Taking a business and making it global is a trend. Being at a crossroad between Asia and Africa, Mauritius is one of the preferred destinations for such investors! It was a no-brainer for Tutwa Consulting Group, an African firm, to set up an office here. We spoke with the Managing Director of Tutwa Consulting Group, Lesley Wentworth, about the reasons behind moving to Mauritius as well as their objectives now that they officially launched their business from Ebene.
Can you tell us more about Tutwa Consulting Group? What are your missions and objectives?
Tutwa Consulting Group is a boutique consulting firm with a political economy focus on understanding Africa, its economies – with a particular focus on South Africa – and its place in global economic governance. With our international experience, pan-African ideology, and our commitment to do no harm, we provide economic policy and regulatory analysis and political economy understanding related to African development and economic integration.
Our offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Ebene Mauritius, are geared to work synergistically across the African continent on national, regional, and continental projects in various sectors – including telecommunications, financial services, infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, and energy. Overall, our objective is to see the optimal socio-economic development of African economies and integrate these economies into a cohesive and inclusive economic union.
Tutwa focuses on three interwoven practice areas aimed at developing an understanding of:
- Economic policy and regulatory environment – focusing on trade, investment, and local economic development in South Africa, across Africa, and globally.
- Public affairs – government, SOEs, and corporates’ relationships with their stakeholders – and political risks and possible mitigants in African political economies.
- Market entry advisory, specifically assistance to clients in understanding policy and specific sector dynamics, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The company has managed several multi-dimensional projects simultaneously – both long-term multi-year programmes, as well as short-span projects. Our ability to effectively run diverse programmes is based on the strength of our project management skills and experience and effective digital tools to manage the financial and administration elements as effectively as any large company.
Tutwa draws on an interdisciplinary global network of top scholars and consultants to provide its services on a customised, confidential basis. We offer a world-class research team skilled in technical-economic, political, and regulatory analysis, with deep knowledge of political economy and its interface with international business; wide-ranging cross-sector experience; and extensive comparative corporate knowledge.
We also saw that Tutwa is really involved in climate change and sustainable development. Why is that?
Tutwa bills itself as something of a hybrid consulting firm – with the agility of a small consulting firm but with the developmental focus of many think tanks and academic institutions. Many of our directors and senior staff have previously worked for governments, international organisations, or think tanks. In Tutwa, we combine the best of those elements and yet move quickly to serve our clients where they need us.
Tutwa Consulting Group is not only committed to doing no harm, but we are also focused on delivering inclusive, sustainable, and transformative socio-economic development wherever we are able.
Are you planning to implement some or all the SDGs here in Mauritius?
In the course of the projects that we undertake, there are very often sustainable development goals (SDGs) that we are required to incorporate into the work we do.
Tutwa’s developmental work to date has focused on Gender Equality (SDG 5), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), and Climate Change (SDG 13). There are several related goals and targets that are interlinked in these mentioned, and there should be no restriction on the number of SDGs that we aspire to cover in our work.
Nonetheless, it is not Tutwa that will implement these goals in Mauritius. It is the country – its government, private sector, non-state actors, and citizens – who are tasked with the actual implementation of the SDGs. Tutwa will do whatever possible to support the work of all these stakeholders in the course of the projects that the company implements in the country.
What motivated your move from South Africa to another country?
The company has always intended to set up a presence in another (or other) African country (countries). When you call yourself a pan-African company, it is important that you are seen to walk the talk.
And what attracted you to invest in and choose Mauritius?
After a due diligence study and a shortlisting process, Mauritius was selected as the next country of Tutwa’s establishment. Mauritius has an important strategic location as a gateway to Africa from Asia and the hub of the Indian Ocean Rim. Mauritius has the key elements for efficiently and effectively doing business, its ICT and finance infrastructure is world-class, and the people are marvellous! Who wouldn’t want to be here?
How would you describe your experience of setting up your company here on the island?
The process was particularly arduous as we started the registration of the company just as COVID-19 stopped all possibility of travel to Mauritius. Without our support base here, our amazing lawyer, and our management company, this entire move would have been impossible.
Investors are fortunate to have a government that is keen to support the business sector, and the collaborative approach from other businesses is incredibly heartening. There is a sense that there is sufficient room for everyone and that working together can lead us to achieve more.
Will Mauritian people be involved one way or another in your company here, in your research and work?
We have already begun to reach out to associates and institutions to work together with our small team here in Mauritius. It is hoped that Tutwa will evolve into a national company comprising Mauritian experts, staff, and associates over the next few years.
Now that Tutwa has officially launched in Mauritius, what are your objectives and goals for the immediate future and in the long term?
Tutwa Mauritius is immediately planning to develop its focus on climate literacy in an African context, and in particular, focusing on small island states. In addition, considering the opportunities in the Indian Ocean Rim will be a strong priority for the team. In the long term, Tutwa will be increasing its profile as a truly Mauritian company in all global economic governance, as well as African geopolitical and political economy fora. We plan to ensure that Mauritius is accentuated in all of these processes.