country for HNWIs during this period, with growth of 230%. Note: “HNWIs” also known as “millionaires” refer to individuals with wealth of US$1 million or more.
“This report confirms our findings that the African Continent will demonstrate encouraging growth in Wealth Creation. Mauritius is a lending hub for Offshore Financial Services and will receive this “Wealth Flow” for management and investment. We therefore expect Mauritius to be the biggest beneficiary of this developing trend. At AfrAsia we are constantly preparing to benefit from this possible “Business Growth”. We have a strategy in place to do just that and this gives us the confidence that we are on the right track,” stated Sanjiv Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer of AfrAsia Bank
The strong growth in millionaires in Mauritius has been assisted by:
- Strong economic growth.
- Migration – a large number of wealthy individuals have moved there over the past decade, especially from France and Southern Africa. We estimate that 280 millionaires have moved there from South Africa alone since 2006.
- A thriving and growing financial services sector, particularly in offshore banking, fund management and private banking.
- Automatic permanent residency if one buys a US$500,000+ home in the country. This encourages wealthy people to move there.
- Secure ownership rights. This is the most critical component of successful wealth creation globally. Ownership rights are very strong in Mauritius, which encourages locals and foreigners to invest in property and businesses in the country. Neighboring Zimbabwe offers a case in point as to what happens when ownership rights are stripped – once assets are taken away they tend to lose value as no one is willing to buy anything.
- Low taxes which encourage business formation and appeal to retirees. Company and personal income tax rates are only 15%, with no inheritance or capital gains tax.
- Low level of government regulation in the business sector (when compared to nearby countries such as South Africa which has exchange controls, high taxes, big trade unions and BEE hiring requirements).
- Lifestyle - beaches, weather, golf courses and scenery.
- Low crime rate.
- Ease of doing business in the country (Mauritius ranked 1st in Africa in the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report).
- Low jobless rate and low inflation rate.
- It has a well-developed banking system and stock exchange. This encourages people to invest their money within the country and grow their wealth locally. It also ensures that any economic growth filters through to wealth creation.
- Individuals living in Mauritius are free to invest overseas (with no exchange controls) – this encourages wealthy people to use the country as a business and investment hub.
- It has a well-developed free media. This prevents government from getting away with wrong doing.
- It is a convenient base for investing and doing business in Southern and East Africa.
- Safety – Mauritius was recently rated by New World Wealth as the safest country in Africa.
Some additional factors that are encouraging wealthy people to move to the island include:
- Good schools such as Northfields and International Preparatory School (IPS).
- Access to first class food & produce – prime shopping centers, food lovers market.
HNWI trends over the past year
The following table details the performance of HNWIs in selected African countries over the past year (2016).
Nigeria’s poor performance in 2016 is attributable to:
- Loss of local currency value vs US dollar.
- Drop in local real estate prices in US dollar terms.
Outgoing migration of HNWIs (we estimate that over 800 HNWIs left Nigeria in 2016).
HNWI forecasts to 2026
The following table details our forecasts over the next 10 years.
Please note: HNWI forecasts in Nigeria constrained by ongoing violence between Muslims and Christians in the country and issues around woman safety. Many wealthy Nigerians are also expected to leave the country during the next decade.
The following table ranks major African countries by number of HNWIs. As reflected, South Africa is home to the most HNWIs on the continent. Despite recent turmoil, Egypt ranks second on the list.
- “HNWIs” also known as “millionaires” refer to individuals with wealth of US$1 million or more.
- “Multimillionaires” refer to individuals with wealth of US$10 million or more.
“Wealth” refers to the net assets of a person. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equity, business interests) less any liabilities.
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