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  • Mauritius will host the South African Island Hydrographic Commission in 2020, announces Minister Jhugroo


    GIS – 14 December, 2018: ‘As Mauritius has been actively participating in all the International and Regional Hydrographic Conferences, the progress made by our Hydrographic Department, under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Lands, has been recognised and appreciated by all the member states during such meetings.  Our country has thus been selected to host the South African Island Hydrographic Commission in 2020’.
    The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, made this announcement, yesterday, at the opening ceremony of the 11th Indo-Mauritian Joint Committee meeting on Hydrography held at the seat of the Ministry in Ebène.  The High Commissioner of India, Mr Abhay Thakur, the Joint Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India, Rear Admiral Adhir Arora, and Senior Officials of different Ministries and Organisations were also present.
     
    In his address, Minister Jhugroo highlighted that safe navigation in Mauritius’ large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) requires up-to-date navigational charts so as to avoid loss of life and property at sea.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on hydrographic cooperation, he pointed out, signed between Mauritius and India in 2005 has allowed for the publication of seven International Charts and nine Electronic Navigational Charts of areas covering Mauritius, Agalega, St. Brandon and Rodrigues.
     
    Seven additional nautical charts are being published by India in Mauritius’ EEZ under the agreed proposal for the enhanced charting scheme, and this will further improve navigational safety in our waters as well as assist cruise ships to include the Indian Ocean in their tours, the Minister underscored.  As at date, the Minister indicated that the Mauritius Hydrographic Service has undertaken numerous surveys which have benefitted a number of stakeholder organisations, such as the Mauritius Port Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Defense and Rodrigues, the Ministry of Fisheries, and the National Coast Guard.
     
    Furthermore, the Housing and Lands Minister recalled that the Mauritius Hydrographic Service won the Award of Distinction as Finalist under the Innovation Incubation Category during the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management biennial conference 2018.  He also expressed his appreciation to the Government of India for the provision of technical and training assistance in the field of hydrography.
     
    For his part, the Indian High Commissioner underlined that India is a leading nation in the field of hydrography and has a well-established organisational set-up.  The Indian Naval Hydrographic Department, he observed, possesses wide experience with longstanding tradition of professionalism, state-of-the-art equipment, modern infrastructure and great personnel.
     
    In addition, Mr Thakur, urged the Mauritian Government to take advantage of all the capabilities available at the National Institute of Hydrography, Goa, which has been recognised as the Regional Hydrographic Training Centre for South East Asian and African countries by the International Hydrographic Organisation.
     
    11th Indo-Mauritian Joint Committee meeting on Hydrography
     
    This meeting, being held from 11 to 14 December 2018, has been convened under the framework of the India-Mauritius MoU to promote, develop and cooperate on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
     
    Discussions during the meeting include, mutual sharing of hydrographic data; scheming of new charts; enhancing hydrographic capability; renewal of protocol on the sale of paper navigational chart; and major requirements projected by various stakeholders.
     
    A new chart published by the National Hydrographic Office and entitled “Gabriel and Round Islands” was also released during this 11th Joint Committee meeting.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Civil Status Division obtains ISO 9001-2015 certification


    GIS – 14 December, 2018: Civil registration and vital statistics are essential for modern administrative systems, thereby creating an inclusive society, protecting human rights, ensuring proper delivery of public services, tackling discriminations and inequalities, stated the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Eddy Boissézon, yesterday at The Club Med Hotel, in Albion.
    The Minister was speaking at an event organised by the Civil Status Division (CSD) under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office to commemorate the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Day.  The CRVS Day, first celebrated on 10 August 2018, will henceforth be observed annually.  The occasion was also marked by the ISO 9001-2015 certification of the CSD, followed by a teambuilding exercise for the CSD’s personnel.
     
    In his address, Minister Boissézon underlined that civil registration system plays an important role in facilitating the realisation of many fundamental human rights recognised in major international declarations and conventions.  Through the civil registration system, he said, individual of all ages can exercise their rights to obtain legal identity, proof of age, nationality, and further access to social services.
     
    The Minister also commended the efforts of the CSD for improving quality service, efficiency and productivity, by using technology as an accelerator.  He spoke of Government’s clear-cut policy to make the Public Service more efficient, innovative and creative, while highlighting that since the past two years, his Ministry has embarked in the implementation of the Public Sector Transformation Strategy, which aims at giving a new impetus to the public service.
     
    Furthermore, Mr Boissézon emphasised that most African countries have civil registration laws to systematically register vital events.  However, he said, very few of them have maintained a universal registration system while adding that Mauritius has one of the best CRVS System providing 100% coverage compared to African countries such as Ethiopia, Congo and Mozambique.  For the last three years, statistics reveal that the percentage of tardy declaration for the overall annual birth registered is only 1% and the percentage of undeclared child is zero, he added.
     
    Also present, the Registrar of the CSD, Mr William Mario Ayelou, spoke of the several measures that are being implemented to transform the CSD into a modern and innovative Division.  To this end, he pointed out that the construction of the Marriage Hall at the Emmanuel Anquetil building is nearly reaching its completion phase.
     
    Other projects comprise: the implementation of Info-Highway project which aims at providing a robust service platform to facilitate the consumption of published data among Government agencies and private entities to improve operation efficiency in public administration and business operations; issuing of Overseas Citizen of India Cards; revamping of IT system; and, birth and death capture exercise to restore its archives.
     
    Civil Status Division
     
    The Division comprises 33 Civil Status Offices including Rodrigues and Agalega.  It has under its custody records dating as far back as 1811 reflecting the history of the arrival of Indian Indentured Laborers and Immigrants as from the year 1834 following the abolition of slavery.
     
    The CSD is committed to digitalise all its records in order to enhance service delivery, preserve invaluable records of historical value and enforce Government policy on data sharing and related innovations.  It received the Customer-Centered Delivery Award 2016 for the Public Service Excellence Award.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Three new SME schemes and Phase II of the SME Portal project launched


    GIS - 14 December, 2018: Three new schemes of the SME Mauritius Ltd and Phase II of the SME Portal project, were launched yesterday in Port-Louis.  The schemes are: Certification Scheme, SME Productivity Improvement Programme, and, Foreign Expertise and Technical Assistance Scheme.
    The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius Ltd, Mr Ravin Rampersad, and other personalities were present.  These schemes will facilitate access to new markets, reinforce the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and enhance their visibility.  Phase II of the SME Portal project is an extension of Phase I which was initiated with the implementation of the smemu.org website.
     
    In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that Government aims at instilling an entrepreneurship spirit among the population as well as providing assistance for the development of SMEs.  The schemes launched, he emphasised, will help address a number of existing challenges in terms of fierce competition on the market, costs of operation and training as well as urge SMEs to adapt to international standards for better quality of products and services.  The key to survival on the market, he reiterated, is to develop a sustainable approach towards doing business and ensure that SMEs live up to the expectations of the clients.
     
    With regard to the SME Portal, the Minister underscored that it will enable the creation of an ecosystem which is beneficial to entrepreneurs and increase interaction between the SME Mauritius Ltd and the enterprises.  The latter will henceforth be able to register and also acquire their certifications online and as such delays in administrative procedures will be reduced.
     
    For his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rampersad, pointed out that Phase II of the SME Portal project, will transform the existing website into a one-stop point for SMEs to access services offered by the organisation, hence, extrapolating capabilities of the website towards being a Portal.
     
    The users, he indicated, will be able to create an online profile to register themselves as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and also as Tradesman.  Thus, they will be able to track and follow-up applications through email notifications and benefit from hassle-free administrative procedures, he added.
     
    More about the schemes
     
    The Certification Scheme will assist SMEs to acquire National and/or International standards and thus help them to standardise their inputs and processes, increase productivity and access new markets.  The average cost for an SME adopting the abovementioned certifications is estimated at Rs 300,000 including surveillance audits, testing and certification.  A grant of 80% of the certification cost, up to a maximum of Rs 200,000 would be provided by the SME Mauritius Ltd, while the beneficiary will have to contribute to the 20% thereof.
     
    The SME Productivity Improvement Programme will help improve the internal systems and processes existing in SMEs so as to create internal conditions for the improvement of the processes and production thereby minimising delays and waste, reducing costs and improving quality.  It will also cater for a grant of 20% of the cost of Productivity Improvement Programme, up to a maximum of Rs 50,000 which would be provided by the SME Mauritius Ltd.
     
    The Foreign Expertise and Technical Assistance Scheme will enable the consolidation of the handicraft sector by bringing in foreign experts to address multiple challenges the sector faces with regard to capacity building, product and process re-design and local raw materials sourcing and usage.
     
    SMEs who wish to benefit from these schemes need to be registered with the SME Registration Unit and have an annual turnover not exceeding Rs 50 million.
     
    The SME Portal
     
    The portal also includes features such as live chats; forum for mentoring; matching of products between buyers and sellers; and, documentation centre containing examples of contracts and catalogue of available products and services.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Smart Grid Roadmap for Mauritius to serve as blueprint for enhanced power system reliability


    GIS – 14 December, 2018: A workshop focusing on the Smart Grid Roadmap for Mauritius was held yesterday at Le Méridien Hotel, in Pointe Aux Piments.  The Roadmap will serve as a blueprint to guide the Central Electricity Board (CEB) in terms of integrating specific technologies into the CEB power system for enhanced reliability, safety and security and resilience.
    The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo was present at the workshop which had as objective to offer a platform for the sharing of findings and recommendations of Energy Strategy and Technology Associates International with various stakeholders on the timely adoption of Smart Grid technology in such a way so as to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks for utility.
     
    In essence, the Smart Grid Roadmap will help the utility to transition from the current state to a timely adoption of Smart Grid technology as well as enable the CEB to address the business objectives and mitigate the risks by successfully adopting and implementing modern technologies.
     
    The Roadmap has contributed to meet the following key objectives of the CEB: improved power system reliability and security; optimised operational efficiency; optimised energy efficiency; intelligent integration of the actions of all users, systems and devices; enhanced customers’ services and billing accuracy and increased penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and integration of RES into the Transmission System.
     
    It is recalled that to support Government in accelerating the development of solar PV power generation, the United Nations Development Program, with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility, signed in 2011, the project document entitled ‘Removal of barriers to PV electricity generation in Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Outer Islands’.
     
    The aim is to accelerate sustainable on-grid PV electricity generation in Mauritius by leveraging USD 17.5 million in private sector investment over its four-year implementation period.  This, in turn, is expected to generate direct global benefits of almost 13,295 tons of CO2 over the same period, and almost 5,318 tons CO2/year thereafter, to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.  It is envisaged that this project will enable Mauritius to meet its target of 2% of electricity generation from on-grid PV by 2025, as established in its Long Term Energy Strategy 2009-2025.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Eco-Schools Programme 2018: Students encouraged to become environmentally conscious


    GIS – 14 December, 2018: An award ceremony, for primary and secondary students who participated in the Eco-Schools Programme 2018, was held yesterday at the Auditorium of Mahatma Gandhi Institute, in Moka.  The programme targets primary and secondary schools to encourage them stimulate creativity and capacity so as to come up with innovative ideas to promote environmental sustainability.
    The President of NGO Reef Conservation, Mr François Rogers, and the Director (Pre-Primary & Primary), Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Aneeta Ghoorah, were present.
     
    In his address, Mr Rogers pointed out that Eco-Schools Mauritius, as part of the global Eco-Schools programme, join almost 55,000 schools in 61 other countries around the globe, working to achieve the international standards of excellence for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
     
    For her part, Mrs Ghoorah highlighted that the ESD consists of three types of awards: the Bronze, Silver and the culminating award being the Green Flag Award.  Mauritius, she underscored, has received 16 green flags this year.  Rajiv Gandhi Government School and Dunputh Lallah SSS were among the grand winners of the Green Flag award.
     
    This year’s Eco-Schools programme was in line with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Mauritius, the Greening Mauritius Competition and the National Clean-up Campaign 2018.  The Eco-Schools pilot programme was launched in Mauritius in April 2015.
     
    The award event was organised by the NGO Reef Conservation in collaboration with the Mauritius National Eco Schools Committee, a cross-disciplinary committee of government and non-government partners under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research.  A CD, entitled Discover the wonders of the ocean was launched on that occasion. 
     
    Greening Mauritius and Clean Up Campaign-Best School Competitions
     
    Greening Mauritius competition 2018 edition took on board 10 students from each participating school to carry out specific activities such as greening of public building premises and mural paintings on the theme The Mauritian Flora.  Winners of Mural Painting were awarded their prizes in March 2018.
     
    The Clean Up Campaign-Best School Competition 2018 aimed at rewarding the three best primary and secondary schools which satisfied the following criteria: cleaning and embellishment of school buildings and yard, mural paintings, implementing a composting project at school, the segregation of waste ongoing, the reuse and recycling of waste materials/plastic and paper and the good maintenance of gardens (endemic/medicinal).
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • National Assembly votes Declaration of Assets Bill


    GIS - 13 December, 2018: The Declaration of Assets Bill which provides for a new legal framework governing the declaration of assets in the public sector in Mauritius, and for matters related thereto, was voted in the National Assembly, yesterday. The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications  and National  Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, presented the Bill which is in line with Government’s 2015-2019 Programme.
    In his summing up, the Prime Minister indicated that members of the National Assembly unanimously voted in favour of the Bill without amendment, adding that the object of this Bill is to make better and more comprehensive provisions for the declaration of assets by holders of important offices in the public sector. He underpinned the initiative which essentially ensures transparency, as a major step in Government’s strategy to fight against corruption.
     
    Accordingly, he said, the Bill repeals the Declaration of Assets Act and extends the scope of assets to be declared as well as the categories of persons. In addition to Ministers, members of the National Assembly, Commissioners for the Island of Rodrigues, members of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly and Councillors of a Municipal City Council, Municipal Town Council or District Council, shall be required to make a declaration of their assets and liabilities to the various authorities.
     
    These include:   judicial officers and senior public officers; the Chief Executives of a Municipal City Council, Municipal Town Council or District Council, and officers of such Councils drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above; Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of State-owned enterprises and statutory bodies, and officers of such enterprises and statutory bodies drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above; advisers and officers employed on a contractual basis in Ministries, drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above.
     
    The Bill also provides that the Independent Commission against Corruption shall be the depository of every declaration, and for matters related thereto.
     
    This Act shall apply to every member of the National Assembly, including the Speaker of the National Assembly, and every Minister; every member of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, including the Chairperson of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, and every Commissioner ; every Councillor of a Municipal City Council, Municipal Town Council or District Council; every Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor, Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of a Municipal City Council, Municipal Town Council or District Council.
     
    It also applies to, as the case may be ; every judicial officer and senior public officer; every Chief Executive of a Municipal City Council, Municipal Town Council or District Council, and every officer of such Councils drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above; every Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of State-owned enterprises and statutory bodies, and every officer of such enterprises and statutory bodies drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above and every adviser and officer employed on a contractual basis in Ministries, drawing salary at the level of Deputy Permanent Secretary and above.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • PSAC Results 2018 proclaimed with a pass rate of 75.19%


    GIS–  13 December, 2018: The Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC) 2018 results - with a pass percentage of 75.19% - were made public yesterday by the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate (MES).  A total of 19 231 candidates were examined.
     
    Out of the 15 927 school candidates examined for the first time in the Republic of Mauritius, 11 949 have met the PSAC requirements to be admitted in Grade 7.  For Rodrigues Island, 878 pupils sat for the PSAC and the pass rate for Rodrigues is 74%.  As for Zones d’Education Prioritaires (ZEP) schools, the pass rate is 44.24%.
     
    Moreover, 1 108 candidates will have the possibility to be reassessed in one subject on Friday 21 December 2018.  A remedial programme is being held as from 13 to 20 December 2018 for such candidates opting for reassessment.  Results will be made public on Friday 29 December 2017.
     
    The registration exercise for secondary schools is scheduled for Wednesday 19 December 2018.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Minister Gungah reiterates Government’s objective to develop creative industry in Mauritius


    GIS – 13 December, 2018: A graduation ceremony for some 170 students of the Fashion and Design Institute (FDI) and the University of Technology, Mauritius, was held yesterday at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium, in Réduit.  These students have successfully completed their studies in the fields of art and design, fashion and design and interactive media, amongst others.
    In his address, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Ashit Kumar Gungah, who was present at the ceremony, lauded the graduates for their dedication, hard work and sacrifices that have enabled them to successfully complete their studies.  By way of the acquired lifelong knowledge and experience, he emphasised, graduates are now well-prepared to bring their contribution to the economy through their creativity and artistic talents.
     
    Graduating, said the Minister, epitomises a significant milestone in the lives of graduates who are at the crossroad of stepping into the professional world, adding that various job opportunities are available in the field of fashion and design.
     
    The Minister underscored the commendable work being carried out by the FDI , which since its creation in 2009, has trained over 1,500 students and continues to remain at the forefront by providing quality education and relevant training by meeting required excellence in the field of design.  The FDI, he indicated, is fully assuming its role of positioning Mauritius as a competitive producer of fashionable products and is contributing to the development of a fashion industry as well as ingrain fashion and design in the public sphere.  He also dwelt on the FDI’s recent innovative projects and courses such as jewellery making and design with the aim of addressing skill mismatch and boosting the jewellery sector.
     
    Moreover, Minister Gungah reiterated Government’s aim of promoting the development of a creative industry and fashion hub in Mauritius.  The FDI, he pointed out, is called upon to play a significant role in its socioeconomic transformation, by rising to the global market exigencies by providing the country with an adequate pool of highly-skilled, competent and versatile professionals.  Government, he also announced, is collaborating with international training institutions to allow best performing students to pursue further training and broaden their experience through international exposure.
     
    The Minister elaborated on Government’s objective of transforming Mauritius into a high-income economy, which he said, requires the imperative adoption of latest technology such as artificial intelligence and robotics for survival on the global market.  For Mauritius to compete in the global market of the manufacturing sector, it is crucial to embrace an innovative approach through research and development, design and marketing, since the focus nowadays is more on high-end products, he added.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Minister Bodha highlights importance of international standards for road safety


    GIS- 12 December, 2018: A two-day capacity building workshop aiming to raise awareness on the United Nations Convention on Road Safety among stakeholders engaged in road safety and accident prevention, kicked off yesterday in presence of the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebene.
    In his keynote address, Minister Bodha highlighted the importance of setting international standards for road safety which is primordial for improving the movement of traffic on roads and curbing the number as well as the severity of accidents. He underscored that the United Nations Convention on Road Safety which discusses various aspects of international road traffic and safety, serves as a reference for Mauritius in its ongoing efforts for road safety measures.
     
    Road safety, he underlined, is a challenge that calls for the attention of each and everyone and demands technical assistance especially at a time when Mauritius is thriving to shift from a middle income country to an upper middle income one. He emphasised that safer roads and enhanced fluidity of traffic are key to reducing risks of accidents and hence, improving the quality of life of citizens.
     
    The Minister pointed out that it is vital to eradicate the culture of careless driving among road users and appealed to the most vulnerable ones to exercise greater care and responsibility on the road. However, he expressed satisfaction to the decreasing number of road fatalities with the enforcement of laws, severe penalties, sensitisation campaigns and educational programmes.
     
    With regard to the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit (TMRSU), Mr Bodha recalled that these institutions have a key role to play in ensuring that all rules and laws are followed and that late night road checks are being appropriately carried out. He added that better road signage and markings compliant with international standard technical specifications are being put in place to better guide road users.
     
    The workshop, organised by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), is being facilitated by two experts from the UNECE namely Mr Wyrowski Lukasz Andrzej and Mr Nowak Robert. Some fifty participants from the NTA, the TMRSU, the Road Development Authority, and the Mauritius Police Force, amongst others, are attending the event.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Indian Naval Ship “Sarvekshak” to carry out Joint hydrographic and oceanographic surveys for Mauritius


    GIS- 12 December, 2018: The Indian Naval Ship “Sarvekshak”, a modern survey vessel with the state-of-the-art Hydrographic and Oceanographic survey equipment suite, arrived in Mauritius yesterday at the Port Louis Harbour. On this occasion, the Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, was present.

    Minister Jhugroo highlighted that the ship will operate in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Mauritius for about two months to carry out Joint hydrographic and oceanographic surveys for the production of Nautical Charts. He pointed out that the ship will be conducting hydrographic survey off Le Morne from 14 to 31 December 2018 and off the southern coast of Rodrigues as from 4 January 2019.
    He recalled that the ship deployment has been possible with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrographic Cooperation between the Government of Mauritius and that of India in 2005. Concrete steps, he emphasised, are being taken to enhance the coverage of hydrographic surveys in our EEZ and address the requirements of stakeholders.
    The Minister underlined that the “Sarvekshak” will also pave the way for the publishing of two new navigational charts namely for Point Sud Quest (Le Morne) and Rodrigues Island which will be available at the Ministry of Housing and Lands, for users in Mauritius and seafarers all over the world. The ship will survey areas in Rodrigues which have never been systematically charted earlier and will make the waters safer to navigate by bigger crafts and ships, he added.
     
    He also informed that the Inshore Survey Vessel Pathfinder which was handed over to the Government of Mauritius by the Government of India in 2013, has been ferried back to Mauritius by the “Sarvekshak” ship following four years of major repairs and maintenance works in India.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
     
  • Launching of Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Week 2018


    GIS – 12 December, 2018: The 2018 edition of the Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Week, aimed at sensitising the public on the causes of fire incidents and educating citizens on precautionary measures to reduce fire risks, was launched this morning at the Municipal Council of Quatre Bornes. The theme this year is Every Second Counts.
    This Week is an annual event organised by the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) as part of its fire awareness-raising efforts. The Chief Fire Officer, Mr L.Pallen, and other personalities were present at the launch event.
     
    In his address, Mr Pallen highlighted that the 2018 theme emphasises the importance of adopting good fire safety practises by each and every one, and, enumerated some of the main causes of fire namely: misuse of electrical and cooking equipment, faulty LPG installation, bad housekeeping and careless behaviour.
     
    Moreover, the Chief Fire Officer pointed out that it is crucial to develop a home fire prevention strategy and action plan in the event of a fire. Home safety planning, he underlined can make a life-saving difference in a home fire. In a fire situation, a regularly practised home safety plan ensures that everyone in the home knows what needs to done in case of a fire breakout and how to escape quickly and safely, Mr Pallen added.
     
    The 2018 Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness Week will highlight several issues: general safety tips, cooking safety, fire prevention and plan of escape in case of fire. It will also delve on measures to be taken in case of flooding, cyclone, landslide, tsunami and earthquake.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Agro-Industry Minister announces additional financial support to small sugarcane planters


    GIS - 11 December, 2018: An additional financial support of Rs 257 per ton of sugarcane will be provided to planters producing up to 60 tonnes of sugar for the 2018 Crop, announced the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, during a press conference yesterday at the Headquarters of the Ministry in Port Louis.
    The Minister highlighted that the small planters benefitting from this additional financial support will therefore receive, in aggregate, a revenue of Rs 1 500 per ton of sugarcane as compared to Rs 1 243 previously.  This, he stated, is equivalent to Rs 19 200 per ton of sugar from all revenue sources, which comprise remuneration from bagasse and molasses, waiving of CESS contribution and insurance premium, and other support measures.
     
    According to Mr Seeruttun, the financial support represents a total additional revenue of Rs 3 287 per ton of sugar over and above the revenue of Rs 15 913 agreed in September this year.  Some Rs 165 million have been earmarked by Government for the implementation of this measure, he indicated, and finance will be available from different funds.
     
    Furthermore, the Agro-Industry Minister pointed out that Government will continue to explore new markets for sugar, in particular special sugars, with remunerative prices.  After protracted negotiations with the Chinese authorities under the Mauritius China Free Trade Agreement, Mauritius has managed to obtain a tariff rate quota of 50 000 tons of special sugars, he added.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Attorney General launches video clips to raise awareness on universal human rights


    GIS – 11 December, 2018: ‘Since its independence, Mauritius has relentlessly pursued its development based on the universal values of democracy, good governance, rule of law, protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and based our credo on a people-centred development.  Government will continue to strive to champion the rights of its citizens in all its territories and will spare no effort to see to it that unity and diversity prevail in the society’.
    The Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, made this statement yesterday during the launching ceremony of a series of video clips for an awareness campaign on human rights in the context of Human Rights Day.  The event was held at the Komiko Comedy Art Club, in Bagatelle. The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius, Ms Christine Umutoni, and the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Her Royal Highness Princess Zenani Dlamini, were also present.
     
    The eight videos, an initiative of the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, focus on various human rights themes including: sexual harassment, child marriage, torture, rights and respect of the elderly, meritocracy and equal opportunity, rights of disabled persons and rights to education.  They were conceptualised by the Komiko Comedy Art group.  In addition, during the course of the week, the ‘Know Your Rights’ pamphlets for migrant workers will be launched.
     
    In his address, the Attorney General highlighted that the celebration of Human Rights Day is a unique opportunity to demonstrate universal support for the promotion and protection of rights around the world.  This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), he indicated.  The UDHR, he emphasised, still remains relevant in today’s society as it essentially serves to bind mankind together in spite of differences and reminds us that we should not take peace for granted.
     
    Speaking about the distinct multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural society of Mauritius, the Minister reiterated the fundamental vision of Government in upholding a cohesive pluralistic society whose members are healthy, well educated, and socially, economically and culturally empowered.  Mr Gobin underpinned Government’s resolve to secure the human rights of everyone irrespective of these differences.  The Constitution is largely based on the UDHR which guarantees the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of everyone, he added.
     
    The Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and indicated that this is demonstrated through the ratification of all major international human rights instruments at the regional and international levels.  On that note, he dwelt on various initiatives, including: the country’s continued cooperation with UN mechanisms and the treaty bodies; Mauritius being reviewed by the UN Committees, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the setting up of the National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow Up; and, the creation of a Braille version of the Constitution.  Mauritius will work in close collaboration with the Human Dignity Trust and Justice Alliance based in the UK with regards to LGBT rights as well as set up a Human Rights Database, he announced.
     
    As for Ms Umutoni, she emphasised that the UN community has at heart the rights of its citizens and reiterated the commitment of the UN to continue collaborating with Mauritius for the advancement of the protection of human rights in the country.  
     
    The UN Resident Coordinator commended Mauritius for standing up for the respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights through its adhesion to numerous treaties and enforcement of various laws.  For her, human rights awareness campaigns such as the video clips launched are pivotal to educate and help communities to be aware of their rights and obligations.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • The most vulnerable groups of society remains Government’s priority, says Social Security Minister


    GIS – 11 December, 2018: Government is committed to bringing about a meaningful change for the benefit of all cross sections of the population and makes it a priority to consider the impact of any particular change on the life of the most vulnerable groups of society.
    The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Marie Joseph Noël-Etienne Ghislain Sinatambou, made this statement, yesterday, at an official function organised to mark International Volunteer Day 2018, at the Municipal City Council of Port Louis.  This International Day is annually observed on 5 December.
     
    The event was organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).  Some 150 participants from NGOs, Watch Committees and Watch Cells attended the function.
     
    In his address, the Minister pointed out that Government has a predominant role to play in achieving the social agenda, and, also emphasised on the significant contribution of NGOs in this endeavour.  The critical importance of partnerships between public and private enterprises and the civil society towards the realisation of the SDGs was highlighted by Minister Sinatambou.
     
    Government, said the Minister, relies on the needed support of the volunteers working for NGOs and the civil society to give a helping hand in diverse areas of importance. These are namely: poverty alleviation; empowerment of persons with disabilities; keeping watch at community level for safety, security and welfare of elderly persons and persons with disabilities; and, responding to the needs of persons affected by natural calamities.
     
    Furthermore, Mr Sinatambou underlined that Government will continue to provide all necessary assistance to strengthen NGOs so that they can amply fulfill their role as strategic partner to achieve the social mission of Mauritius.
     
    Referring to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030, the Minister indicated that it enumerates 17 development goals with particular focus on poverty alleviation. Government has implemented several measures to eradicate poverty, he stressed. They comprise the provision of subsistence allowance to eradicate absolute poverty, the introduction of a minimum wage and negative income tax for those at the lowest level of the salary scale, increase in the payment of pensions and also an increase in financial grants to vulnerable families.
     
    Speaking about International Volunteer Day 2018, Mr Sinatambou underlined that it is an opportunity to recognise and promote the values of volunteerism as well as pay a tribute to volunteers who selflessly serve the community. The 2018 theme Volunteers build Resilient Communities lays emphasis on the work carried out by volunteers in making the community more resilient to phenomena such as natural disasters, economic and political shocks.
     
    The official function organised to mark International Volunteer Day 2018 comprised the award of certificates of appreciation to some 60 NGOs which receive grant-in-aid and ad-hoc financial assistance for social entrepreneurship projects as well as to Elderly Watch Committees and Disability Watch Cells consisting of volunteers.  A presentation on the contribution of the NGO Trust Fund since its inception in 1999 was also made on that occasion.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Prime Minister Jugnauth valorises contributions of diplomatic corps at various levels


    GIS - 10 December, 2018: The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, expressed sincere appreciation to diplomatic corps for their contribution in advancing bilateral and international partnerships, yesterday at the annual diplomatic gathering organised by the Prime Minister’s Office at Le Maritim Hotel in Balaclava.
    Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the traditional end of year diplomatic gathering is an opportunity to renew and celebrate the bond of friendship that unites all diplomatic corps to reaffirm their shared commitment with a view to enhancing ties.
    He emphasised that close cooperation, global and collective responses as well as strong multilateral commitments are integral to combating confluence of crises such as climate change, marine environmental degradation, migration, transnational and cyber crimes involving human trafficking, arms and drugs.
    With regard to the Chagos issue, Prime Minister Jugnauth conveyed gratitude to all countries for oral and written submissions to the International Court of Justice for the claim of the Chagos Archipelago’s sovereignty by Mauritius. He also seized the opportunity to express his thankfulness to the European Union and African Union for their unflinching support on various fronts.
    The Prime Minister further reiterated the longstanding relations that Mauritius share with India, China, France, Russia, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and several African countries. These countries, he underlined, have continuously provided support to Mauritius in economic, cultural, educational and technological fields.
    On this occasion, he paid tribute to statesmen who passed away during year 2018 namely the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, the former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former President of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang, the former President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush for their outstanding achievements and commitments in their political careers.
    Prime Minister Jugnauth reaffirmed that Mauritius will continue to work hand-in-hand with countries while simultaneously ensuring collective interest for a fair and secure society. On this note, he presented his seasons greeting to the diplomatic corps as well as their respective Heads of State and Government.
    For her part, the Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritius and the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Mrs Marjaana Sall, pointed out that Mauritius has come a long way after fifty years of independence to thrive as a successful country in the African continent. She underlined that international partners have accompanied Mauritius in its socio-economic development which she said, has brought closer cooperation at all levels.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org