1. Cabinet has taken note that due to the change in family structure, problems associated with behaviour of children, have been on the increase. As such children when confined to institutional care, are more likely to suffer from attachment disorder, developmental delay and other similar problems, Cabinet has agreed to the introduction, on a pilot basis, of a Child Mentoring Programme in favour of such children. In the Programme, children, between the ages of 10 and 16 and in distress, would be appropriately identified and placed under the guidance of trained adult volunteers for a one-to-one relationship of emotional reconstruction. Meetings and activities would be held on a regular basis between the mentor and the child to support the latter’s needs for a caring and supportive adult in life. Moreover, the mentor, as a role model and through a sustained and supportive relationship, would impart wisdom, build friendship and provide guidance to the child.
2. Cabinet has taken note of developments relating to the implementation of the Pan African e-Network Project, an initiative of the President of the Republic of India, which would connect 53 African countries through satellite, fibre optics as well as wireless links and each participating country would be connected to a Continental Hub Earth Station. With regard to the operational architecture of the project, the Pan African Online Services Network would provide tele-education and tele-medicine to the 53 Member States. The tele-education and tele-medicine services would be provided by seven Universities (two in India and five in Africa) and eight hospitals (three in India and five in Africa), respectively.
Cabinet has further taken note that Mauritius is one of the three countries short-listed for the setting up of the Continental Hub Earth Station.
A team, comprising representatives of the African Union Commission, the Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation and the Government of India, visited Mauritius on 6 May 2006 to inspect de visu facilities available in Mauritius for the setting up of the Hub Earth Station. During a meeting with the members of the team, the Minister of Information Technology & Telecommunications reaffirmed the commitment of Government and has given the assurance that all facilities and support would be provided for the successful implementation of the project.
3. Cabinet has agreed to negotiations being pursued for the inclusion of Mauritius in the East African Submarine Cable System Project (EASSy) which relates to the placing of 9900 km EASSy fibre that would run from Port Sudan to Durban. The cable system would link to the global submarine cable network through other regional undersea systems, including SAT3, SAFE, SEA-ME-WE 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4.
This robust and reliable undersea cable, expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2008, would provide significant opportunity to Mauritius to benefit from the following –
(i) affordability of capacity as an alternative to the existing undersea cable SAFE system;
(ii) additional capacity to SAFE, in case traffic volumes developing over the next decade or so could not be absorbed by the SAFE cable;
(iii) onward connectivity to Europe where there might be an interest in buying capacity on EASSy for onward connectivity and easier access to Europe; and
(iv) breakthrough in improving the ICT investment climate in Mauritius.
4. Cabinet has taken note that following the fire outbreak on Saturday 6 May 2006 at Roche Bois and in the light of consultations with stakeholders, arrangements have been made for the issue of letters of comfort to the six families, victims of the fire, for the lease of a plot of land near Bois Marchand Housing Estate.
5. Cabinet has taken note that a large conglomerate from Hong Kong, represented by Wing Tai Asia Group, has concluded an agreement for the taking over of all the assets of Corona Clothing Co. Ltd. The new company would retain the services of all the 300 employees and there would be no redundancy. Compensation dues would also be paid. Moreover, the Wing Tai Asia Group has plans for expansion.
6. In line with Government’s vision to promote and facilitate the emergence of a nation of creative and innovative entrepreneurs, Cabinet has taken note that the Small Enterprises and Handicraft Development Authority, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, would launch the “Caravane de l’Entrepreneuriat”. This programme aims at mobilizing the potential productivity of the people in economically vulnerable regions by encouraging them to create micro-enterprises and identify opportunities for self employment that would improve their economic situation.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the action being taken by the Ministry of Education & Human Resources, after consultation with the relevant stakeholders, to merge the posts of Trainee Teacher for the teaching of General Purpose (GP) subjects and Trainee Teacher (Oriental Languages) (OL) into a single post of Trainee Teacher (Primary). The creation of a single grade would, inter alia,:
(a) eliminate the perceived difference in the status of GP and OL teachers, and enable the development of common skills and multidisciplinary competencies among all primary school teachers; and
(b) widen the avenues for promotion of an OL teacher as compared to a GP teacher.
8. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius joining the International Organisation for Migration, an Inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration. The Organisation, which maintains close working relations with UN bodies, assists member States in meeting the growing operational challenges for migration management, and promotes understanding of migration issues. By joining the Interrnational Organisation for Migration, Mauritius would adhere to the principle of free movement of its nationals but could also regulate migration laws applicable to foreigners entering its territory. As a member of International Organisation for Migration, Mauritius would derive inter alia the following benefits:
(i) obtain assistance in reaching migration agreements with countries like South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and countries in the Middle East;
(ii) obtain assistance in mobilising resources from the Mauritian Diaspora by facilitating their return home, bringing with them new skills, knowledge and financial resources; and
(iii) obtain funds for a study of labour demands/opportunities abroad.
9. Following the structural defects observed at Chitrakoot Government School as a result of landslide problems in the area and in view of the potential risk that that might constitute to the school population, Cabinet has taken note that, as an immediate measure, all the pupils of Chitrakoot Government School would be accommodated at Vallée des Prêtres Government School. Moreover, pupils of Std VI would remain with their own teacher. Cabinet has further taken note that transport facilities would be provided to all pupils. Cabinet has also agreed to the extension of Vallée des Prêtres Government School to accommodate the students.
10. Cabinet has agreed to a request of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, for the opening of a new Sub-Regional Office in Mauritius, which would coordinate support of the Federation in the four islands of the region, viz., Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius, through the development of disaster preparedness and response capacities programmes. The setting up of a Sub-Regional Office in Mauritius would benefit the country as it would strengthen the relationship with the International Federation and enable a more coordinated action by the latter in Mauritius as well as in the region.
Cabinet has also taken note of the collaboration of the Federation, through the Mauritius Red Cross Society, on national issues, such as drugs and HIV/AIDS, in the field of disaster management and in the national fight against Chikungunya.
11. In the context of the Africa Day, celebrated on 25 May to mark the anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union, Cabinet has taken note that the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, would organise a number of activities related to the theme for this year’s celebration which is “Working Together for Integration and Development", viz.,
(i) display of the flags of the 53 Member States of the African Union and the flag of the African Union in front of the Government House;
(ii) a talk on the theme "Working together for integration and development" by a Resource Person from the Africa Institute of South Africa;
(iii) a cultural programme with the participation of Alain Auriant (Best Artist of Eastern Africa, Kora Award 2005) and a cultural group “Stella” from Namibia;
(iv) exhibition on arts, craft, musical instruments and photos of the African continent at the Mauritius Institute; and
(v) an exhibition of photographs at the Municipal Theatre, Port Louis on ‘Le Périple Africain de Stéphane Gua’.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the working visits to be effected to Mauritius by :
(i) HE Dr Alcinda Antonio de Abreu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique from 23 to 25 May 2006. During the visit, a protocol on foreign office consultations would be signed with a view to formalising bilateral cooperation; and
(ii) Dr T.A. Salomao, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) accompanied by Ms Leefa Martin, Head of Corporate Communication Unit of SADC from 21 to 23 May 2006.
The dignitaries would also pay courtesy calls on the Prime Minister and other members of the Government.