1. In the context of the reduction of the intervention price of sugar starting in 2006 and the adoption by the European Parliament and the European Union Council of Regulation 266/2006, Cabinet has agreed to the ‘Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy – Action Plan 2006-2015’ being submitted to the European Commission for financial and technical assistance which should be forwarded by 29 April 2006.
The Action Plan, which has been worked out in consultation with all stakeholders in the sugar sector will enable the establishment of the Mauritian Sugar Cane Cluster, with the operation of very efficient and sizeable sugar factories, the production of renewable environment friendly energy, including ethanol, the production of different types of sugar to optimize the use of bagasse and molasses and strengthening the commonality of interest of millers, planters and other stakeholders. After the implementation of the Action Plan –
(i) sugar production will be around 520,000 tonnes with 20% coming from small planters;
(ii) the regrouping of small planters will lead to increased yield by 20% and reduction of operational cost by 20%; and
(iii) sugar will become an invaluable asset in terms of production of energy with the potential for production of high value added molecules including proteins, pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
2. In line with the recommendations of the Director of Audit in his report for the year ended 30 June 2003, Cabinet has taken note of the establishment of an Audit Committee in each Ministry and of an Audit Monitoring Committee at the level of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development.
The aim of the Audit Committees is to contribute to the effective, efficient and economical management of a Ministry/Department through the review of the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the internal and external auditors. The Committee would also provide support to the Accounting Officer in monitoring the corporate governance and control systems in the Ministry.
The main role of the Audit Monitoring Committee would be to ensure monitoring of the conclusions and recommendations of each Audit Committee. The Audit Monitoring Committee would publish a report annually which would be laid on the table of the National Assembly.
The establishment of the Audit Committees would be an important management tool to Accounting Officers and would ensure follow up actions on comments/observations/recommendations made by the Director of Audit.
3. In order to promote the prevention of and the fight against doping in sport, Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius ratifying the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which is an international instrument against doping in sport with universal reach and provides a legal framework to Governments to implement their responsibilities contained within the World Anti-Doping Code. The Convention makes provision for, inter alia, –
(a) anti-doping activities at national level through domestic coordination;
(b) international cooperation between anti-doping organisations and sports organisations; and
(c) education and training programmes on anti-doping.
The ratification of the Convention will go a long way in promoting and maintaining the ethical principles and educational values embodied in the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport of UNESCO as well as in the Olympic Charter.
4. In order to familiarize and sensitize the public about democracy and sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedom, citizenship, Parliament, the Executive and the Judicature and the Constitution in general, Cabinet has taken note that copies of the Constitution of Mauritius are being distributed to students, NGO’s and socio-religious organizations.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Education & Human Resources to Madagascar from 3 to 8 April 2006 where he attended the “Assises Francophones de la Gestion Scolaire” in his capacity as “Président en exercice de la Confemen”. The Conference examined five themes, viz., good governance, centralization/decentralization/deconcentration, mobilisation of resources, professional management of school administration and textbooks. Following the Conference, an action plan would be devised for the positive evolution of school management and administration in the francophone countries.
6. Cabinet took note of the outcome of the Eighth Meeting of the Inter-Regional Coordination Committee held in Mauritius on 10 and 11 April 2006. The main object of the Meeting was to ensure a coherent and consistent regional integration process and implementation of relating activities with EU funding. The main issues discussed during the Meeting were, inter alia, –
(a) the setting up of a Task Force to review inputs received from the Regional Integration Organisations with regard to the preparation of Regional Strategy Paper for the 10th EDF and the Regional Indicative Programmes; and
(b) the focal areas that would also form part of the Regional Strategy Paper, would be trade and regional integration as well as infrastructure and communication.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Education & Human Resources would amend the Schedule to the Industrial and Vocational Training Regulations 1994 to include the occupation “Bakers, Pastry Cooks and Confectionery and Snack Makers” to enable persons in those trades to participate in the National Apprenticeship Scheme. The Scheme provides for an employer to undertake by contract to employ an apprentice and train him in a designated trade.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the recommendations of the draft final report of an inspection team from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union which visited Mauritius from 23 to 27 January 2006 to assess the public health controls and conditions of production of fish and fishery products in Mauritius for export to the EU, and also of the corrective measures taken to maintain the image of Mauritius as a reliable exporter of fish and fish products and to enable the seafood operators to export their products on the European market with confidence.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions has, on 13 April 2006, launched the “Bank of 199 Volunteers”. The objective of the “Bank of Volunteers” is to mobilize and empower community resources to support the various social programmes and activities organized at the level of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions and NGOs operating under the aegis of that Ministry. Specific training has been provided to the volunteers in the classification of substance abuse, principles of social work and ageing, social work challenges and voluntary social work. Generic training programmes would shortly be provided to the volunteers on leadership skills, communication, group dynamics and other social fields after which the volunteers would be assigned to projects, programmes and activities carried out by the Ministry Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions and the NGO's.
10.Cabinet has taken note of the activities which the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development, Family Welfare & Consumer Protection proposes to organize in the context of the International Day of Families which would be observed on 15 May. The UN has retained the theme “Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities” for this year’s International Day of Families. The celebration of the International Day aims at, inter alia, –
(a) increasing awareness on family-related issues and highlighting the role of families on basic social units in human-centred sustainable development;
(b) stimulating efforts to promote family values and to respond to problems affecting the situation of families; and
(c) enhancing the capacities of national and international institutions to formulate, implement and monitor policies which take into consideration the family dimension in development efforts.
On that occasion, the Ministry would launch the National Policy Paper on the Family on 15 May, organize a recreational day for families at Gymkhana, Vacoas, on 21 May and a National Workshop on Marriage Enrichment on 27 May 2006.
11.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Housing & Lands to Nairobi, Kenya, on 3 and 4 April 2006, where he attended the Ministerial Special Conference of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development. The Conference focused on the theme of urbanization and slums within the broader perspective of urban planning and housing delivery policies adopted by different African countries. In the margin of the Conference, the Minister had bilateral discussions with his counterparts from South Africa and Kenya on possibilities of cooperation on housing issues, urban planning and land management.
12.Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of the following institutions –
(a) the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture Trust Fund with Mr Jocelyn Gracieuse as Chairperson;
(b) the Development Works Corporation with Mr Ashish Woochit as Chairperson.
(c) the Mauritius Museum Board with Mr Gorah Beebeejaun as Chairperson;
(d) the Beach Authority with Mr Dinanath Sungkoora as Chairperson; and
(e) the National Art Gallery with Mr Yashdev Senedhun as Chairperson.