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  • Minister Callichurn urges the youths to consider making a career in maritime industry


    GIS - 19 October, 2018: The Oceangoers Ltd, incorporated in April 2018 to become the Mediterranean Shipping Company Cruises’ (MSC) exclusive hiring partner in Mauritius, was launched yesterday by the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr. Soodesh Callichurn, during a ceremony held at the Taylor Smith House in Port-Louis.
     
    The Oceangoers Ltd aims at providing professional and dedicated manning services to MSC Cruises, a leading international organisation in the cruising industry, while ensuring that its standards are compliant with the Maritime Labour Convention.
     
    In his address, Minister Callichurn underlined that the ocean economy has been set out as a new pillar of economic development for Mauritius in the Government Vision 2030. The partnership with MSC, Taylor Smith and Oceangoers Ltd comes at an opportune time in our vision for the development of the ocean economy, he stated, while recalling that the group guarantees world best practices in its field of expertise.
     
    He pointed out that by virtue of being an island State, shipping plays a vital role in the economy of the country and that it relies heavily on maritime trade.  Accordingly,   Government is embarking on several projects for the sustained development of the ocean economy sector namely, the bunkering hub, the expansion of the harbour and research related to the ocean, which will create job opportunities for the youth, he said.
     
    Other measures in this regard, listed out by the Minister, include the ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 on 30 May 2014, which came into force on 30 May 2015 and the setting up of a dedicated Ministry to oversee ocean related activities namely, fisheries, shipping, marine resources and outer islands.
     
    Furthermore, Minister Callichurn underscored the pivotal role of the human element for a safe, secure and efficient shipping industry. According to him, it is crucial to ensure that the workforce is equipped with the required competencies and experience in line with international standards for a safe, secure and efficient shipping industry.
     
    The Minister further underlined the paradox of the acute shortage of seafarers being felt globally, despite the interesting career prospects and remunerating packages that the maritime industry offers. He added that in order to address this shortage at the local level, Government is poised to collaborate with other stakeholders to provide the support required for manpower in this emerging sector.
     
    On that score, he urged young Mauritians to avail themselves of the tailor-made courses being offered by the maritime training institutions to acquire the required skills and be prepared to tap those opportunities, adding that they have the advantage of being bilingual to pave their career in the domain.
     
    The MSC has already onboard over 1000 Mauritians who are working in its different departments and over 500 new recruits will be required by 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
  • Health Awareness programme sensitises citizens on leading a physically fit lifestyle


    GIS - 19 October, 2018: A Health and Wellness Screening and Awareness session aiming to sensitise citizens on leading a physically fit lifestyle was held yesterday at the Trèfles Community Centre in Rose Hill in presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands and Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Honorary President of Mauritius Diabetes Association (MDA), Lady Ursule Ramdanee, and other personalities.
    The event comprised health screening, free diabetes testing, foot care demonstrations; and yoga session.
     
    In her address, Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo, underlined that Government is making provision of quality health care services for the welfare of all citizens of the country. She emphasised that with the high rate of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and cancer, various programmes are being put in place to create awareness among the population against the risk-related factors, complications and prevention measures of NCDs.
    On that score, she urged the residents of Trèfles to benefit from the facilities that are being put at their disposal and to encourage their family members and people of their locality to adopt a healthy lifestyle by doing physical exercises. The Vice-Prime Minister further pointed out that women, as pillars of the family, are called upon to play a key role by inculcating in their children the importance of good eating habits while adding that people of all age groups should take precautionary measures for a healthier and a longer life.
     
    For her part, Lady Ursule Ramdanee, highlighted that the MDA as a member of the International Diabetes Federation since 1982, has as objectives to educate the population on diabetes and its prevention. She dwelt on the health problems associated to diabetes while underlying that every 10 seconds, one person dies due to diabetes-related complications. Obesity, she said, is one of the key causes of diabetes and people should be continuously sensitised on the ways of leading a healthy lifestyle.
     
    On that occasion, the President of the MDA, Dr Veenoo Basant Rai, conducted a counselling session to advise the residents on the ways to have a proper balanced meal with more fruits and vegetables, more consumption of water daily and avoidance of sugar sweetened beverages.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Delegation from Groupe d’amitié France-Maurice meets Prime Minister


    GIS – 19 October, 2018: A delegation from Groupe d’amitié France-Maurice, led by the Member of the French National Assembly representing the department of Gironde, Mrs Sophie Mette, and accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of France to Mauritius, Mr Emmanuel Cohet, met the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
    In a statement, Mrs Mette underlined that the visit of Groupe d’amitié France-Maurice delegation to Mauritius further reinforces the friendly relationship between Mauritius and France. She highlighted that the meeting with the Prime Minister was cordial and discussions focused on a range of issues comprising the environment and coastal erosion, as well as the drug scourge in Mauritius.
    She pointed that since the drug scourge in the region is an issue that concerns Reunion Island as well, France is committed to help Mauritius in the fight against drug dealers who are a threat to young people.
    Mrs Mette highlighted that, as a member of Commission des affaires culturelles et de l’éducation, she commends the proposal made by Prime Minister Jugnauth in the National Assembly on 16 October 2018 of sensitising young people on drug issues. In the fight against the drug scourge, prevention campaigns targeting young people play a crucial role so that youth are fully aware of the consequences that drugs can have on their health and their lives, 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
  • Implementation of Metro Express Project is on track, says Minister Bodha


    GIS - 19 October, 2018: The Metro Express Project is on track and on time. As regards the progress made, 43.5% of the works for Phase I has been completed and 28% of the overall project from Port Louis to Curepipe. 
     
    This reply was given by the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr. Nandcoomar Bodha, at the National Assembly on 16 October 2018, to a Parliamentary  Question pertaining to the implementation of the Metro Express Project, in particular the percentage of works completed and expenditure incurred as at to date.
     
    Minister Bodha highlighted that the Metro Express project is one of the most important transport infrastructure project ever implemented in Mauritius, that  aims to improve travel between Curepipe and Port Louis, a corridor that serves the fastest growing areas in Mauritius.   He emphasised that the Metro Express Project will reduce traffic congestion by providing a cleaner and more reliable mode of mass transit transport that will help to achieve sustainable economic growth.
     
    In addition, the Minister pointed out that much progress has been made since the launch of the project on 10 March 2017, while recalling that Larsen and Toubro Ltd was awarded the Design and Build Contract and works started in September 2017. He indicated that Larsen and Toubro Ltd has reached cruising speed and is currently working on 30 sites simultaneously, on a 24/7 regime, along the 12.4 kms alignment from Rose Hill to Port Louis, for the first phase of the project. 
     
    The Minister added that most of the utilities diversion works have been completed, he said, with excavation works that are under way at various sites such as at Chebel, Signal Mountain and the Richelieu Depot. Foundation works are underway at other sites - 45 piles have been casted at GRNW and 40 piles at the Caudan flyover; pier caps are being constructed at the Rose Hill Interchange; and the pre-cast yard is already operational and being used for the construction of pre-cast beams for bridges and fly-overs.
     
    As regards the rails, he added that the supply of rails is ongoing - 76 kms out of 114 kms of rail have already been imported.  Base preparation of the track has started between Beau Bassin and Révérend Lebrun and placement of the rails on the tracks is scheduled to start in November.  The first “Urbos 100” Light Rails Vehicles from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) are expected to reach Mauritius in June 2019 for tests.
     
    Furthermore , the Minister underlined that Metro Express Limited will initially be assisted by the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise/Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SCE/SMRT), for the provision of Operation Readiness Services, namely in the recruitment and training of local staff and in setting up the operation and maintenance procedure for the Light Rail System.
     
    As regards expenditure incurred, he underlined that  Rs4.6 billion has been disbursed to the Design and Build contractor, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, as at 30 September 2018, representing the mobilisation fee and payment effected based on the progress of works.  
     
    Minister Bodha further stressed that the implementation of the Metro Express Project is on track, while emphasising that close monitoring is being ensured so as to have the Light Rail system operational, as planned, in September 2019 for the first phase of the project from Rose-Hill to Port Louis. 
     
    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 edition of the Mauritius Cinema Week launched


    GIS - 19 October, 2018: The second edition of the Mauritius Cinema Week, under the branding East Meets West, was launched yesterday at La Demeure, St Antoine in Goodlands. The Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Anil Gayan, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, and other personalities were present on the occasion.
     
    The event which is being held from 18 to 21 October 2018, is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Economic Development Board and the Mauritius Film Development Corporation. It aims to promote the Mauritian creative industry and make of Mauritius an island of cultural creativity.
     
    In his address, Minister Bodha, as Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Mauritius Cinema Week, underpinned that the cinema is a powerful vehicle of universal language and emotions that transcends fiction and makes it become a reality and vice-versa. The aim behind the event is to promote Mauritius as a shooting destination as well as a one stop shop for financing of films. The event will enable the Mauritian film industry to be better structured and more inspired to celebrate talents, thus, producing amazing films, he said. As regards to the Film Rebate Scheme and the Offshore Sector of Mauritius, they can be helpful for the financing of films, he added.
    For his part, Minister Gayan expressed optimism that the international artists present for the event will help to enhance the Mauritian film industry with their expertise, experience and knowledge. The focus of the second edition of the Mauritius Cinema Week, he highlighted, is on creating business linkages in particular with regard to film financing and also providing opportunities for actors, film producers and stakeholders to discuss on how to develop the film industry in Mauritius.
    Furthermore, the Minister observed that Mauritius is a unique country of peaceful coexistence whereby people of different cultures and religions co-exist in harmony. He indicated that filmmakers should take advantage of the multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity that reign in the island. The Mauritian tourism and the film industry should coexist and together they should promote the film industry and enhance the country’s visibility on the international front, he added.
    As for Minister Roopun, he highlighted that the event will become the crossroads of Hollywood meeting Bollywood, hence influencing the shaping of new trends in the film art as well as giving a new impetus to the development of the cinema industry on the island. He also pointed out that several master class sessions will be organised during the Cinema Week on the creative aspects of the film industry. The objective of these events, he indicated, is to identify young talents in the country and help them develop their potential so that they can in turn contribute to the Mauritian film industry.

    The Minister encouraged all stakeholders of the film industry to come forward and take advantage of the master class sessions that are being organised during the cinema week.

    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org

  • Credit Unions contribute to the empowerment of vulnerable people, says Minister Bholah


    GIS - 19 October, 2018: A workshop regrouping representatives of Credit Unions was held yesterday, in the context of the International Credit Union Day, at the National Cooperative College in Bois-Marchand. On this occasion, the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Mr L. Monvoisin and the President of the Mauritius Cooperative Savings and Credit League, Mr S. Bathilde, were present.
     
    In his address, Minister Bholah, highlighted the relevance of credit unions at the core of the socio-economic cohesion of the country and their valuable contribution in empowering vulnerable people by providing access to loans and other benefits. He pointed out that credit unions have enabled these people to undertake major professional, personal and educational projects that have improved the quality of their life.
    He outlined that there are 150 credit unions in Mauritius and Rodrigues with some 60, 000 members which generate a turnover of around Rs 2.9 billion each year. These statistics show that credit unions occupy a niche which is expanding over time and is evolving as an alternative to other financial institutions, he observed.
     
    On this score, the Minister underlined that according to the Report of the Truth and Justice Commission, more models of credit union should be replicated for the welfare of impoverished people. Each member of the society has equal rights as regards economic democracy and repayment conditions, he added. He concluded by reiterating Government’s struggle against money laundering and malpractices at the centre of credit unions.
     
    For his part, the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Mr L. Monvoisin, underscored that it is high time to consolidate the basis of credit unions in Mauritius since a lot of people are gradually losing their faith in these institutions. Credit unions, he emphasised, should promote principles of good governance and transparency for its successful operations and for gaining the trust of its members.
     
    With regard to the workshop, he highlighted that it will help create more understanding between credit unions and will encourage them to work side by side for development of the sector. He also urged the participants to benefit from training and expertise of other credit unions in the Indian Ocean region and to collaborate for future endeavours.
     
    International Credit Union Day
    The International Credit Union Day, observed on third Thursday of October each year, celebrates the spirit of the global Credit Union movement.  Its main objective is to reflect on the Credit Union movement's history, promote its achievements, recognise the hard work and share member experiences.
     
    The theme for this year, “Find your platinum lining in Credit Unions”, illustrates that members of Credit Unions never stand alone in their struggle for professions, personal choices and career paths.
     
    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 receives Senior Minister of the Government of Ghana


    GIS – 19 October, 2018: The Senior Minister of the Government of Ghana, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, who is leading a thirteen member delegation, called on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this afternoon at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
     
    In a statement, the Senior Minister highlighted that the meeting with the Prime Minister was cordial and that both parties are committed to enhance Mauritius-Ghana ties as well as to further strengthen bilateral collaboration.
     
    In addition, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo indicated that his delegation is currently in Mauritius in the context of the ongoing reform of the public sector of Ghana.  Mauritius along with Rwanda have been recommended by the World Bank to act as role models in this endeavour, he pointed out.
     
    The Senior Minister also conveyed his delegation’s keenness to have a good exchange of knowledge and experience and to learn the best practices from Mauritius.  He expressed satisfaction with regards to the fruitful interactions that the Ghanaian team had during meetings with different local institutions.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Unemployed women receive trainings to enhance their employability


    GIS - 18 October, 2018: Certificates were awarded to 31 unemployed women trained in pastry making and 15 who followed an Induction Course on Cooperative Entrepreneurship Development Programme by the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong, during a ceremony held on 12 October 2018 at the National Cooperative College in Terre-Rouge.  
     
    The trainings were organised by National Co-operative College, free of charge. On the same occasion, a training in Bio-Farming for 10 beneficiaries of the Social Register of Mauritius through the Non-Governmental Organisation - Falcon Citizen League, was launched. 
     
    In his address, Minister Wong reiterated the commitment of Government to eradicate poverty in all its forms and to strive towards the creation of an inclusive and more equitable society. To this end, he said, several training initiatives with the objective of empowering the vulnerable to enhance their life opportunities and progress, are being spearheaded by Government.
     
    The Minister underlined that the trainees have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake jobs in the domains. This endeavor, he added, is essentially geared towards empowering women to be financially autonomous, by increasing their employability in the job market. According to him, this will not only enable them to stand on their own feet, but as an additional breadwinner in their households, they will substantially contribute in maintaining a good standard of living of their family.
     
    Moreover, Minister Wong spoke about the importance of motivation and hard work to pave the way out of poverty. He emphasised that his Ministry and the National Empowerment Foundation aim to offer the necessary opportunities and assistance to vulnerable groups so that they develop and acquire the required competencies to undertake income earning activities in order to become self-reliant and progress in life.  In this regard, the Social Integration and Empowerment Act has been established as an action plan to set up financial measures to help the most vulnerable.
     
    The Minister also handed over keys to seven families under the Fully Concrete Housing Scheme  in the region of Triolet, Tombeau Bay and Terre-Rouge, as part of the ongoing Governmental measure to eradicate poverty and improve the life of the population.
     
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • International Country Workshop focuses on Social Protection mechanisms in Mauritius


    GIS 18 October, 2018: A two-day international country workshop under the theme Social Protection in Mauritius: International Frameworks and National Policies kicked off yesterday at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis. The objective is to initiate a reflection on the social protection legal frameworks and concepts in Mauritius.
     
    The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, the Vice Board Chairperson of the Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN), Zambia, Ms Isobel Frye, the Programme Manager of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Zambia, Mr Vince Chipatuka, and other personalities were present at the event.  A book entitled “Evaluating the Social Protection of Women Entrepreneurs operating in the Informal Sector in Mauritius” was launched on that occasion.
     
    In his address, the Minister emphasised Government’s commitment in providing several measures to enhance the quality of life of citizens as well as fostering an equitable Mauritian society. Mr Sinatambou thus spoke of the Basic Retirement Pension which has been increased from Rs 3 623 to Rs 5 810.  For those aged between 90 and 99 years, the sum was Rs 10 789 and currently stands at Rs 15 810, while for centenarians the sum has risen from Rs 12 300 to Rs 20 810, he added.
     
    Speaking about the international country workshop, the Minister pointed out that it will offer a platform which favours national dialogue and debate and provide a forum to exchange and engage with experts to foster a public discourse on social protection. To this end, he called on social welfare centres and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Mauritius to continuously provide support for the social upliftment, empowerment and integration of local communities in the country.
     
    For her part, Ms Frye, pointed out that the SASPEN, since its inception in 2012, has been engaged in the promotion of social protection in SADC countries and beyond as well as help decision-makers to build national social protection systems. The present workshop, she said, will therefore help to address the Mauritian framework around social protection systems through discussion and reflection among experts and stakeholders.
     
    As for Mr Chipatuka, he spoke of the core values of social democracy while emphasising the importance of social protection for the African continent. The FES, he underlined, is committed to promote an inclusive society where no one is left behind and all citizens benefit from equal opportunities and educational facilities while also empowering women and the youth.
     
    The Workshop
     
    It is organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, the University of Mauritius, the SASPEN and the FES.
     
    The sessions are focusing on: Social Protection Context and Framework; Social Aid, Disability and Sustainability of NGOs in Mauritius; Social Protection in Southern Africa; Leaving No One Behind - Social Inclusion Reforms in Mauritius and Africa’s Social Assistance Project; and, Building Critical Thinking and Capacities of Policy Makers and Stakeholders - The Case of TRANSFORM.
     
    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 calls for collective effort to tackle poverty


    GIS – 18 October, 2018: Government is deeply committed to eradicating poverty as stated in its Vision 2030 and Government Programme 2015-2019.  A series of empowerment programmes and projects have thus been initiated to put vulnerable families at the centre of development and facilitate their inclusion in mainstream society.
     
    This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong, yesterday, in the context of the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2018. This year’s theme is Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.
     
    The enactment of the Social Integration and Empowerment Act in December 2016 is one of the landmark measures to alleviate poverty in Mauritius, the Minister highlighted. The Act, he underlined, makes provision for the setting up of Empowerment Schemes to combat absolute poverty and provide financial support to families, who are eligible under the Social Register of Mauritius (SRM) and have signed the social contract. Since December 2016 to-date, an amount of around Rs 652 million has been disbursed by Government for the benefit of around 11 000 families, including those in Rodrigues, he indicated.
     
    Government, the Minister emphasised, is providing empowerment support with the collaboration of key service-providers in several areas namely education, training, employment, health, family welfare, sports and leisure, and life skills enhancement. The introduction of a Minimum Wage and the Negative Income Tax, he pointed out, are examples of breakthrough measures announced in 2017-2018 Budget to address the issue of absolute poverty and promote economic empowerment
     
    The Minister expressed Government’s firm belief that a decent shelter is a sine qua non condition for a family to win the battle against poverty. Government is subsidising 75% of the cost of a housing unit under the Housing Scheme for SRM beneficiaries, he said.  The beneficiaries will therefore have to pay only the remaining 25% over a period ending at retirement age.
     
    As regards the setting up of Community Working Groups, the Minister stated that these Groups are present in all districts of Mauritius and in Rodrigues. The aim is to encourage private and public partners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the civil society to collaborate through a holistic manner for the advancement of the community and to support beneficiaries at grassroots level for their empowerment.
     
    With regard to the National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Foundation, Minister Wong indicated that it was set up to allocate CSR funds to NGOs to enable them undertake programmes and projects for the benefit of targeted vulnerable groups in ten priority areas mostly related to poverty alleviation.  In 2017, the National CSR Foundation had approved 231 projects from 173 NGOs for a total amount of Rs 203 million.
      
    It is important to come forward with improved measures and new initiatives to address poverty challenges while at the same time make a meaningful difference in the lives of the poor, the Minister highlighted.  The Mauritian population should join hands in the fight against poverty for the prosperity and success of the nation, 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
  • Government is determined to revitalise the tea sector, states Prime Minister


    GIS – 18 October, 2018: The creation of a centre of excellence for research and the use of technology so as to ease the work of tea growers will help increase tea production and revitalise the tea sector in Mauritius.
    The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement yesterday at Royal Parbeaux Hall, Nouvelle France, during a ceremony organised by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security for the payment of the Winter Tea Allowance to tea growers. The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, Ministers and Members of Parliament, and other personalities were present on the occasion.
    A cheque of approximately Rs 3.86 million was handed over to the Chairman of the Small Farmers Welfare Fund and the organisation will effect payment of the Winter Tea Allowance to some 1 100 tea growers.
    In his address, the Prime Minister recalled that Budget 2018-2019 made provision for a monthly income support of 50 cents per kilo of tea leaves harvested by small planters during the three months winter period. However, he highlighted, Government has decided to increase this support to 75 cents per kilo of tea leaves harvested so as to provide better assistance and motivation to tea growers.
    He underlined that Government is also taking necessary measures to create the appropriate environment to attract investors in the tea sector. This, he pointed out, will help create a new dynamism in the sector for it to flourish. He added that Mauristea Investment Co Ltd, a company from China, has already taken over the Dubreuil tea factory and made it operational again. Some 600 arpents of land have already been identified and will be made available to promoters for tea plantation.
    Prime Minister Jugnauth underscored that the use of new techniques and information technology can be used to the advantage of tea growers and he made a parallel with young graduates who are using technology in sheltered farming. He further dwelt on ongoing Government projects, including the Metro Express and the A1-M1 link road, and measures taken to sustain the population such as the National Minimum Wage.
    For his part, the Agro-Industry Minister underlined that the tea industry is experiencing a growth of 7% per annum and this figure is bound to increase in the years to come. Since 2015, Government has been working towards the revival of the tea sector and today this sector comprises some 1 200 tea growers, 1 500 arpents under tea cultivation and an annual tea production of around 1 400 tons. The Winter Tea Allowance shows commitment of Government to support tea growers so that this sector plays an important role in the country’s economy, 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
  • Inauguration of New Centre Dedicated to Support Women fighting Breast Cancer


    GIS - 18 October, 2018: The Valérie Sénèque Breast Cancer Care Centre, dedicated to support women suffering from breast cancer and help them lead a normal life despite the prevalent stigmatisation of the disease, was inaugurated yesterday at Petit Bel Air in Mahebourg.
     
    The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs. Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, the Director and founder of the Breast Cancer Care Organisation, Mrs Shamima Patel, as well as other personalities were present.
     
    In her address, Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo, highlighted the importance of screening and preventive measures to reduce cancer risks as the disease remains an alarming threat to women all around the world.  Around 80% of the total budget allocated for the healthcare sector is mostly used for treating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which indicates the increasing gravity of these diseases, she indicated.
     
    Government, in a bid to enhance the healthcare system and make of Mauritius a medical centre of excellence, is investing a lot for the upgrading of existing primary healthcare infrastructures and construction of new ones, the Vice-Prime Minister pointed out.  People should therefore avail of the healthcare services and screening activities for early detection, treatment and prevention of complications, she urged.
     
    The Vice-Prime Minister underlined that the setting up of the Centre will further raise breast cancer awareness and people will become conscious of the need to fight the stigma of breast cancer.  Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo saluted the courage and determination of all those women who are struggling against breast cancer every day.
     
    For his part, Minister Husnoo, expressed concern for the increasing number of new cases of cancer each year.  NCDs, he underlined, are one among the leading causes of death in Mauritius, and in 2017, there were 2 500 new cancer cases, 1 500 among females and 1 000 among men, with breast cancer topping the list.
     
    On this score, the Health Minister emphasised that an early detection of NCDs is fundamental so as to treat them accordingly.  The population, he emphasised, should adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as practise physical exercises in order to reduce the risks of diseases.  A timely screening, an effective diagnosis and preventive measures are crucial to better manage NCDs, he stated.
     
    Speaking about the Centre, Minister Husnoo observed that it has been inaugurated in October which is designated as the breast cancer awareness month.  He commended the efforts of both public and private partners who have collaborated for this laudable initiative of providing relief to breast cancer victims.
     
    The Director and founder of the Breast Cancer Care Organisation, Mrs Patel, underscored that the Centre will bring a change in the way Cancer is dealt with and will provide psychological, social, physical and emotional support to the people suffering from breast cancer.  A fourth Cancer centre will soon be inaugurated in Port-Louis, she announced, while expressing her determination to mobilise Mauritians to address cancer-related issues.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
  • Leaders help foster socio-economic development, says Minister Sesungkur


    GIS - 18 October, 2018: A Training of Trainers Programme, an initiative of the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) organised in the context of the National Leadership Engine Project, was launched yesterday by the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène. The National Leadership Engine is a national project that aims at building leadership capabilities among youth in Mauritius at all levels.
     
    In his address, Minister Sesungkur highlighted that Mauritius has already established itself as one of the leading economies in Africa, and is successfully transitioning from a low income to an upper middle income country, underscoring the need for a new breed of leaders at all levels of the society. He added that strong leadership and management is a key factor in fostering innovation, unlocking the potential of the workforce and ensuring organisations have the right strategies to drive productivity and growth. 
     
    The Minister pointed out that the National Leadership Engine Project, by bridging existing gaps in the area of leadership development, is contributing to achieving the vision of Government in leveraging its youth as thriving leaders. These leaders, he said, will be able to operate in the public and private sectors and within the civil society, blending a global mindset with the very best of relevant local experience and culture. The objective is to increase stakeholder confidence around delivery of high quality results, thus contributing efficiently and effectively to the overall national economy and the social environment, he added.  
     
    Minister Sesungkur emphasised that the trainees, as future trainers, will be expected to train people to competently share responsibilities, vision, and commitment and develop a team of leaders to bring forth meaningful change in the society.
     
    The Training of Trainers Programme
     
    The three-week Training of Trainers Programme will kick-start on 19 October 2018 and involve some 100 trainers comprising Youth Officers from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, participants from the public and the NPCC staff. All the trainers will eventually be accommodated in some 10 Youth Centres across Mauritius where, after their training sessions, they will disseminate their knowledge to young people. 
     
    They will be expected to work on projects for the community through innovative problem solving related to challenges such as illiteracy, unemployment, entrepreneurship, obesity, drug addiction, self-esteem, teenage pregnancy and poverty.
     
    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 hosts International Association of Insolvency Regulators Annual Conference 2018


    GIS – 17 October, 2018: The International Association of Insolvency Regulators (IAIR) Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting kicked off yesterday at the Sugar Beach Resort, Flic en Flac, in presence of the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, the IAIR Chair, Registrar of Companies, and Director of Insolvency Service, Mrs Prabha Chinien, and other personalities.
    The theme chosen for this year’s three-day conference is “Sharing international insolvency trends and developments”. Participants coming from 26 different jurisdictions are attending the conference, which aims at providing the platform to meet fellow regulators, share common issues and have the opportunity to network while learning more about best practices and recent developments around the insolvency world. This year marks the first annual IAIR conference held in the African region since 2009 and the first being held in Mauritius.
    In his address, the Minister highlighted that a well-regulated backdrop with best practices attuned to international standards, including strong insolvency are required so as to achieve Government’s vision of doubling the contribution of the financial services sector to Gross Domestic Product. He underlined that tests and trials facing insolvency professionals have significantly escalated over the past decade, whether in scale or form, owing to a fast-evolving global economic landscape and the rapid globalisation of trade.
    Minister Sesungkur underscored that Mauritius is a meaningful choice for holding the IAIR 24th annual conference given the increasing visibility and standing of the Mauritian jurisdiction as an International Financial Centre of repute.  As a young, yet well developed and established Financial Centre, the country always welcome new ideas particularly from regulators and legal practitioners from diverse economies, he pointed out. The conference, he stated, will provide a valuable platform for insolvency regulators to advise policy makers on new trends and challenges which require shaping and re-shaping of insolvency laws. 
    As regards the Insolvency Act 2009, he observed that one of its major features is that it merged both corporate and individual insolvency in a stand-alone Statute. He further emphasised that Mauritius has improved its ranking from the 73rd place in 2009 to the 36th position today as far as the Resolving Insolvency Indicator is concerned.
    For her part, Mrs Chinien underpinned that the IAIR must be at the forefront so as to encompass innovative ways of doing business and reinvent insolvency regulations and procedures if need be. She added that topical issues, including gender balance in the insolvency world and latest trends in cross-border insolvency, will be discussed during the conference.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
     
  • Octopus fishery reopens after two-months’ ban


    GIS - 17 October, 2018: The re-opening of octopus fishery was held yesterday at the Mahebourg Fish Landing station after a two-month ban from 15 August to 15 October, in the presence of the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.
    In his address, Mr Koonjoo highlighted that the recent closure is being implemented at national level for the third year in a row. He rejoiced that there has already been an increase in octopus catch for the past three years. The catch has increased from 25 tons to 39 tons from 2015 to 2017, he added.
    The Minister pointed out that in 2017, the average octopus weight before closing was 312 g adding that at the reopening of octopus fishery, the average weight was 1124 g. Last year the total catch recorded in one day was 508 kg of octopus, with the largest catch, a 13 kg octopus in the area of ​​Bambous Virieux, he said.
    Speaking about the measure, Mr Koonjoo underlined that it aims to increase the number of juveniles which will grow into adults, thus increasing the population of octopus. He added that the two-months’ closure aims to promote the sustainable management of the fishery resources. It also allows the female population to reproduce and at the re-opening of the fishing season, the fishermen will have a better catch, with octopus weighing around 1 to 1,5 kg. This initiative will also have a huge impact in preserving the nature and propagation of the species, he said.
    This year, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping participated in awareness campaigns together with the officers of the Fisheries Protection Services to sensitise fishers on the octopus closure, namely at Bambous Virieux, Grand Gaube, Tamarin, Le Morne, Mahebourg and Riambel.
    The fisherman with the biggest catch of octopus will be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 10 000, the second Rs 5 000 and the third Rs 3 000.
    Seasonal closure of the octopus fishery
    Following the positive results obtained in Rodrigues, where a two-month island-wide seasonal closure of the octopus fishery is being observed every year since 2012, a pilot project with a two-months’ voluntary closure of the octopus fishery was implemented in 2015 in the south-west region of Mauritius, along the coastal strip extending from Le Morne to Souillac. This activity was implemented in Mauritius as according to statistics the catch of octopus from the lagoon of Mauritius had also decreased considerably for the past years, from 300 tonnes in 1990 to less than 50 tonnes in 2015.
    In this regards, a voluntary and experimental closure trial on the fishing of Octopus was carried out in the region of Souillac to Le Morne in the south of Mauritius from 10 August to 10 October 2015, with the collaboration of different stakeholders like Fishermen in the region, the District /village Councils, Fisheries Protection Services, National Coast Guard and NGO such as Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, Eco-Sud, Eco-mode and Reef Conservation.
     
    The results of the catch and size of the octopus obtained after the closure was encouraging. Consequently, the Ministry implemented a closure on the fishing of octopus on a National level from 15 August to 15 October 2016, with the collaboration of the IOC-Smart Fish/ UNDP-GEF programme. Regulations were proclaimed under the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act and Offenders were liable to a fine of up to Rs 50 000/-
     
    Since then, the Ministry is implementing the closure every year under the same Regulations.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org