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  • Mahebourg Tourist Village Project: Progress of governmental activities right on track, says Tourism Minister

    GIS 22 February 2019: In a bid to promote new tourist attractions and maximise the socioeconomic contributions of tourism, Government has announced in the 2018-2019 Budget the implementation of the Mahebourg Tourist Village project.  In that context, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Kumarsingh Gayan met, yesterday, at the seat of the Ministry in Port Louis, stakeholders from the public and private sectors who are involved in the project to take stock of the overall progress of works achieved.
    Minister Gayan recalled that the Mahebourg Tourist Village project was set to be a joint public-private partnership endeavour.  The village, he pointed out, has rich environmental, historical and cultural assets that are poised to add to its appeal as a tourist destination.  The project, he said, essentially seeks to harness the potential of Mahebourg as a major cultural and ecotourism attraction, and supports the development and upgrading of tourism structures and infrastructure.
    According to him, Government is firmly committed to promote tourism as well as all other major infrastructural works being undertaken across Mauritius, as an instrument in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals geared towards fostering sustainable development.  Mr Gayan dwelt on the action plan of the public realm which centres on: the upgrading of Mahebourg into a touristic village through the uplifting of historical relics and vestiges; and, the development of islets having recreational and tourism potentials for the promotion of ecotourism.  All activities are set to be environmentally compliant, he emphasised.
    The Minister also indicated that Government has embarked on an embellishment and clean-up programme.  He enumerated some ongoing works, namely: setting up of information panels and maps in strategic places, creation of Wi-Fi spots, and infrastructural works at the Mahebourg Cavendish Bridge.
    However, Minister Gayan deplored the slow progress as regards the input of the private sector and recalled that it is essential for both the public and private sectors to put in joint efforts to spearhead the Mahebourg Tourist Village project.  On that note, he urged relevant stakeholders from the private sector to provide the Ministry of Tourism with their inputs in terms of proposals and specified timeline and budget.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • More stringent measures to be implemented to stop assault on bus workers

    GIS 22 February 2019: A series of amendments will be brought to existing legislations so as to deter members of the public from assaulting bus workers while using public transport. The amendments have become essential following the security concerns raised by bus workers amid a series of attacks.
    This was the gist of a press conference held this morning at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport and chaired by the Communication and Public Relations Officer of the National Transport Corporation, Mr P. Gopal. The Chief Road Transport Inspector of the National Transport Authority (NTA), Mr I. Burtun, and the Superintendent of Police responsible of the Emergency Response Service (ERS) Transport Squad, Mr. J-C. Ramsay, were also present.
    One of the responsibilities of the NTA, highlighted Mr Burtun, is to enforce two legislations so as to ensure the good functioning of public transport. They are: the Road Traffic Conduct of Passengers Regulations 1967; and the Road Traffic Conductors and Drivers Regulations 1954. He recalled that following a workshop, organised at the initiative of the Bus Industry Employees Welfare Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, held in August 2018 and focussing on assault on bus workers, a series of recommendations, including amendments to be brought to the existing legislations, were formulated.
    These amendments include, among others, an increase of fines for all persons assaulting either bus drivers or conductors from Rs 5 000 to Rs 10 000 and imprisonment of six months; the introduction of compulsory CCTV cameras for all buses; and fines to persons carrying dangerous weapons. Mr Burtun pointed out that, in addition to physical and verbal assault, illegal taxis as well as van operators are a source of major conflict within the public transport industry. The NTA carries out crackdown operations on a regular basis around the island in order to mitigate these conflicts. From December 2016 to December 2018, the NTA, with the collaboration of the ERS Transport Squad, had issued more than 10 000 fines to illegal operators, he added.
    For his part, Mr Gopal underscored that the ERS Transport Squad, set up in February 2018, and all bus operators are working in close collaboration so as to sensitise bus workers, give them training in customer care and self-defence, and to identify hotspots. He also made an appeal to members of the public to alert the concerned authorities should they witness assault on bus workers.
    Mr Ramsay, for his part, gave an overview of duties carried out by the ERS Transport Squad in La Tour Koenig, Albion, Coromandel, and Pointe aux Sable, among others, which are considered as hotspots. He also outlined that the Squad, comprising some 18 police officers, regularly receive help from other ERS teams around the island.
     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 Ocean Island Games 2019: Draw for collective sport matches held

    GIS 21 February 2019: The International Council of the IOIG - ‘Conseil International des Jeux des Iles de l’Océan Indien’ (CIJ), proceeded on 19 February 2019 afternoon, at Voilà Hotel, Bagatelle, with the draw for the collective sports matches for the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2019.
    In fact, Mauritius hosted the two-day (18-19 February 2019) annual meeting of the International Council of the IOIG which concluded, yesterday, with the drawing of lots for this year’s IOIG collective sports disciplines, namely: football, volleyball, basketball, beach volleyball and rugby sevens.  A press conference to discuss the outcome of the third meeting was held following the draw ceremony.  The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and some 19 delegates of participating Island States, were present.
    Outcome of the third meeting
    The International Council of the IOIG has examined the request for the readmission of Sri Lanka, one of the founding members of the IOIG, within the CIJ.  A delegation from Sri Lanka will be invited, at the next meeting, to present their request for readmission.
    Moreover, the International Council took note of the work progress achieved by the various commissions of the organising committee of the 10th IOIG.  In addition, Comoros and Maldives have presented their candidature to host the 2023 edition of the IOIG which will be finalised by the International Council at its next meeting.  A team from the CIJ will also effect a site visit on the two islands before designating the host country.
    Drawing of lots results:
    Collective sports
    Group A
    Group B
    Basketball (Men)
    Reunion - Madagascar -Maldives – Seychelles
    Mauritius - Mayotte – Comoros
    Basketball (Women)
    Reunion - Comoros - Madagascar – Seychelles
    Mauritius - Mayotte – Maldives
    Beach volleyball team (Men)
    Mauritius - Seychelles – Madagascar
    Comoros - Reunion- Mayotte- Maldives
    Beach volleyball team      (Women)
    Mauritius - Maldives- Seychelles
    Madagascar – Mayotte - Reunion
    Volleyball (Men)
    Mauritius-Seychelles - Mayotte
    Reunion -Madagascar-Maldives – Comoros
    Volleyball (Women)
    Mauritius - Mayotte – Madagascar
    Seychelles - Maldives – Reunion
    Football (Men)
    Mauritius - Seychelles – Madagascar
    Reunion- Maldives – Mayotte -Comoros
    Beach volleyball (Male-Single)
    Mauritius - Madagascar – Seychelles – Réunion – Comores -Mayotte- Maldives
    Beach volleyball (Female-Single)
    Mauritius – Madagascar – Maldives – Seychelles – Mayotte - Réunion
    Rugby sevens (Men)
    Mauritius – Madagascar – Mayotte - Reunion
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Activities to pay tribute to musical artist, late Joseph Réginald Topize

    GIS 21 February 2019: The Ministry of Arts and Culture is organising a series of activities today at several places in Port Louis to pay tribute to musical artist, late Joseph Réginald Topize(Kaya).
    The programme of activities comprised of cultural performances from noon to 13 00 hours by the Conservatoire National de Musique François Mitterand at the Esplanade of the Municipal Council of Port Louis; and the “Mo’Zar Espace Artistic” in front of Air Mauritius Building.
    A forum/round table on the lyrics of Kaya organised by the Creole Speaking Union kicked off at 13 30 hours in the Council Room of the Municipal Council of Port Louis.
    Furthermore, a musical performance will be held from 19 00 hours to 21 00 hours at the Port Louis Waterfront Esplanade, with the participation of artistic groups such as Dagger Kkila and the Soul Frequency, Blakkayo, Steeve Laridain, Soldat Zion, Darriana Amerally, Atelier Mo’zar, Eric Triton and La Nikita.
    Joseph Réginald Topize, born on 10 August 1960, was professionally known by his stage name Kaya. The Mauritian musician created the "seggae", a fusion of Mauritian sega and reggae; two of the most popular music genres in Mauritius.
    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 encourages transition of cooperative sector to green and sustainable practices

    GIS 20 February 2019: The Republic of Mauritius is one of the seven pilot countries in Africa selected to implement the European Union’s SWITCH Africa Green Programme to achieve green growth that will foster transformation towards green economy.  Mauritius is in fact executing a transition to green and sustainable consumption and production practices in the cooperative sector.  It is in this context that a train the trainers’ workshop opened yesterday at the Pearle Beach Resort, in Flic-en-Flac, with the aim to raise awareness as regards green business development.
    The event is organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development.  The SWITCH Africa Green Programme is designed and funded by the EU to support African countries in their transition to an Inclusive Green Economy and to achieve sustainable development through the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices.
    Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, the supervising officer of the Ministry, Mr R. Bhugwant, highlighted that the cooperative sector contributes significantly to the socioeconomic development of Mauritius.  The objectives of Government’s 2030 Agenda is to promote a growth model based on sustainable development, he stated.
    The supervising officer also spoke about the importance of the project of greening of the country’s economy to protect and preserve the environment, while underscoring the role of the cooperative sector as a key player in fostering innovative green business practices.  On that score, Mr Bhugwant emphasised that this EU project has largely helped Mauritius to meet its targets with regards to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as enable the country to implement environmental standards and regulations, and support initiatives spearheaded to foster sustainability locally.
    Likewise, Mr Bhugwant indicated that the present workshop is geared towards encouraging and guiding cooperatives to adopt sustainable, innovative and smart actions to improve the sustainability of their business.  He underpinned the necessity for entrepreneurs to remain compliant to environmentally sustainable practices and standards while they pursue their productivity and growth objectives.  Moreover, he dwelt on the wide range of opportunities that eco-innovation and green businesses offer, namely business activities focusing on local products, organic farming, compost production, and renewable energies.
    As part of the SWITCH Africa Green Programme, Mauritius’ key areas of intervention are agriculture, manufacturing and tourism with energy and water efficiency, labelling and standards, eco-innovation and sustainable trade as cross-cutting issues.
    About the workshop
    Some forty representatives of various cooperative societies and other stakeholders are attending the one-day workshop.  Presentations focusing on sustainable agricultural practices, opportunities for green agro-businesses through innovation and support and funding opportunities for cooperatives were on the agenda.
    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 aims to enhance well-being of Mauritians, states Prime Minister

    GIS 20 February 2019: One of the major objectives of Government is to enhance quality of life and the well-being of each citizen and the new market fair, among other such projects, fits in the philosophy of the Government to attain the set objective.
    The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, made this statement, yesterday, at the inauguration of the Plaine Magnien Market Fair, in Plaine Magnien.
    In his address, the Prime Minister highlighted that the new market fair, to the tune of some Rs 13 million, and comprising a large parking space, will provide additional facilities to vendors and buyers of the locality. The available space can also be used for other purposes, following approval from the District Council, he added.
    He further pointed out that this type of project is being undertaken in several localities around the island and, in Budget 2018-2019, more than Rs 2.2 billion have been allocated for National Development Unit and Local Government projects. Some of these projects, Mr Jugnauth outlined, include a new market fair and commercial complex at Rose Hill; the construction of multipurpose complexes at several places; the construction and upgrading of secondary roads and jogging tracks; and the upgrading and renovation of village and municipal halls.
    The Prime Minister reiterated Government’s focus on infrastructure works and socio-economic projects so as to further transform Mauritius into a modern country. Development must continue to take place throughout the island and Mauritius should be a beacon for other countries, he stated.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Less women opt for STEM at secondary and tertiary education level, MRC study reveals

    GIS 20 February 2019: The number of female candidates opting for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at the Higher School Certificate and tertiary level in Mauritius are lower than the number of male candidates, in particular in the field of engineering and ICT, according to a study conducted by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) at Secondary and Tertiary Education level and on women’s participation in Research and Development in Mauritius.
    The findings of the study were presented, yesterday, during a half-day workshop, at the seat of the MRC in Ebène. The event was organised by the MRC in the context of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrated annually on 11th February. The Chairman of MRC, Dr M. Atchia, the High Commissioner of Australia in Mauritius, Mrs Jenny Dee and other personalities were present at the event.  The resource persons were the Research Coordinator of MRC, Dr M. Madhou, and President of Organisation of Women in Science in the Developing World (OWSD) Mauritius Chapter, Dr D. Saddul.
    The study indicates that less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women and in Mauritius only 15% of women reach out to the MRC to benefit from the schemes put in place for conducting researchers.  It covers the period 2013-2018 and analyses the involvement of girls and women in STEM from secondary education to tertiary education as well as their participation and success rates in Research and Development at professional level. The findings also identify gender variations in career/professional aspirations of STEM students and obstacles met by women pursuing STEM doctoral studies.
    According to High Commissioner Dee, STEM literacy is increasingly becoming part of the core capabilities that employers need, no matter what the sector of employment. Women can make a significant difference to the betterment of the economy as well as the society as they represent around 50 per cent of a nation’s population. A nation that does not harness and utilise the talents, skills, perspectives, insights and intelligence of its population will never reach its full potential, she said.
    She further added that STEM is not just about equity, but it is about proven economic sense.  She encouraged female students to break down gender barriers and to opt for STEM subjects at the secondary and tertiary level.
    On that occasion, a presentation was made on the OWSD Mauritius Chapter. It aims to support actions for science promotion among women, youth and the community at large in Mauritius. The OWSD, founded in 1987, is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership. OWSD provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their careers.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Export potential of Mauritian products in the SADC region discussed

    GIS 20 February 2019: The export potential of Mauritian products in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and the development of an E-commerce platform for the manufacturing sector, were the focus of a workshop held, yesterday, at Le Sirius, Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port-Louis.
    The one-day event was organised in the context of the SADC Trade Related Facility (TRF) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade in collaboration with the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA).  It provided a platform for Mauritian businesses to take stock of the findings of a market intelligence analysis undertaken in seven SADC Member States in collaboration with the EDB.  The objective was to identify the export potential for Mauritian products on the SADC market. 
    Discussions during the workshop enabled participants to consider the main outcomes of a feasibility study on the development of an E-commerce platform for the manufacturing sector in Mauritius which has been undertaken jointly with MEXA.
    The SADC TRF is a mechanism established through a Contribution Agreement between the European Union and SADC for financial and technical support to SADC Member States.  Mauritius is benefitting from a financial package of EUR 1.4 million to implement projects of national interest over a period of two years.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Education Minister meets SENA members to discuss the way forward

    GIS 20 February 2019: A meeting aimed at discussing the way forward for the Special Education Needs Authority (SENA), was held yesterday at the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development in Phoenix between the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, and the SENA Board members.
    In her address, the Minister, recalled that Government introduced the Special Education Needs (SEN) Authority Bill last year in the National Assembly with the objective of setting up of a SEN Authority that would cater for the needs of children with disabilities and provide for a new institutional framework to encourage their holistic development. The main purpose of setting up the authority is to promote an inclusive and equitable education system in the country and be in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4, she underlined.
    Currently, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun emphasised, some 41 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and 63 schools providing special care, are working towards securing the welfare and the rights to education of some 2056 children with special education needs. On this note, she stressed the relevance of the SENA which will work in collaboration with these institutions to facilitate an inclusive learning environment and devise a quality assurance framework for SEN.
    The Minister highlighted that the setting up of SENA is not to be considered as a means to separate children with special education needs from those benefiting from mainstream education. Inclusion in the long run should be achieved as a step by step process by providing special care and attention and this will be best done with the guidance of the SENA, she added.
    Furthermore, she expressed satisfaction with regard to the meeting and highlighted that the SENA members will be expected to work as a team towards achieving a common objective. She also called for a synergy among parents, NGOs and SENA to better respond to the requirements of children with special education needs.
    For her part, the Chairperson of the SENA, Mrs Savritree Oogarah, underscored that the Board has the keen determination to improving the education of the children with special education needs. She emphasised that with the expertise and experience of its members, SENA will be able to come forward with an effective action plan and spearhead appropriate programmes for children with special education needs.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Impact assessment report highlights NMW positive impact on economy and population

    GIS 20 February 2019: A report on the impact assessment of the implementation of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was handed over to the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr Soodesh Callichurn, yesterday at a press conference in Port Louis. The Chairman of the National Wage Consultative Council (NWCC), Mr Beejaye Coomar Appanah and other personalities were present.
    The Minister underlined that according to the report, the NMW has positively impacted on the lives of low-income families as well as on the economy of the country. He recalled that the NWCC was mandated to do an impact assessment on the implementation of the NMW in January 2018. The report, he said, is based on information and data from the Statistics Mauritius, the Mauritius Revenue Authority, and different relevant authorities and institutions.
    The results of the report, he indicated shows the commitment of the Government to protect workers at the lower rung of the social ladder so as to improving their standard of living and also to enable them lead a decent life. The report takes into consideration the impact of the NMW on economic growth, wealth and income distribution, wage ratio, employment, and compliance.
    As regards the rate of employment, the Minister said that there is an increase in the employment rate from 545 100 workers in 2017 to 546 500 workers in 2018, that is a total of 1400 jobs. He further observed that contributions made to National Pension Fund increased from 290 368 in December 2017 to 313 778 as at June 2018. He also pointed out that there has been an increase in the evolution of salary distribution and a decrease in income inequality thus reducing the gap of inequality between the rich and the poor.
    Speaking on the cases of non-compliance as regards the implementation of NMW, Minister Callichurn said that the rate stands at 10.9 % while adding that the figure stands at around 30% in other countries across the world where the National Minimum Wage has been implemented. Nevertheless, he reassured the population that the Government is taking all necessary actions to ensure full compliance with the NMW.
    The Minister also announced that a technical committee has been set up to analyse problems and non-compliance mentioned in the report and to come up with recommendations.
    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 to develop National Spatial Data Infrastructure

    Government is moving towards the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) to host all spatial data with the vast amount of data that grows exponentially each day. The NSDI is a platform for collecting, sharing and disseminating geospatial data which aims at facilitating access to information, free of charge, and providing a special tool for analysing, and determining solutions to the needs and requirements of national development objectives. 
    The announcement was made yesterday by the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, at the opening of a three-day workshop on “Geospatial Data for Infrastructure” organised by the National Computer Board at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower in Ebène.
    Minister Sawmynaden explained the rationale of adopting such technologies in a modern world where information in the form of digital data has become the foundation on which governments, industries, and organisations base many of their decisions. He observed that as we reflect on the uses of geospatial data, one of the most significant growth areas in the broader world of data is the area of data visualisation. Whether rendering information in two or three dimensions, he said, geospatial data is the key to visualising data, which is why it has become one of the most sought after forms of data.
    He further underlined that companies and institutions have come to the awareness that not only must they have access to the right data at the right time, they must also have access to analysis of the raw data to make correct decisions. As for Mauritius, he emphasised that in view of protecting the most important and sensitive biodiversity, effective and transparent spatial data for biodiversity conservation and land use planning is vital.
    Moreover the Minister highlighted that a solution for preventing and resolving land use conflicts is for organisations to encourage early engagement in these development projects. This is what NSDI can help to achieve, he added. By mobilising an NSDI, it is possible to solve these spatial data issues, such as availability and transparency, for all involved parties, said Mr Sawmynaden.
    In 2015, the Government embarked on the Open Data Initiatives to promote transparency; public service improvement; innovation and efficiency. Furthermore, in April 2018, the Open Data Portal was launched and to bring more value to the data, Government is now moving to geo-spatial data.
    Workshop on “Geospatial Data for Infrastructure”
    The workshop on “Geospatial Data for Infrastructure” aims to create awareness among high Government officials on geospatial data as infrastructure on which applications and services are built, and how these data produce revenue and opportunities. Another objective is to empower public IT professionals on geo-spatial data and in developing analytical dashboards for Open Data.
    The resource person for the training, Mr. Tim Sutton, is a renowned Open Source advocate who has been much involved in Geospatial Data.
  • UNFPA to assist in formulating new national population policy for Mauritius

    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will assist in the formulation of the new national population policy for Mauritius which will, among others, address issues that are critical for the demography of the country such as fertility and ageing population.
    This was the focus of discussions held yesterday, during a courtesy call by the UNFPA Madagascar Representative and Country Director for Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles (Head of Mission based in Madagascar), Mr Constant-Serge Bounda on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
    In a statement, Mr Constant-Serge Bounda, reiterated the UNFPA continuous assistance to Mauritius and expressed interest to explore the opportunities of exchange programmes between the organisation and Mauritius while recalling that Mauritius is already a showcase for the African continent and a model for the world.
    The Framework on strategic cooperation, in addition to, specific cooperation on maternal health and violence targeting youth as well as youth and the demography were also on the agenda. Moreover, the possibility of reopening the office of the UNFPA in Mauritius was also evoked.  
  • Survey to be undertaken to identify causes of recent flooding, says PM

    GIS – 19 February, 2019: A survey will be carried out to determine the causes of the recent flooding which affected several regions in Mauritius especially Port Louis, said the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, yesterday during a press conference at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
    The press conference was a follow-up of an emergency meeting with several stakeholders namely Ministers, Private Parliamentary Secretaries, and representatives from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC), the Mauritius Meteorological Services, the Police, and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service, which was organised to take stock of the situation following the recent torrential rains which hit Mauritius during the weekend.
    Since 2013, Prime Minister recalled, Port Louis has been falling prey to rising water levels caused by torrential rains and flash floods.  As temperatures rise, abnormal weather patterns such as more powerful cyclones, erratic rainfall, and intense droughts and floods are predicted to worsen over time, hence the need to take urgent actions, he emphasised.
    Mr Jugnauth stated that as soon as the torrential rain alert was lifted last Sunday, officers from the NDRRMC carried out an analysis exercise on the causes of flooding in the region of Port Louis.
    Government, the Prime Minister pointed out, is investing massively in infrastructural projects especially drains. In fact, Rs 1 billion have been disbursed for implementation of projects at the level of local government including the construction and rehabilitation of drains.  Several other projects are in the pipeline and will be implemented shortly while priority will be given to other projects through emergency procurement, he added.  Furthermore, he indicated, a Land Drainage Master Plan is in the preparation phase and will be used for topographical surveys and drain construction.
    Speaking about victims of the recent torrential rains, Mr Jugnauth pointed out that a survey is being carried out to determine the number of families which have been affected and the extent of damage on property and goods.  Since Monday, he said, the victims can seek compensation which is being disbursed by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development.
    A total of 314 victims has sought refuge in social welfare centres around Mauritius since the country has been hit by torrential rains during the weekend.  They are: Riche Terre (192), Roche Bois (31), St Croix (19), and Riche Lieu (72).
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Second countdown ‘Mobilizasyon Moris 19’ event sets the pace for IOIG 2019

    GIS – 19 February, 2019: Mauritian citizens were mobilised on Saturday 16 February 2019 at Mahebourg Waterfront during ‘Mobilizasyon Moris 19’ (MM19), the second countdown activity in the context of the forthcoming Indian Ocean Islands Games 2019 (IOIG 2019).  The aim was to encourage Mauritians take an interest in the IOIG 2019 and to encourage athletes to honour the national flag.
    The event was organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the organising committee of the 10th IOIG, Club Maurice, Landscope Mauritius Ltd, and Hello Events.  The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and several personalities as well as preselected athletes the 2019 Games, ‘Krouink’ the mascot of the IOIG, and members of the public were present.
    In his address, Minister Toussaint called upon the population to show their patriotism towards Mauritius and participate fully in events such as MM19.  MM19, he remarked, was conceptualised in January 2019 with a view to sensitise the population on IOIG 2019 and is being organised in different regions across Mauritius and in Rodrigues. The remaining activities for the MM19 will be held at Flacq Coeur de Ville, Flic en Flac Public Beach, and the Municipality of Curepipe, Plaza Rose Hill, and Grand Baie.
    The Minister also recalled that MM19 comprises a segment aiming at introducing former Mauritian medallists after their successful participation in previous editions of the Games as well as preselected athletes for this year’s Games.  During each activity, a concert is held with the involvement of local and international artists.  Similar events will take place every month leading to IOIG 2019.
    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 Entrepreneurship Campaign launched to promote entrepreneurial activities

    GIS – 19 February, 2019: A National Entrepreneurship Campaign (NEC), aimed at fostering entrepreneurial activities, recognising successful entrepreneurs and promoting policies to improve economic success, was launched yesterday at the headquarters of SME Mauritius in Port Louis, in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah. The Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius, Mr Rabin Rampersad, and other personalities were also present.
    The NEC, indicated the Minister, will span over two months and will target youth, women, professionals, graduates and other potential entrepreneurs. He pointed out that some Rs 2 million have been earmarked for the campaign, which will comprise activities such as round tables, sectorial meetings, workshops, and training sessions.
    Mr Bholah expressed satisfaction as regards the work undertaken by SME Mauritius since its creation in April 2018. He recalled that, as at date, several recommendations in the 10-year Master Plan for the SME Sector in Mauritius have already been carried out, namely the recruitment of the Chief Executive Officer and of the Elite team, and the setting up of the SME portal which will be completed in March 2019.
    He also dwelt on several schemes offered by SME Mauritius, which have already been implemented. They include the barcode registration, the inclusive business, the mentoring and hand-holding programme, and the solar photovoltaic scheme.
    For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of SME Mauritius outlined several entrepreneur-oriented actions undertaken by SME Mauritius from July 2018 to January 2019, including 773 site visits at SMEs around Mauritius, 485 talks, and training provided to 346 entrepreneurs. Furthermore, SME Mauritius will continue to revamp the sector into a more innovative one so as to encourage the youth in joining SMEs, 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