CABINET DECISIONS – 16 NOVEMBER 2018
1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the new Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association Bill into the National Assembly. The main object of the Bill is to repeal the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association Act 2005 and replace it by a more appropriate and modern legislative framework that makes provision for sexual and reproductive health and rights in accordance with international standards. The Bill, accordingly, makes provision for the establishment of a new Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association which shall, inter alia –
(a) promote awareness on planned parenthood with a view to maintaining the fertility rate at a reasonable level;
(b) promote family welfare, healthy ageing, good health and social integration through effective family planning services by addressing the need for sexual and reproductive health and rights in the community through information, education and advocacy; and
(c) work for the advancement of the rights of women, men and young persons with a view to enabling them to make free and informed choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has, on 15 November 2018, released its report on Peer Review Results in its assessment of harmful tax practices of Preferential Tax Regimes in 53 Jurisdictions. The report shows clearly that Mauritius meets all the international requirements of the BEPS Action 5 and therefore does not have any harmful practices in its tax regimes. The following local tax regimes were reviewed by the OECD –
(a) Category 1 and Category 2 Global Business companies;
(b) Banks, as regard their foreign source income also known as segment B income;
(c) Captive Insurance;
(d) Partial Exemption System;
(e) The newly introduced tax regime for banks;
(g) Global Headquarters Administration;
(h) Global Treasury Activities;
(i) Investment Banking; and
As a result of the latest review, Mauritius does not appear on any blacklist of the OECD.
3. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius becoming a party to the modernised Convention 108 of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. Convention 108 is the only international legally binding instrument that deals with data protection and aims at protecting the rights to privacy of individuals whilst providing a framework for the increasing flow of personal data across frontiers. The modernised Convention 108 better addresses emerging privacy challenges resulting from the rising use of new information and communication technologies, the globalisation of processing operations and flows of personal data, and strengthening the Convention’s evaluation and follow-up mechanism. Key elements, namely transparency and accountability have been integrated in the modernised instrument to reinforce protection mechanisms.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the continued enlistment of the services of Mr Kensuke Ichikawa, Geotechnical Expert, for a further period of two years to assist in the setting up of the Geotechnical Unit at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport and to train the officers posted thereat. The Geotechnical Unit would, inter alia, –
(a) provide geological and geotechnical advice in the design of deep and shallow foundations in buildings and civil engineering projects;
(b) carry out site appraisals and desk studies to assess landslide related risks;
(c) assist and advise Ministries/Departments and local authorities in the issuance of clearances and permits;
(d) supervise geotechnical site investigations and interpret results thereof;
(e) design and supervise countermeasure works in affected areas; and
(f) provide assistance in the formulation of protocols and other informative materials.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research signing a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of Higher Education and Scientific Research with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Gabon. The Memorandum of Understanding would provide for direct access to exchanges between Higher Education Institutions and their research facilities, as well as assisting exchanges between researchers, teachers and students.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Marine Cooperation toward Blue Partnership between the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping and the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China. The main objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to consolidate working relationship between the two Ministries with a view to obtaining expertise and guidance for the growth of blue economy in Mauritius. It provides for cooperation in fields such as –
(a) marine science and technology;
(b) marine observation, monitoring, and forecasting;
(c) marine biodiversity conservation;
(d) marine disaster risk evaluation;
(e) marine and coastal resources research;
(f) capacity building; and
(g) ocean economy.
7. Cabinet has taken note that an intra-regional Workshop on “Strengthening Regional Intelligence Exchange and Law Enforcement Operational Cooperation in East Africa’’ would be organised by the European Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence from 26 to 28 November 2018. The overall objective of the Workshop is to contribute to the prevention and the effective fight against organised crime, including illicit trafficking in drugs. The three main components of the Workshop are –
(a) National Policy and Operational Responses;
(b) Technical Assistance Facility Component; and
(c) Cooperation Initiatives.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub would organise a Data Protection African Summit in Mauritius, from 19 to 23 November 2018. The theme of the Summit would be “Breaking New Frontiers”. The Summit would bring together data controllers, processors, tech companies, policymakers, regulators, innovators, business communities and individuals together to discuss and proffer solutions to the emerging issues on data protection and privacy. The main objectives of the Summit are to –
(a) influence the development of relevant national and regional framework for data protection;
(b) build industry capacity to ensure data protection compliance on the Continent;
(c) formulate key lessons and issues for advocacy;
(d) explore issues for regional cooperation and collaboration between African regulators, policymakers and their counterparts in the rest of the world; and
(e) showcase tools for data protection compliance.
Some 800 participants are expected to attend the Summit.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Tourism to Namibia where he attended the official launching of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE). SACREEE has been established by SADC in 2015 to contribute towards increased access to modern energy services and improved energy security across the SADC Region through the promotion of market based uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and energy services. The Centre would provide required technical capacities to shape international technology transfer in a more inclusive way. A Ministerial Round Table on the theme “Upscaling Sustainable Energy for the Industrialisation Agenda and Youth Empowerment for the SADC Region.” was also held.
10. Cabinet has taken note that according to the last monthly report published by the Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Tourism, 134,052 tourists visited Mauritius in the month of October 2018 as compared to 130,070 in October 2017, i.e., an increase of 3.1%. During the period January to October 2018, 1,109,118 tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 1,064,749 for the same period in 2017, i.e., an increase of 4.2%. Growth has been registered in arrivals from Italy (+16.3%), United Kingdom (+4.9%), France (+4.6%), Reunion Island (+5.1%), South Africa (+13.5%), United Arab Emirates (+50.2%), Austria (+22.0%), the Netherlands (+21.3%) and Poland (+20.3%).
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research to Malawi where she attended the First Extra-Ordinary Summit for the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology. The theme of the Summit was ‘Strengthening Education, Science and Technology Africa’. The objectives of the Summit were, inter alia, to –
(a) agree on strategies to promote Education, Science and Technology in Africa and make commitments for financing same; and
(b) consider reports on the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa, the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa and the TVET Continental Strategy towards attaining the aspirations of Agenda 2063, in order to determine championship interventions.
The Summit agreed to increased investment in Education, Science and Technology, the Promotion of Education in Africa and fully Engaging the Private Sector. The C10 Action Plan was adopted by the Summit that also stressed the need to establish a Think Tank of African Expertise to support the C10.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Tourism visited Rodrigues in the context of the Rodrigues Chef Challenge 2018 and the training courses organised by the Tourism Employees Welfare Fund. The Fund also organised awareness sessions at various hotels to brief the employees on the different schemes operated by the Fund for the benefits of the tourism employees and their families. During his visit, the Minister of Tourism launched the Vatel Hotel School, which is a joint venture between Rodrigues Regional Assembly and the School.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Prisons Board of Visitors with Mr Raj Seebaluck, Vice-President of the Intermediate Court (Criminal Side) as Chairperson.