Mauritius Commercial Bank Taps Windward’s AI Solution to Optimize Trade

Windward ( the Predictive Intelligence company applying AI to transform global maritime trade, and Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd ( the longest-standing and leading banking institution in Mauritius, announced a long-term, multi-year partnership to enhance MCB’s due diligence and monitoring processes linked to its commodity trade finance business. Windward’s AI-powered solution will increase efficiency across MCB’s maritime trade finance practices and strengthen compliance and trade-based money laundering screening processes.  

Financial institutions in both Mauritius and around the world are under increased pressure by both national and international compliance regulators to implement extensive due-diligence processes, especially in light of new sanctions advisories by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the US and the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in the UK. To this end, forward-thinking financial institutions are turning to AI systems to bolster effectiveness, streamline lengthy processes, and gain insights into deceptive practices used to facilitate financial crimes.

“Windward’s platform was the natural choice when we were looking to boost efficiency of our due diligence and Know Your Vessel processes,” said Zaahir Sulliman, Head of Specialized Finance at Mauritius Commercial Bank. “As maritime trade becomes increasingly complex to navigate, our partnership with Windward enables us to more effectively meet regulatory expectations and enhances our efforts to improve business operations, reduce risks, and improve compliance across our commodity finance business.”

This partnership comes on the heels of Windward’s announcement of a partnership with Danske Bank ( in November 2020. Windward’s powerful AI-based dynamic risk solution provides financial institutions with a state-of-the-art platform to effectively streamline the risk management journey. Windward’s Predictive Intelligence is powered by advanced maritime AI technology which is based on 300 behavioral analytics models and over 10 billion data points.

“We pride ourselves on partnering with best-in-class financial institutions,” said Ami Daniel, CEO and Co-Founder of Windward. “As trade finance becomes more complex due to increased regulation, it is essential for banks to enhance their compliance processes and to be better informed on the entities they conduct business with. We are proud to push the digital transformation of the industry forward by providing Mauritius Commercial Bank with the highest level of comprehensive risk-based analysis of maritime trade.” 

African Development Bank Group approves $10 million equity in Razorite Healthcare Fund for Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $10-million equity investment in Razorite Healthcare Africa Fund 1 (RHAF1) to help improve healthcare infrastructure delivery across the continent.

The 10-year deal, approved on 26 February, will resource the Fund to address growing demands for affordable and quality healthcare services in several countries of Sub-Saharan Africa faced lack of access to low cost, first-class healthcare. RHAF1, to be registered in Mauritius, will provide growth capital to operating healthcare infrastructure facilities which show high potential for growth, as well as build new facilities, where identified as necessary.

To date, there have been over 9,000 cases of COVID-19 in Africa and over 500 deaths.

The Bank on 8 April unveiled a COVID-19 Response Facility that will mobilise up to $10 billion to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic. The Facility will be the institution’s primary channel for addressing the crisis.

The advent of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has highlighted the need to boost Africa’s healthcare infrastructure system to curb the spread of the pandemic and any future similar crises and build long term resilience. Healthcare-focused private equity funds in Africa with the capability to build equipment and an integrated eco-system across healthcare facilities and service providers are very limited. Target groups include low and middle-income class and vulnerable sectors.

The Fund is expected to increase bed capacity in Africa by over 1,500 and create over 500 jobs over its life span. It will also support the development of local enterprises and private infrastructure in the healthcare infrastructure sector. The Fund targets final capitalization of $100 million. The Bank expects its equity investment of $10 million to catalyze financing from other development finance institutions (DFIs) and commercial investors. As an advisory Board member, the Bank will ensure that the Fund and its portfolio of projects adhere to social, environmental and corporate governance best practices.

Côte d’Ivoire: African Development Bank, KfW partner to implement electricity regulatory index

The African Development Bank and KfW Development Bank will be partnering to accelerate implementation of recommendations contained in the 2018 Electricity Regulators Index (ERI) report for Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector.

Wale Shonibare

This partnership arrangement between both institutions was announced during a technical workshop hosted by the African Development Bank in Abidjan on Wednesday, 13 March 2019. KfW is a German state-owned development bank.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector to review institutional and regulatory developments and assess implementation of recommendations in the inaugural 2018 ERI report.

In his introductory remarks, Wale Shonibare, Director of Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulations at the Bank said: “Developing robust regulatory frameworks is required to ensure an enabling environment for investments in the electricity sector and to pave the path to universal access to energy in Africa.”

Launched in June 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, the ERI is a diagnostic tool that highlights key areas in regulatory design and practice in Africa’s energy sector.

“The index provides a simple but powerful roadmap for policy makers and regulators to take actions to improve their regulatory frameworks and the attractiveness of the sector,” Shonibare said.

He observed that the 2018 Electricity Regulatory Index identified 13 key regulatory gaps across the 15 ERI participating countries, including Côte d’Ivoire. The report recommended specific interventions to address the gaps – which will be done through tailored technical assistance programs in participating countries.

Andreas Fikre-Mariam, Regional Director at KfW’s Abidjan office remarked that the KfW was mobilizing private investment in Côte d’Ivoire’s renewable energy sector and deepening cooperation between Germany and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, in the spirit of the G20 Compact for Africa.

“There are many projects underway that we are financing, including the Boundiali in Bouake, in collaboration with the African Development Bank… there is also a 10 million Euro grant from Germany to Côte d’Ivoire to promote the energy sector through sector reforms. This is to help achieve a major impact,” Fikre-Mariam explained.

Angaman Anoh from the Planning and Engineering department of Côte d’Ivoire Energies (CI-Energies) said energy industry stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire now better understand the implications of the ERI report. However, it is critical that “regulators and utilities are consulted and involved at the early stage of the preparation of the index,” Anoh said.

The workshop brought together representatives from the Ivorian Ministry of Energy, National Authority for the Regulation of the Electricity Sector (ANARE), CI-Energies, the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL) in Cameroon, KfW and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The ERI is an initiative of the African Development Bank with partners like the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR) and the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA).