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  • Japan Business Mission explores avenues of cooperation in Mauritius

    GIS  23 February 2018: A meeting to explore prospective avenues of cooperation and promote and facilitate the development of Japanese business activities in Mauritius was held yesterday in Port Louis.  It was chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo.  The objective was also to contribute in the deepening of mutual understanding and the development of economic and trade relations between both Japan and Mauritius.
    A Japan Business Mission to Mauritius co-hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industries in South Africa (CCIJ) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) participated in the meeting.  The Japanese Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Yoshiharu Kato, and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mrs U. C. Dwarka Canabady, were also present.
    In his statement, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo underlined that with the inauguration of the Japanese Embassy in Mauritius, last year, an era of greater cooperation is being defined not only with regards to the private sector but also at the level of Government-to-Government.  He encouraged Japanese companies to use Mauritius as a base to invest in Africa and suggested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade or the Board of Investment could act as coordination centre for those companies.
    Speaking about the advantages offered by Mauritius, the Minister explained that the situation of the country is quite exceptional as it is a member of all major African organisations, that is, African Union, COMESA, and SADC.  The country is now completing trilateral negotiations whereby the EAC-SADC-COMESA will become one organisation and the countries signing this agreement will have access to 600 million consumers, he pointed out.  In addition, a free trade zone, Jin Fei, will be launched in Mauritius and the country is part of Africa, offers facilities of ease of doing business, and will be setting up a regional Renminbi clearing centre with China for Southern Africa, he stated.
    During the meeting, the Minister invited Japanese investors to consider using Mauritius as a regional headquarter for their companies.  The Bank of Tokyo and Insurance companies have also been invited to open a branch in Mauritius.  Moreover, Mr Lutchmeenaraidoo expressed confidence that a strong-member Mauritian delegation will go to Japan to further deepen relations with Japan, and announced the hosting of a Japanese week to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of Mauritius’s accession to Independence.
    For his part, the Japanese Ambassador to Mauritius, Mr Yoshiharu Kato observed that the Japanese-Mauritian ties are being enhanced and the presence of the Japan Business Mission to Mauritius represents an effort in reinforcing our relationships and these efforts will be perpetuated.
    The Head of Mission of the Japan Business Mission to Mauritius and also Managing Director of Sumitomo Corporation Africa, Mr Kazuyuki Takahashi, expressed a keen interest in building a strong partnership and working together with Mauritius in terms of business ventures and investment prospects, and also to further unlock Mauritius’s and Africa’s potential.
    The CCIJ is currently undertaking a three-day prospecting mission in Mauritius to explore investment opportunities in industries such as Financial Services, ICT, Logistics, Textiles and Agri-business.  Moreover, since the last TICAD VI (6th Tokyo International Conference in African Development Summit) hosted in 2016, in Kenya, CCIJ member companies have been looking for new opportunities to expand their businesses not only in South Africa but also to the Sub-Saharan African region including Mauritius.
    Japan’s increasing interest in Mauritius has been demonstrated with the inauguration of the first Embassy of Japan in Mauritius in January 2017.  Both Mauritius and Japan share solid bilateral, friendly and cultural ties based on mutual 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
  • InnovED 2017 rewards winners for creative and innovative project

    GIS  23 February 2018: An award ceremony to reward the winners of the InnovED (Innovation for the Education Sector) 2017 competition was held yesterday at the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) House in Phoenix. Several eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
    The competition is a joint initiative of the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research. It aims at promoting critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation among students. On the same occasion, InnovED 2018 which will focus on the theme of multiple intelligences and new innovative concepts was launched.
    The winner in the Lower secondary category is Hindu Girls College, Soondur Manrakhan College in the Upper secondary category and Prof. B.S Upadhyaya Training Centre in the MITD category. The winning project of the Hindu Girls College was a foldable bin and a clean water and sanitation for Soondur Manrakhan College.  Prof. B.S Upadhyaya Training Centre was picked up for its mini portable cooler box project. The winners were rewarded with certificate of participation, tokens and vouchers from sponsors.
    In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of  Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research , Mr Ravi Meettook, highlighted that the biggest asset of a country is its pool of educated human resources. Hence, he added, through the current educational reform, Government is providing the necessary environment ,facilities and resources to groom young minds into confident critical thinkers.
    Mr Meettook emphasised that creativity and innovation are key factors for economic growth and prosperity and constitute important elements of competitiveness in the globalised, knowledge-based and technology-driven world. On that score, he underlined that the next wave of transformation will be innovation-led and youths instilled with the values of creativity and innovation will turn new ideas and technologies into assets that will transform the economy. 
    According to the Permanent Secretary, InnovED is in line with the objective of ongoing educational reforms as it promotes critical thinking, creativity, innovation, adaptability and self-discipline. It has certainly ushered a culture of innovation and creativity among young students and set an innovative track, to prompt them to become innovative and creative, he said.
    As for the Executive Director of the NPCC, Mr Deepak Balgobin, he highlighted that the participants have showcased their creative and critical skills in the ingenious and innovative products and systems they have come up with.  He emphasised that InnovED has enabled students to embark on a new journey of learning, to engage themselves beyond academic achievements and develop a passion for creativity and innovation. The competition seeks to provide opportunities to students to expand knowledge ,concretise their ideas and acquire life skills, he added.
    InnovED 2017
    Eleven teams, from lower secondary, upper secondary and the MITD, from both Mauritius and Rodrigues,  participated in InnoVed 2017. The theme was ‘Sustainable Development’ and the projects were evaluated on the following criteria: originality, innovativeness and creativity, and presentation, amongst others.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Acquisition of new refrigerated vehicle to boost milk production

    GIS  23 February 2018: A refrigerated vehicle was handed over by the Asia Africa Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) to the Mauritius Livestock Marketing Cooperative Federation Ltd with a view to boost the dairy sector and improve the quality of milk production. The donation ceremony was held yesterday in the presence of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, at the Maison des Eleveurs in Henrietta.
    On this occasion, Minister Bholah underlined that the donation is part of Government’s initiative to support cooperatives in consolidating the dairy sector in the country given that over the years the sector has suffered from considerable decrease in the local milk production.  Presently, the milk production is estimated at around four million litres while some 85% of the milk consumption in Mauritius results from importation, he pointed out.
    In this context, he emphasised, Government had sought the expertise and financial assistance of New Delhi- based AARDO to help restructure the milk sector in Mauritius. He underscored that a report submitted by the experts of AARDO showed that the setting up of a logistics system and an improved milk supply system to ensure the efficient collection of quality milk could help revitalise the dairy sector. To this end, the AARDO also offered some Rs 1.4 million for the purchase of a new refrigerated vehicle, he added.
    Minister Bholah highlighted the various benefits of the refrigerated vehicle for cooperatives involved in the dairy production including the transportation and storage of the milk in accordance with sanitary standards and the production of pasteurised as well as better quality milk. He expressed confidence that the acquisition of the refrigerated vehicle will enable the Mauritius Livestock Marketing Cooperative Federation Ltd to provide better delivery services to the consumers.
    For his part, the Secretary of the Mauritius Livestock Marketing Cooperative Federation Ltd, Mr Kissonah, pointed out that the refrigerated vehicle will help revive the confidence of farmers and breeders in the dairy sector. He underlined that there are presently some 800 breeders in the country and that they should be encouraged to help sustain the livestock sector.
    The Mauritius Livestock Marketing Cooperative Federation Ltd
    The Mauritius Livestock Marketing Cooperative Federation Ltd is the only cooperative federation of the dairy sector to which 14 companies are affiliated. It also operates a milk pasteurisation unit in Henrietta.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Enhancing the quality of life of citizens remains Government’s priority, says PM

    GIS  23 February 2018: The welfare of the citizens, socioeconomic progress and infrastructural development of the country are the main priorities of Government for a modern Mauritius. To this end, Government is providing various measures and working on various projects to improve the daily lives of the population.
    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 the inauguration of a Customer Service Centre (CSC) in Central Flacq.  The Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Purmanund Jhugroo, as well as several Ministers and other eminent personalities were present at the event.  A souvenir magazine marking the fifth anniversary of the District Council of Flacq was also launched on this occasion.
    In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the CSC, which is an innovative project, is in line with Government’s vision of providing efficient and high quality services to the citizens. The CSC, he underlined, will act as a one stop-shop by bringing essential services under one roof for the residents of the region so as to connect easily with different institutions. He called upon the citizens to make proper usage of the facilities that have been put at their disposal.
    He emphasised that the CSC will be beneficial for the people in terms of time-saving and efficiency.  On this score, he spoke of the online Citizen Support Portal, which has been set up at the Prime Minister’s Office to provide better services to address complaints and queries of citizens.
    As regards enhancing the quality of life of citizens, Prime Minister Jugnauth reiterated that Government is working towards the provision of adequate facilities in several sectors. These comprise: a new Ear, Nose and Throat hospital at Vacoas; a flyover at Phoenix; the setting up of the state-of-the-art Multi-Sports Complex at Côte d’Or; and the New Supreme Court project, amongst others.
    Speaking about Rodrigues, the Prime Minister indicated that he will be on an official visit to the island on Friday 23 February 2018 whereby consultative meetings will be held pertaining to the forthcoming budget.  Moreover, as Mauritius is set to celebrate its 50th Anniversary of Independence, the Prime Minister appealed to everyone to maintain the unity, peace and harmony that define the multicultural Mauritian society.
    For his part, Minister Jhugroo, underlined Government’s support in the setting up of the CSC and lauded the concerted efforts of the District Council of Flacq for the implementation of the project. He spoke of the construction of a new headquarters for the District Council of Flacq, to be located next to the Fire and Rescue Services Headquarters and opposite Flacq Coeur de Ville commercial complex.
    The CSC
    The building of the CSC which was formerly the Fire Station of Flacq has been completely revisited and expanded with major renovation works. Different services are proposed, namely: Civil Status Office; Ministry of Arts and Culture (CELPAC); District Council’s Planning and Health Department; Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Family Welfare; Citizen Advice Bureau; Central Water Authority; Treasury; Police Post; Probation Office; and, Village Council of Flacq.
    It also provides the following facilities: lift, ATM services, common waiting room, parking facilities for 200 vehicles at 25 metres from the Centre.  Library facilities, reference books, periodicals, magazines as well as internet facilities are also offered.
    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 encourages Japanese Businessmen to invest in Mauritius

    GIS  22 February 2018: A Japanese delegation comprising businessmen and investors 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 in the Treaty Room at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis. The delegation was led by Mr K. Takahashi and was accompanied by the Japanese Ambassador to Mauritius Mr Yoshiharu Kato.
    In a statement Mr K. Takahashi highlighted that the meeting with Prime Minister Jugnauth was very fruitful and a good kick off to start business in Mauritius. He underscored that the Prime Minister encouraged them to invest in Mauritius as the country provides attractive incentives for foreign investors.
    He further pointed out that the Prime Minister provided necessary information regarding investment in Mauritius as well as in the region. Mr K. Takahashi underpinned that following the meeting the Japanese investors are looking forward to set up businesses antennas in Mauritius and announced that they will return shortly.
    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 envisages to become a Sports Hub of renown in the Indian ocean, says Prime Minister

    GIS  22 February 2018: Mauritius aspires to becoming a sports hub of repute in the Indian Ocean with a major transformation into modernising the sports landscape with state-of-the-art infrastructure that will eventually position the country as a reference in the region in line with Government’s strategy as outlined in the Vision 2030.
    The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, expressed the intent yesterday during the laying of foundation stone of the Multi-Sports complex project at Cote d’Or amidst other eminent personalities.
    The Multi-Sports complex project, highlighted the Prime Minister, which will be used to host the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games in 2019 is a first of its kind to accommodate such amenities of international standards. To the tune of around USD 80 million which is approximately Rs 3.1 billion, with financial assistance amounting to Rs 2 billion from the People’s Republic of China, the complex will not only be the centre of sporting activity in Mauritius but also a flagship for sporting achievement and training across the East-African and Indian Ocean region, added the Prime Minister.
    He further underpinned that the facilities will be designed and planned to the highest international standards and are expected to become a catalyst for sporting achievement from across the country. Accordingly, he underlined that the sports activities to be undertaken at Cote d’Or are expected to inspire people of all ages and communities to get involved in sport, fitness, and healthy lifestyle programmes.
    Prime Minister Jugnauth also spoke of the elaboration of a National Sports policy for Mauritius which will eventually help boost the sports sector bringing it to new heights. On this score, he pointed out that a letter of award has already been submitted to an international firm for recommendations and proposals. He further dwelt on the longstanding relations between Mauritius and China whereby he expressed his gratitude to the Government of China for its continuous financial and technical support in several fields ranging from education, infrastructure, financial services to agriculture among others.
    For his part, the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Mauritius, Mr Sun Gongyi, underscored that the Multi-Sports complex project which will be entirely under the Mauritian supervision is a testimony of the remarkable cooperation between the two countries. He stressed on the very close and more than privileged cultural and economic ties between China and Mauritius which has been constantly strengthened and nurtured over time and reiterated China’s continuous assistance to Mauritius.  
    Cote d’Or Multi-Sports complex project
    The project to be built over 53 acres of land at Cote d’Or to the tune of Rs 3.1 billion is expected to be completed by July 2019 for the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games in 2019.  The complex will include a multi-sport stadium, an athletic track and multi-sport arena providing basketball and volleyball courts, with facilities for boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, yoga, and gymnastics. It will also include a swimming arena with Olympic size pool, diving facilities and training pools.
    The state-of-the-art facilities have been designed and planned to the highest international standards and will provide venues for matches, competitions, and championships. Other amenities will consist of extensive training and outreach facilities and programs.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Gender Minister urges women to adopt a culture of entrepreneurship

    GIS  22 February 2018: An entrepreneurship workshop aiming at providing women with necessary information and facilities for business start-ups was held this morning at the Council Room, City Council in Port Louis. The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, the Lord Mayor of the City Council of Port Louis, Mr Daniel Laurent and other eminent personalities were present at the event.
    In her address, Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus underlined that women are the pillars of society and they should tap their potentials to become entrepreneurs.  This workshop, she pointed out, will inculcate the right business culture for prospective and existing women entrepreneurs to progress in the entrepreneurship field. They will be able to develop a sense of autonomy and will be able to become economically independent by starting up their businesses, she added.
    The Minister stressed that her Ministry is committed to promote the economic empowerment of women, as well as encourage the development and growth of women entrepreneurs. To this end, she emphasised that the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC) is acting as a facilitator in providing training and in organising sensitisation programmes and workshops for women to improve their skills and management aptitudes in entrepreneurship.
    Local fairs and exhibitions are also organised to promote entrepreneurial activities of women, she added. In the context of the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Mauritius, she said, more activities will be held with a view to empowering women entrepreneurs.
    For his part, Mr Daniel Laurent commended the contribution of women towards the socio-economic development of the country. He urged the women present to benefit from the facilities that are being put to their avail through the workshop. Confidence, perseverance and determination are the key elements that women entrepreneurs should consider so as to achieve success in their respective fields, he underscored.
    The workshop
    Some 150 participants attended the half-day workshop. It comprised presentation of services provided by the NWEC; procedures for business registration; permits and licenses required for setting up of a business; schemes available to women entrepreneurs by MauBank Ltd.
    About NWEC
    The NWEC has been set up in 1999 and it has amongst its set objectives to evaluate and assess the needs of women entrepreneurs as well as examine and evaluate the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the various sectors of development in the light of national needs and priorities. There are presently some 5600 members at the NWEC. Around 2600 people are active members of the council engaged in different sectors such as agro-food, craftsmanship and textile.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • SUEZ delegation pays courtesy call on Prime Minister

    GIS  22 February 2018: A delegation from SUEZ, a world leader in the water and waste sectors, paid a courtesy call this afternoon on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
    The delegation comprised of Mr Dominique Mangin-d’Ouince, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development New Markets - International Division, SUEZ South Africa; and Ms Diane Binder, Deputy Director, International Development, SUEZ, accompanied by Mr Emmanuel Cohet, Ambassador of France to Mauritius.
    SUEZ Group
    Operational since 160 years, SUEZ is working on all five continents in the service of an efficient and sustainable management of resources. The group supports local authorities and industries in the efficient, innovative and sustainable management of their resources.
    SUEZ is committed to the smart and sustainable management of water resources, the treatment and recovery of waste and supporting its customers in their response to environmental issues. Their strategy is based on four priorities: waste recovery; digitalisation; development of integrated offers for industrial customers; and international development.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Measuring the Wealth of Nations explained by Sir Partha Dasgupta

    GIS  21 February 2018: A conceptual framework which provides for a unified language for sustainability and policy analysis with regards to measuring the wealth of nations, was the focus of a talk held yesterday afternoon at the State House, in Réduit.
    The talk entitled Measuring the Wealth of Nations was delivered by Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK, Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS.  The President of the Republic, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, and other eminent personalities, attended the event organised by the Office of the President, the British High Commission and the British Council.  The British Council held its first Alumni Awards for Mauritian students following the talk.
    In her introductory remarks, President Gurib-Fakim highlighted Sir Daspupta’s expertise and knowledge in the field of economics, which she said, is key to understanding the notions of measuring the wealth of nations.  Sir Dasgupta’s publications showcase how poverty can be interpreted as low levels of wealth rather than low levels of income, she pointed out.  His works demonstrate that the concept of wealth extends the idea of investment beyond its conventional usage, she added.
    The talk
    During his presentation, Sir Dasgupta explained that economic growth can be defined as growth in wealth, which is the social worth of an economy’s entire stock of capital assets, not growth in GDP, nor improvements in the ad hoc indicators of human development that have been proposed in recent years.
    Capital assets, he underlined, include reproducible capital, human capital and natural capital. He showed a sketch of recent publications that have used the perspective to track wealth accumulation in contemporary India, and more tentatively, in a sample of over 120 countries.
    British Council’s Alumni Awards
    The first edition of the Alumni Awards targeted Mauritian students who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their country.
    Ten finalists were retained under the two categories of awards, namely: Social Impact Award; and Professional Achievement Award.  Mr Vashil Avinash Jasgray was the winner for the Social Impact Award, while Mrs Neelam Ramsaran-Jogeea received the Professional Achievement Award.
    About the Study UK Alumni Awards
    The Alumni Awards were developed by the British Council and UK universities and were launched by the Council in September 2014. They are open to alumni who have studied in the UK, and currently residing in any country outside the UK.
    The Awards celebrate and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education and raises the profile and reputation of UK alumni, their former universities, and UK education as a whole.
    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 5th meeting of Southern African Regional Cooperation Group on Safety of Navigation and Marine Protection

    GIS  21 February 2018: The 5th Meeting of the Southern African Regional Cooperation Group on Safety of Navigation and Marine Protection (SAGNEP) opened this morning at Cyber Tower 1 in Ebène in the presence of the Minister of Ocean economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.
    Organised jointly with the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the two-day meeting is being attended by around 50 local and foreign maritime experts.
    In his address, Minister Koonjoo pointed out that the maritime sector in Mauritius plays a key role in its economic development and is poised to become one of the mainstays of the ocean economy especially with the ongoing port developments and intensification of the maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean.
    Referring to safety which is a critical factor that underpins all activities of the maritime industry, Minister Koonjoo emphasised that the International Maritime Organisation, as the United Nations specialised agency catering for the regulatory aspects of the maritime industry, has always paid great attention to the improvement of navigational safety. A number of Conventions, codes and guidelines has been put in place to ensure safety and efficiency in the shipping sector, he said.
    However, he added, in spite of these systems in place, it has not been possible to prevent maritime disasters. Safety of navigation is very important in the maritime industry since maritime casualties usually result in loss of life, loss of property, pollution of the marine environment and financial loss, he pointed out.
    Speaking about the ocean economy which is an important economic pillar for Mauritius, Mr Koonjoo stated that Government is implementing several measures to give a boost to this important sector. To enable effective management of resources and implementations of the provisions of the various International Maritime Organisation conventions, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping is taking appropriate measures for their domestication. The aim of these actions is to make Mauritius the Maritime Hub of this region, he said.
    Other measures include: implementation of port development projects by the Mauritius Ports Authority; operation of the Vessel Monitoring System housed at the Fisheries Monitoring Centre situated at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing; signing of a contractual agreement between the Ministry and the Mauritius Telecom for the provision of the maritime communication service on a 24/7 basis; and signing of agreement with the Fulcrum Maritime Limited Systems for the provision of the Long Range Identification and Tracking services.
    SAGNEP is the only regional cooperation group addressing issues related to aids to navigation and other matters relating to safety of navigation in any region on the African Continent.
    It aims at creating a forum for discussions on matters of mutual interest related to safety of navigation and marine environment protection as well as organising and encouraging cooperation in training for the attainment of the required standards of competence, including skills development and research. It also has as objective to promote awareness of the need to establish internationally agreed aids to navigation and maritime safety information services.
    SAGNEP regroups 22 Member States namely, Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, France (Reunion Island), Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Norway, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom (St Helena Island), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Agro-Industry Minister pleads for development of agribusiness

    GIS  21 February, 2018: A two-day forum aiming at transforming the agricultural sector into an agribusiness hub for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development in Mauritius, kicked off this morning at the Intercontinental Mauritius Resort in Balaclava in the presence of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, and other eminent personalities.
    In his address, Minister Seeruttun underlined that in the wake of alarming challenges faced by the agricultural sector, it is high time for Mauritius as a Small Island Developing States to re-engineer the sector by fully tapping the potential of agribusiness. Agribusiness, he emphasised, can pave the way to a modern and resilient agriculture by fostering competition, innovation, research and development. He further pointed out that the agribusiness will provide opportunities for inclusive economic growth and sustainable livelihoods as well as ensure food security.
    He underscored that the development of agribusiness for local and international markets is in line with the strategic plan 2016-2020 and is expected to provide resources for other sectors such as education, health and poverty alleviation. He underpinned the need to develop an agribusiness park as a means to bring together agricultural players into a common platform. The agribusiness park is likely to attract international expertise, Foreign Direct Investment and enhance marketing strategies, he added.
    The Minister recalled that the forum is an initiative of the India-Mauritius Global Partnership Conference hosted in July 2016 which regrouped several professionals, potential investors and stakeholders of the business community from India and Mauritius. He highlighted that India is undoubtedly a glaring example as it has a blend of technology, management practices, marketing and innovation as regards the agricultural sector. 
    For his part, the Chairman of the India-Mauritius Trade and Cultural Friendship Forum, Mr Pritpal Singh, emphasised that the forum will help create new avenues for an enhanced public-private partnership among agribusinesses. He added that the forum regroups key players of the agricultural sector from both countries with a view to discuss the way forward for the development of agribusiness and the setting up of agribusiness park.
    The Forum
    The event which is organised by India-Mauritius Trade and Cultural Friendship Forum is being attended by some 100 local and international participants who are involved in the agricultural sector. It will enable participants to familiarise themselves with a number of thematic areas such as natural resource management, technological innovations, crop improvement and protection technology, use of technology in the livestock sector, marketing and trade and post-harvest amongst others. Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Road Safety: Women and girls sensitised on precautionary road measures

    GIS  20 February 2018: A Road Safety Campaign, aiming at sensitising women and girls on precautionary road measures, was held yesterday at the Rabita Hall in Port Louis in presence of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus.
    This initiative is in line with the National Road Safety Campaign launched on the theme Ensam Pa Laisse Koltar Touy Nou Fami, by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on Saturday 17 February 2018.
    In her address, Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus highlighted that it is imperative to educate women and girls on the importance of road safety for them to endorse a culture of zero-accidents.  Women, she underlined, play a pivotal role and they can positively influence their family in adopting appropriate driving behaviours.  This sensitisation campaign will therefore enable women to be more cautious as road users, and in turn, instill the ethics of road safety in their family, she emphasised.
    The various malpractices such as driving in a drunken state, offensive driving and the use of mobile phones while driving were also highlighted by the Minister.  Several measures such as regular vehicle checks and installation of speed cameras have been introduced with the objective to encourage road users act more responsibly, she underscored.
    The Minister moreover called for a change in attitudes so as to prevent road accidents, and stressed that a culture of defensive driving should be promoted so as to protect vulnerable road users. Road safety, Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus pointed out, necessitates the concerted efforts of each and every one given the alarming rate of road fatalities and the increasing number of the seriously injured.  The participation of all stakeholders and the population as a whole will help to prevent road injuries and save life on roads, she added.
    About the Road Safety Campaign
    The Road Safety Campaign was organised by the National Women’s Council with the aim to provide a platform for women to share and express their views on road safety.
    Activities related to the campaign comprised testimonials of relatives of victims of road accidents; a symbolic remittance of token to the relatives of the victims; and an overview of the causes and consequences of road accidents.
    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 Gobin highlights importance of Human Rights Periodic Reports and Reviews

    GIS  20 February, 2018: The First Meeting of the National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up (NMRF) on Human Rights Periodic Reports and Reviews was held yesterday in the presence of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin and other eminent personalities in the Lunch Room of the National Assembly. Representatives from different ministries, departments, non-governmental organisations, human rights institutions and concerned stakeholders attended the meeting.
    On this occasion, Minister Gobin underlined the importance of NMRF recalling that its main objective is to ensure timely reporting and reviews to international bodies. The meeting, he pointed out, will help create better coordination between different stakeholders and enhance the sharing of information. The coordinating mechanism will in turn contribute in reducing negative reports coming from international partners as regards human rights, he added.
    He underscored that the topic of human rights concerns each and every one regardless of their ministries, departments or institutions and that we should all work towards preserving equality and eliminating discrimination. He highlighted that the organisations should review the various periodic reviews for 2018 before submitting the documents to international bodies. They include reports for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the mid-term progress reports.
    Minister Gobin added that the First Meeting of the NMRF has been fruitful in determining the position of various organisations as regards Human Rights Periodic Reports Reviews. He further pointed out that the committee will meet in two weeks after thorough research and precise data collection. 
    About the NMRF
    The NMRF helps to coordinate and prepare reports covering international and regional human rights mechanisms including Treaty Bodies, the UPR, and Special Procedures. It also ascertains that the Human Rights obligations and recommendations by international human rights organisations are being appropriately implemented.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • Need to re-establish breastfeeding as preferred choice of feeding for all infants, says Minister Husnoo

    GIS   20 February 2018: My vision is to re-establish breastfeeding as the preferred choice of feeding for all infants in the early months of life, said the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, this morning at the launching of a report of the study on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of breastfeeding in Mauritius.
    The Health Minister highlighted that breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life, provides a unique early bonding experience for infants and their mothers which contributes to the mother’s wellbeing and the baby’s psychological, emotional and social development. Moreover, exclusive breastfeeding provides immediate health benefits to the infant as it reduces the incidence of certain diseases such as respiratory tract infections, otitis media and diarrhea, he said.
    Referring to the study carried out in 2017 among 480 surveyed mothers with babies aged between 6 to 12 months, Minister Husnoo stated that some findings are a matter of concern. He pointed out that only 25% of the 480 babies were exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life. Hence the need, he emphasised, for additional efforts to reach the target of 50% by the year 2025 set by the World Health Organisation as one of its Global Nutrition Targets.
    He further stated that health professionals need to be better informed on how to identify and address specific needs of mothers, including those who have undergone caesarean section or other forms of instrumental birth or who have given birth prematurely. There is also a need, he said, to broaden the promotion of breastfeeding at the society level and target specifically school children, pregnant and postnatal women, their partners and families.
    The study
    The aim of the study, conducted by the Mauritius Institute of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, was to explore the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Mauritius and to formulate recommendations for promoting breastfeeding.
    The study revealed, amongst others, that 98% of mothers declared to have ever breastfed their babies; 76% of mothers who ever breastfed did so after one hour following childbirth and 24% initiated breastfeeding within one hour after giving birth; and 60% of mothers were assisted to start breastfeeding. 39% of the 480 babies covered by the study were exclusively breastfed during the four-month period after birth whereas only 25% were so during the first six months of life.
    77% of mothers received information on breastfeeding, mostly in postnatal wards out of which 96% were informed on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and 89% were advised on the benefits of colostrum. Furthermore, the study reveals that 94% of all mothers were aware that breast milk protects babies against diseases.
    Based on the findings and recommendations of the Study Report, an Action Plan will be developed and will include up-to-date strategies for the promotion of breastfeeding in the community
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org
  • MoU signed to reduce street dog population in a humane and sustainable way

    GIS  20 February 2018: The Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Humane Society International (HSI), this morning at the seat of the Ministry in Port-Louis, to mark the start of a pilot project to sterilise 10,000 dogs as part of a new humane street dog population control project.
    The collaborative one-year pilot project, to be funded by both parties, will run from 20 February 2018 to March 2019. Eleven regions in the district of Flacq will be targeted during the initial pilot phase.  The objectives are to spay/neuter 10,000 dogs, create community awareness and sensitise the public regarding the need for sterilisation and vaccination, amongst others.
    In his address, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, highlighted that the signing of the MoU, is one of the major initiatives currently being taken by the Government to deal with the issue of stray and roaming dogs in the country. He pointed out that Mauritius has an estimated dog population of 250,000 and some 57,000 roaming dogs, and added that this initiative will serve to bring a relief to animal neglect and suffering.
    He underlined that the Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare is committed to promote kindness, prevent or suppress cruelty to animals and ensure animals protection. He announced that since the launch of the sterilisation campaign in 2015, which aims at reducing the street dog population, some 10,000 dogs and cats have been sterilised. According to him, the expertise of the HSI will undoubtedly help to boost up efforts to address the problem in the country.  
    Moreover, Minister Seeruttun underpinned the necessity to sensitise the public and educate pet owners on how to treat animals with respect, in order to deal with the stray dogs issue at all levels. As regards prevention of animal cruelty, he emphasised that the necessary measures are being taken at the level of the Animal Welfare Unit and added that additional staff has been recruited to reinforce its services.
    As for the Director of the Companion Animals and Engagement HSI, Mr Rahul Sengal, he stressed that the project will help reduce the street dog population in a humane and sustainable way. The project, he said, ultimately aims to bring about a sustainable and scientific model to control street dogs in Mauritius, on a long-term basis.
    The project will be implemented through a HSI-staffed spay/neuter clinic which will be operational as from 01 April in addition of a mobile clinic that will provide free sterilisations for dogs in Flacq.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website:http://gis.govmu.org