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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 11 January 2008

Cabinet Decisions taken on 11 January 2008

1. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the upgrading of Dr A.G. Jeetoo Hospital into a 550-bedded hospital of international standard. Construction works are expected to start by January 2009 and be completed by December 2010 for phase I which is the major component of the project. The upgrading of all the wards is projected to be completed around July 2011.

2. Given the unprecedented growth in tourist arrivals last year, which exceeded 900,000 tourists and the need for proper planning, monitoring and timely decision to attain the target of two million tourists by 2015, Cabinet has taken note that an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure & External Communications and comprising the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit and the Minister of Local Government to deal with all issues affecting Mauritius as a high-end tourist destination in a timely and holistic manner so as to prevent any possible degradation of the tourist product. The collaboration of the private sector and other institutions would be enlisted, as and when necessary.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the tentative programme of activities which would be organized at national and regional levels in the context of the 40th Anniversary of the accession of Mauritius to independence. The theme of the celebrations is “Nou Pays Nou Fierté”. On the occasion, foreign football teams would be invited to play friendly matches against our national football team.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities which would be organised on the occasion of the Spring Festival 2008, viz, -

(a) cultural shows at national and regional levels with the participation of the Yun Nan Artistic Troupe from the People’s Republic of China and local artists;

(b) an “Honouring Ancestors Ceremony” by The Kwan Tee Pagoda Society; and

(c) a défilé comprising, inter alia, the Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance Groups, Police Band, Martial Arts Demonstrators and other artistic groups in Port Louis.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of Dr Patrick Lammie, WHO Expert in Lymphatic Filariasis, to Mauritius from 8 to 16 October 2007 to assist the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life in developing a national document containing the procedures to verify that Mauritius has eliminated Lymphatic Filariasis as a public health problem.

Dr Lammie has, inter alia, recommended that -

(a) Mauritius should continue to maintain and intensify its immunisation and surveillance system; and

(b) an antigen survey should be carried out among migrant workers coming from endemic countries to prevent the reintroduction of Lymphatic Filariasis.

Lymphatic Filariasis is a parasitic disease of the lymphatic system, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. The last two cases were reported in 1982. As Mauritius is still included in the list of countries endemic for the disease, Dr Lammie would submit a case for the certification of Mauritius as being free from Lymphatic Filariasis and Schistosomiasis at the next meeting of the World Health Organisation.

6. Following the joint appraisal mission of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Agence Française de Développement, the European Commission and UNDP in October 2007, Cabinet has taken note of action initiated at the level of Ministries to fulfil the requirements of the development partners in supporting the implementation of Government’s economic reform programme.

7. Cabinet has taken note that resumption of studies at both primary and secondary levels has been effected smoothly.

Cabinet has further taken note that, in line with the reforms in the Education Sector, refresher courses are being conducted in primary schools for the first couple of weeks to enable students to gain, after a long break, from the consolidation and reinforcement of learning in their transition to a higher standard.

8. In view of the fact that regional economic cooperation is becoming an important component in the liberalisation of world trade, Cabinet has taken note of the trade strategy of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) to enhance trade liberalisation in the region.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the 24th COMESA Policy Organs Meetings held from 19 to 27 November 2007 in Lusaka, Zambia which considered, inter alia, the following –

(a) Conclusion of an interim agreement to avoid any trade disruption between ESA and the European Union as from 1 January 2008;

(b) COMESA-EAC-SADC Task Force on Cooperation in the areas of Trade and Customs and Infrastructure;

(c) COMESA Common Investment Area; and

(d) 2008 COMESA Budget.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit to Indonesia where he participated in the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

The main thrust of the Conference was on the long term cooperative action to address climate change by enhancing implementation of the Convention on Climate Change. The Conference agreed, inter alia, on a roadmap which constituted a multilateral framework to address climate change during post 2012 period, when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol would come to an end.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Accreditation Committee with
Mr R.P. Nowbuth, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives, as Chairperson.