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  • Export and non-Export-Oriented Enterprises: Payment of national minimum wage


    GIS - 11 December, 2017: The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training will make Regulations to provide for the payment of the national minimum wage of Rs 8 140, plus the additional remuneration of Rs 360, to workers employed in the Export-Oriented Enterprises and non-Export-Oriented Enterprises sectors.
    These Regulations will also provide for the payment of a Special Monthly Allowance of Rs 500 by the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) to a worker employed in the non-Export-Oriented Enterprises for the period January to December 2018.  For the same period, the MRA will make arrangements for the payment of a Special Monthly Allowance of Rs 860 to a worker in the Export-Oriented Enterprises sector.
     
    Additionally, a referral to the National Remuneration Board and the Pay Research Bureau will be effected by the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training so as to address any problem of relativity that may arise with the introduction of the national minimum wage.
     
    Furthermore, as from January 2018, the monthly basic pension payable to the elderly, widows, and persons with disabilities will increase from Rs 5 450 to Rs 5 810.  Allowances under the Social Aid Act, the Unemployment Hardship Relief Act, and the Child Allowance paid under the Social Integration and Empowerment Act based on school attendance will be adjusted by the estimated inflation rate of 3.6%.
     
    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 Wong launches Rodrigues Information and Support Desk


    GIS - 11 December, 2017: The launching of the Rodrigues Information and Support Desk (RISD) with objective to provide Rodriguans with information about the different services available to them was launched this morning at the National Empowerment Foundation (NEF), Garden Tower, Port Louis in the presence of the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong and other eminent personalities.
    In his address, Minister Wong emphasised that this joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment and the NEF will provide a modern, efficient and practical platform at NEF and other public institutions with a view to providing facilities to Rodriguans to address queries and any difficulties they face for business start-up, for job seeking or any other social facilities and also to promote social inclusion at all levels. A desk will also be put in place in Rodrigues for better cohesion and transfer of information from Rodrigues to Mauritius, he added.
    Speaking about Sega tambour of Rodrigues Island, he recalled that it has been inscribed this year on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Sega Tambour, he said is safeguarded through the efforts of numerous groups that have sprung up since the 1970s adding that competitions and rehearsals are organised in community centres, and the Sega tambour is also performed in tourism facilities, contributing to the generation of revenue for performers.
     
    Also present on the occasion, the Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, Mr Louis Serge Clair, pointed out that RISD will provide a desk which will act as guidance to Rodriguans who come to Mauritius, to encourage their economic empowerment and help in improving their quality of life as well as ensure their social integration in the mainstream society.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Government committed to the promotion of Human Rights in Mauritius, says Minister Gobin


    GIS – 11 December, 2017: Government is committed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will ensure a future of opportunity and prosperity, free of violence and discrimination, as well as a harmonious society for the citizens of Mauritius, stated the Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, this morning at Voilà Hotel, in Bagatelle.
    He was speaking at the opening of a workshop on Human Rights to mark Human Rights Day 2017, which is commemorated on 10 December.  The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall, and other eminent personalities were also present.
     
    In his address, Minister Gobin emphasised that as Mauritius will celebrate its 50th anniversary of Independence, the time is apt for one and all to reflect on the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution and learn from the evolution process of countries such as South Africa and India.
     
    Moreover, the Human Rights Minister called for the collaboration of all Human Rights Units to adopt a coordinated approach and concerted efforts in the promotion of human rights across the country.  The importance of coming up with clear-cut recommendations and the elaboration of a concrete action plan during the workshop, was also highlighted by the Minister.
     
    For her part, Ambassador Sall, underscored the interdependent and interrelated facet of human rights, adding that universality is the essential characteristic of human rights regardless of race, age, colour, disability, gender and social background.  The EU will actively support the Mauritian Government in its endeavours to promote human rights values and principles, she added.
     
    About the workshop
     
    The one-day workshop which is a joint initiative of the National Human Rights Commission and the EU Delegation to Mauritius, brought together some 45 law enforcement officers.
     
    Resource persons are from the Police Complaints Division; Equal Opportunities Commission; National Preventive Mechanism Division; and Ombudsperson for Children.  The workshop focuses on issues related to human rights, women’s rights and the Constitution.
     
    Human Rights Day 2017
     
    Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
     
    This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
     
    The theme for this year is Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Graduate Training for Employment Scheme: 25 Graduates complete industry-driven training


    GIS – 08 December, 2017: A group of twenty-five graduates received their certificates yesterday following the successful completion of the first part of the CIM Finance Graduate Development Programme under the Graduate Training for Employment Scheme (GTES).  The certificates award ceremony was held at the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC), NG Tower, Cyber-city, Ebène.
    In her address the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, reiterated Government’s determination to train and upskill young people so that they can smoothly head fruitfully into the labour market.  Schemes have been elaborated and put in place with significant financial resources earmarked for their implementation, she said.
     
    According to the Minister, skills training and capacity building are crucial as today more than ever before, employers are on the lookout for candidates with a range of skills.  Therefore, in face of such challenge it is our responsibility to provide new incentives to tap into the potential of our local workforce, and in particular ensure that our human resources have the right skills and that the labour market is able to supply the competencies the employers are looking for, she pointed out.  Government wants to equip the local workforce with industry relevant knowledge and skills so as to help enterprises leverage on talents for business growth, she added.
     
    For his part HRDC Director, Mr Raj Auckloo, stated that the Council continuously consults and engages with industry to research and identify workforce needs for the country and consequently develop viable strategies.  The CIM Finance training programme is yet another example of an industry-driven training to meet the labour market needs for specific skills, he said.  Mr Auckloo called on employers to contribute to the GTES programme given that improving people’s skills is a real ‘win-win’ for the economy, society, employers and graduates themselves.
     
    CIM Group CEO, Mr Mark Van Beuningen, pointed out that his organisation believes that investments in tertiary education and professional training are critical to the skills and capabilities of its employees.  The most important skills young professionals can develop are through on-the-job practical experience and training, he said while reiterating CIM Group’s commitment to further collaboration with other institutions for programmes such as the GTES.
     
    CIM Finance Graduate Development Programme and the GTES
     
    In August 2017, a group of 25 young graduates embarked on a twelve-month training with CIM Finance.  The participants have successfully completed a five-month intensive theoretical and practical training at the African Leadership College.  Graduates will now be starting their work placement with CIM Finance where they will have the opportunity to be recruited upon successful completion of  the full training programme.
     
    The training programme aims at inculcating a strong customer focused mindset which will enable graduates apply knowledge and skills acquired in the provision of accurate information to customers.
     
    The GTES, geared towards developing customised courses in fields with high job prospects, is a public-private sector partnership initiative.  It is a Government measure announced in Budget speech 2015-2016 to tackle the issue of unemployment and skills mismatch among graduates.  The Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the HRDC along with private sector employers have initiated the GTES.  The HRDC acts as the coordinating agency for the Scheme.  Employers can receive up to Rs 80 000 as Government funding for the cost of training per graduate under the GTES.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Families to benefit from a better quality of life, says Minister Jhugroo


    GIS - 08 December, 2017: Government wants to achieve a greater equity through an improved social housing policy and in turn uplift the status of vulnerable families, highlighted the Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Mahen Jhugroo, at the inauguration ceremony of Résidence Ambre National Housing Development Company (NHDC) housing complex held yesterday in Mon Goût.
    In his address, Minister Jhugroo underscored that Government has undertaken an integrated approach to social housing comprising adequate amenities and recreational facilities with a view of enhancing the quality of life of these families. He emphasised that newly built housing units under the Smart Residence project of the NHDC have been constructed to enable families to live in dignity and peace.
     
    He recalled that more housing projects are being undertaken in the Northern regions such as Cottage, Piton, Petite Julie and Calebasse, amongst others. He underlined that these projects will help foster inclusion and equality among the low income groups. Some Rs 6.8 billion have been earmarked in the Budget to help low-income families to benefit from these social housing units, he added.
     
    The Minister urged the beneficiaries of the new housing units to set up a Residents' Association which will act as a watchdog to ensure that the residential area is not affected by any kind of disturbance or illegal expansion works.
     
    Also present at the event, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr Soodesh Callichurn, emphasised the importance of education, training and employment in the lives of vulnerable families. He appealed to the beneficiaries to make the most of the opportunities which have been made available to them.
     
    He highlighted that the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and Negative Income Tax allowance will bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and reduce inequality hence contributing to poverty alleviation in the country.
    The New NHDC housing complex comprises 98 housing units each of 50m2 with individual yards. It is also equipped with a children's playground and a Petangue court so as to ensure the accessibility of leisure activities to the new residents.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Mauritius remains engaged on its interactions with bilateral, regional and international partners, says PM


    GIS - 08 December, 2017: Mauritius remains engaged and focused on its interactions with bilateral, regional and international partners. Like all of you, we aspire for a more equitable, safer and more sustainable world. We will therefore continue to maintain an active voice in the international fora. We will offer our humble contributions to advance the ideals of long-lasting global peace, security and prosperity.
    This statement was made by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, yesterday at the diplomatic dinner organised by the Prime Minister’s Office at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, Pailles.
     
    Excellencies, your presence among us is testimony of the longstanding and friendly relations between Mauritius and your respective countries and organisations, stated the Prime Minister. Mauritius, he underlined, attaches a high importance to its bilateral ties.
     
    Speaking about the significant contribution of countries and organisations in the socio-economic development of Mauritius, Mr Jugnauth expressed his gratitude for the partnerships forged and for the progress achieved together during the current year.
     
    Terrorism, said the Prime Minister, knows no borders and constitutes a threat to the national security and welfare of citizens. The increasing number of terrorist attacks compels us to reinforce multilateral and regional cooperation on counterterrorism, he added. Mr Jugnauth stressed that Mauritius remains steadfastly committed to the promotion and protection of human rights as respect for human dignity should remain at the core of socio-economic development.
     
    With regards to Small Island States such as Mauritius, the Prime Minister recalled that a multilateral system is crucial to ensure development and prosperity. Today, he stated, renewed efforts and innovative forms of cooperation are needed to ensure progress in key areas such as the alignment of the multilateral trading system to meet the priorities of the agenda for Sustainable Development.
     
    Given the high premium we place on economic diplomacy, we will work actively to strengthen our international economic ties, in particular through our embassies and consulates, as well as with the foreign diplomatic missions accredited to Mauritius, said Mr Jugnauth.
     
    For her part, the Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritius and the new Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Mrs Marjaana Sall, pointed out that the support of different Ministries and stakeholders has facilitated the work of development agencies and has brought closer cooperation at all levels.
     

    Moreover, Ambassador Sall congratulated Mauritius for making the headlines by being ranked first in Overall Governance in Africa as per the Mo Ibrahim Index 2017. This is an important testimony to the fact that Mauritius has understood the importance of good governance, respect of human rights, tolerance and diversity in ensuring economic success and maintaining stability, she 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

  • Landslide management Towards the setting up of a geotechnical unit


    GIS - 07 December, 2017: Government envisions to set up a geotechnical unit within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport in the coming years.  To this end, proper training and support will be provided to potential engineers to specialise in the field of landslide management.
    This announcement was made by the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, yesterday during the opening ceremony of a workshop on Landslide Management at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Balaclava. The event aimed at enhancing and reinforcing local institutional competencies in the field of landslide management. Sensitisation materials and a manual to be distributed across institutions and regions prone to landslides were launched on that occasion.
     
    Minister Bodha highlighted the importance of effective monitoring and management of landslide for disaster prone areas such as La Butte and Chitrakoot.  Mauritius has a complex geological terrain which requires specialised tests for appropriate mitigation measures and, consequently, there is a growing need for geotechnical engineers to monitor projects involving land use, he said.
     
    Moreover, Mr Bodha commended the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert team for their valuable support and expert consultancy for the Landslide Management Project undertaken since May 2012 to identify areas with high risks of landslide.  The Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to ensure a higher level of preparedness for Mauritius to face landslide-related emergencies as well as other disasters.  He also called for the need to elaborate a protocol for landslides so as to create more awareness on the seriousness of the issue.
     
    The workshop
     
    The workshop, organised jointly by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, and JICA, brought together some 50 participants. Topics discussed comprised: general assessment of the Landslide Management Unit; proposed organisational structure of Geotechnical Engineering Office; role of land use planning in landslide management, relocation and land acquisition issue; emergency response and slope disasters.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Tourism is the most globally competitive sector of our economy, says Prime Minister Jugnauth


    GIS - 07 December, 2017: Tourism has been one of our most dynamic industries in the past four decades, growing quantitatively at a fast pace, improving qualitatively with more diversified and upmarket products and undergoing the necessary structural changes to build resilience. It has proved over the years to be one of the most globally competitive sectors of our economy.
    The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at the launching ceremony of the New La Pirogue Resort & Spa at Wolmar, Flic en Flac.
     
    Mr Jugnauth congratulated the management of La Pirogue for the efforts put in to modernise the hotel and adapt to the evolving expectations of visitors. He highlighted that renovation is crucial in a world of ongoing changes to consolidate competitiveness. Our tourism industry, he stated, has since the seventies, done what it takes to meet the increasingly sophisticated exigencies of world travellers. This adaptability has always been one of its strengths and this newly renovated hotel bears out the determination to uphold this tradition, added the Prime Minister.
     
    The tourism sector, he pointed out, has lived up to its promise by contributing to take Mauritius all the way from a low income to an upper middle income economy, thus creating thousands of jobs, especially in times when unemployment was high and by bringing in much needed foreign currency to finance development.
     
    Mr Jugnauth recalled that forty years ago, Mauritius received some 100 000 tourists annually and at that time, there were around 40 hotels compared to 110 at present, and with the number of visitors exceeding one million. To this regard, he expressed confidence in the future of the tourism industry. The investments being made to renovate, innovate and improve services are very encouraging and they bear out the high level of trust in the future of the industry and its heightened role in the next stage of development of our country, he said.
     
    The Prime Minister affirmed that Government will continue to give its full support to ensure that the tourism industry grows at its full potential. Our policy, he underpinned, is to encourage higher quality be it in terms of products, infrastructure, environment and the vast spectrum of services that modern up-market travellers expect.
     
    In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, Mr Jugnauth urged all hotels and operators to fully comply with the Earth Check Certification so as to keep Mauritius as a clean, safe, prosperous and healthy country. He also encouraged the tourism industry to fully align their strategic planning to Government’s endeavour to transform Mauritius into a digital economy and society.
     
    Also present on the occasion, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Gayan, stated that renovation is an important feature of the hospitality industry as the expectations of travelers evolve with time. On that score, he said that it is necessary for all hotels to have regular renovations strategy to maintain the top class position. Speaking of the tourism industry, Minister Gayan emphasised that it plays an ever increasing role in Mauritius as it accounts to the creation of over 100 000 jobs and that Government will ensure for more job creation in this sector.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Compendium on Human Rights Treaty Bodies Concluding Observations launched


    GIS – 07 December, 2017: The Compendium on the Human Rights Treaty Bodies Concluding Observations was launched this morning by the Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, at Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes.
    The launching of the compendium coincided with a workshop on the implementation of the Concluding Observations following the five periodic reports that Mauritius has submitted to the African and United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies since 2015.
    In his address, Minister Gobin highlighted that as a Member of international bodies like the African Union and United Nations, Mauritius is a signatory to several international treaties and conventions concerning the promotion and protection of Human Rights. As such, a report on actions taken, laws voted and challenges faced is prepared every year and sent to committees of experts who then meet in Geneva to make concluding observations for different States which are signatories to the aforementioned conventions, he observed.
    The Minister underscored that all the concluding observations received from experts have been compiled to form a compendium so as to ensure that a proper follow-up can be carried out. It is the role of experts present for the workshop to bring meaningful change in the daily lives of people, he added.
    Mr Gobin also underlined that Government is determined to provide a human rights based approach to the socioeconomic development of Mauritius so as to ensure a higher quality of life based on human dignity and respect.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Sega tambour of Rodrigues inscribed on Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


    GIS - 07 December, 2017: It is another remarkable achievement for the Republic of Mauritius as the ‘Sega Tambour’ of Rodrigues is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The inscription is the verdict of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which met today on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea.
    The Committee, made up of the representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, meets once a year. It ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, which has been ratified by 175 States who have integrated the safeguarding of intangible heritage into their national legislation.
    ‘Sega Tambour’ of Rodrigues is a vibrant rhythmic performance of music, song and dance with its origins in slave communities. ‘Sega Tambour’ is performed all over Rodrigues in the home and on the streets, at formal and informal functions. The primary bearers are the Rodrigues community, as well as the diaspora on the island of Mauritius and elsewhere, and the art is open to everyone irrespective of age, gender or status.
    With its origins in defiance and resilience, ‘Sega Tambour’ facilitates conflict resolution, fosters socialisation and consolidates bonds. Competitions and rehearsals are organised in community centres across Rodrigues, and the element is also performed in tourism facilities, contributing to the generation of revenue for performers. Knowledge and skills relating to the practice are transmitted from elders to youth through imitation and observation, and instrument-making skills are learned through apprenticeship with experienced craftspeople.
    The traditional Mauritian sega and the Bhojpuri folks songs were inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2014 and December 2016 respectively.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Volunteers contribute to Government’s mission in favour of the vulnerable group, says Minister Sinatambou


    GIS - 06 December, 2017: Government has at heart the welfare and well-being of the vulnerable and the disadvantaged of the society. In order to develop its social agenda, Government cherishes the contribution of volunteers to strengthen its efforts to cater for the needs of the community.
    The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, made this statement yesterday at the Municipality City Council, Port Louis to mark the International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2017. The event is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
     
    In his address Minister Sinatambou recalled that IVD is an opportune time to recognise the social work carried out anonymously by volunteers with a view to ensuring equity and inclusiveness in society. Volunteers can be defined as ordinary people having an extraordinary heart. They are all driven with the common goal of helping people in need without expecting any reward, he said, adding that their unflinching commitment and generosity are indeed laudable.
     
    According to the Minister, there is a pressing need for smart volunteerism to uplift the quality of services volunteers offer, in order to achieve meaningful social change. To this end, Government has set up various capacity-building programmes and trainings to strengthen and enhance the potentials of volunteers, he said.
     
    On that note, Mr Sinatambou announced the launching of training programmes for members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in effective communication, social leadership and first aid which will be organised at the initiative of the NGO Trust Fund and the UNDP.
     
    For her part, the UN Coordinator of UNDP, Ms Christine Umutoni, highlighted that volunteerism helps to translate human principles into concrete actions. It particularly holds significant value in war-torn countries and regions facing social conflicts, wherein volunteers safeguard rights of those in precarious situations, she added.
     
    Speaking about the multicultural context of Mauritius, she underlined that volunteerism helps to promote social inclusiveness, a sense of cohesion and solidarity in the society. She pointed out that an inclusive and equitable participation of the community is important and adding that Mauritius is a good example in this matter.
     
    Ms Umutoni outlined that the UNDP supports Government in its endeavours to care for the disadvantaged members of the society. In this regard, she enumerated some of the initiatives which include: establishing a Social Register for Mauritius; organising various workshops to map out strategies to attain sustainable goals; setting up of the National Council of Social Work and supporting the fight against poverty and organising capacity-building training for NGOs, amongst others. 
     
    International Volunteer Day
    IVD, observed worldwide on 5 December, seeks to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. It is an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organisations
     to raise awareness of, and gain understanding for, the contribution they make to their communities. It is also viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organisations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
     
    The theme for this year is ‘Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.’ , highlighting the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world who answer calls in times of crisis, helping save lives today and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity .
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Research and Innovation Bridges Scheme to establish sustainable joint venture opportunities


    GIS – 06 December, 2017: Research and Innovation Bridges, Mauritius Research Council’s latest scheme launched  under the National Innovation Initiative, was unveiled by the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, this morning at Cyber Tower 1, Cybercity, in Ebène.  The scheme seeks to enable local stakeholders to collaborate with international partners to ease  the sharing of new ideas, technologies and expertise.
    In his address the Minister stated that, among the various growth-enablers, innovation is key in shaping modern corporate vision and helping leaders conceive previously unimagined strategic plans.  By investing in innovation, Mauritius is anticipating the needs of its future customers, and is also poised to transition to the level of a high-income country, where innovation becomes the main driver of socioeconomic development, he said.
     
    According to Mr Sawmynaden, innovation requires effective implementation, and this cannot be achieved in a sustainable manner at national level unless a structured framework is put in place to allow the ‘real doers of innovation’ to operate and grow.
     
    Referring to the Research and Innovation Bridges Scheme, the Minister emphasised that this project   will pave the way for fruitful joint ventures and in addition offer new opportunities, leading to job and wealth creation.  He thus called for the need for multidisciplinary initiatives, team work, knowledge and reward sharing, and collaboration among local and foreign institutions.
     
    The Scheme
     
    The Research and Innovation Bridges Scheme is expected to enable an expansion of the Research/Industry Partnership and establish sustainable joint venture opportunities for Mauritian companies through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
     
    A Mauritian company, be it small, medium or large,  wishing to undertake a project must partner with either: a company (small, medium, large) from any of the partner countries; or, a public/private Research/Academic Organisation from any of the partner countries.
     
    Project proposals will be accepted in the areas of industry-oriented research leading to socioeconomic benefits, and, must contain innovative concepts with a view to sharpening the competitive edge in line with agreed principles of sustainable development.
     
    An approved project may be awarded a matching grant of up to Rs 10 million of duration not exceeding 24 months.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Human Rights Monitoring Committee held in context of International Human Rights Day


    GIS – 06 December, 2017: The Human Rights Monitoring Committee met today under the chairmanship of the Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin, at the Lunch Room of the National Assembly.
    The meeting forms part of several activities organised by the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Prime Minister’s Office, to mark the International Human Rights Day, observed on 10 December every year.
    Some 30 representatives of Ministries, departments as well as from the Mauritius Police Force, Non-Governmental Organisations, and the Equal Opportunities Commission were present on that occasion.
    In his address, Minister Gobin highlighted that the setting up of a full-fledged Ministry for human rights is an indication that necessary conditions have been put in place for meaningful work to be achieved. He also pointed out that the Committee will henceforth be meeting more than once a year.
    The Minister added that in view of encouraging Ministries and departments to work in a smarter way, the possibility of the Monitoring Committee to become a National Human Rights Secretariat has to be explored.
    Human Rights Monitoring Committee
    The objectives of the Committee are to ensure regular monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations of the Action Plan on Human Rights based on the sectoral action plans; to ensure that adequate resources are available for the implementation of the policies, training and sensitisations being carried out at sectoral level; and to recommend collaborative arrangements with local and external partners for the effective implementation of the projects identified.
    Some of the recommendations of the Committee include encouraging and facilitating greater involvement of civil society and business in the promotion and protection of human rights, and better protecting and safeguarding rights of vulnerable persons.
    They also emphasise on reinforcing international cooperation on human rights through greater commitment to Universal and Regional Human Rights Treaties and greater international engagement for promotion and protection of human rights, and enhancing human rights education and awareness.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • New Supreme Court to stand as symbol of boldness towards a new era of development, says PM


    GIS - 06 December, 2017: The New Supreme Court which is in line with Government’s commitment towards the nation to modernise the institutions, should stand as a symbol of boldness to step into a new era of development. Similarly, the physical and digital infrastructure being deployed should reflect the path towards attaining sustainable growth and further consolidating Mauritius’ position as a champion in Africa and across the world.
    The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement this morning during a ceremony for the laying of foundation stone for the new building of the Supreme Court at Edith Cavell Street in Port Louis.
    According to the Prime Minister, this landmark project as announced in the Government Programme 2015-2019 bears testimony to Government’s pledge to address the challenges facing the fast expanding judicial system and the ever increasing number of cases. On this score, he expressed his gratitude towards the Government of India which has provided a grant assistance to the tune of USD 30 million for the construction of this state-of-the-art building.
    Prime Minister Jugnauth also recalled that the budgetary allocation of the Judiciary has been significantly increased from Rs 558 million in 2015/16 to Rs 848 million in 2017/18 in view of ensuring that the Judiciary has the required facilities to dispense and administer justice effectively.
    He further dwelt on the various components of the supreme court project comprising of a modern judiciary system with latest technology. They are namely: a modern computerised revenue collection system to better monitor payments of fines and other court fees and keep track of the progress of cases; implementation of the system of E-Courts and E-Law whereby in the future civil cases will be lodged electronically; setting up of a user-friendly database to keep citizens abreast of new Acts of Parliament, or amendments to existing legislations; and a new mobile application enabling citizens to check cause lists, recent decisions of the Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court, and also access E-Court services such as online payment of fines. By June 2018, this system will be accessible to the public.
    For his part, the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mr Abhay Thakur, qualified the laying of foundation stone as yet another milestone achievement between India and Mauritius hence deepening the longstanding relations between the two countries based on mutual trust and confidence. He recalled the continuous support of India to various development projects in Mauritius and reiterated the strong cooperation between the two countries in several areas ranging from the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership Agreement (CECPA), infrastructure projects to the blue economy.
    New Supreme Court project
    The new Supreme Court project which has been funded by the Government of India following a Memorandum of Understanding signed in November last year, is expected to be ready by end 2019. The building will house all divisions of the Supreme Court namely Civil, Criminal, Commercial, Family and Mediation Courts, the Chief Justice and Judges’ chambers as well as the administration, under one roof hence creating a more conducive working environment leading to greater synergies between the various divisions.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Data Protection Bill to be introduced in the National Assembly


    GIS - 05 December, 2017: The Data Protection Bill will be introduced into the National Assembly. The object of the Bill is to repeal and replace the Data Protection Act with a view to strengthening control and personal autonomy of data subjects over their personal data, thereby contributing to respect for their human rights, fundamental freedoms, and their right to privacy.
    The Bill is in line with current relevant international standards, in particular, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of the European Union. It aims at simplifying the regulatory environment for business in the digital economy and promoting the safe transfer of personal data to and from foreign jurisdictions, given the diversification, intensification and globalisation of data processing and personal data flows.  
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org