The Cairo Declaration provides a framework to give a new strategic dimension to the global partnership between Africa and Europe for the 21st Century, through strengthening the existing links of political, economic, cultural understanding and cooperation. The areas covered are –
(i) Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration;
(ii) Integrating Africa into the World Economy;
(iii) Human Rights, Democratic Principles and Institutions, Good Governance and the Rule of Law;
(iv) Peace Building, Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution; and
(v) Development Issues.
Some 40 countries attended the Summit at the highest level.
2. The Prime Minister will lead a joint public/private sector delegation to participate in the African Business Forum 2000 on 27 and 28 April in Berlin, organized by the Southern Africa Initiative of German Business jointly with German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Forum will be an opportunity for high-level business contacts between the Representatives of the SADC States and the German business community to discuss trade and investment opportunities. The discussions will also cover tourism. Honourable J. Chasteau de Balyon, Minister of Tourism and Leisure will form part of the delegation. Part of the Forum will be devoted to business-to-business meetings when individual countries meet businessmen interested to invest in their economy.
Some 500 businessmen from Germany and SADC countries will attend along with decision-makers from the political and economic sectors.
The Prime Minister will address the Forum. On the hand, the Forum will be addressed, amongst others, by Mr Gerhard Schroeder, Chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany and Dr Werner Müller, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Technology, and Mr Jurgen Schrempp, Chairman of Southern Africa Initiative of German Business - SAFRI.
Apart from Mauritius, the following African countries will be represented by their Heads of State and Heads of Government: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. South Africa will also participate.
On Wednesday 26, the Prime Minister will open the Mauritius Embassy in Berlin, signalling Mauritius' determination to develop dynamic trade and economic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, a leading central European economy. The Prime Minster will return on Saturday 29 April.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Employees Superannuation Fund (amendment) Bill. The object of this Bill is to amend the Employees Superannuation Fund Act in order to enable each fund established under the Act to pay its contribution to the Accountant General not later than 4 months after the end of its financial year instead of not later than 15 March of each year. Provision has also been made for the payment of a penalty for late settlement of contribution.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the Minister of Labour & Industrial Relations amending the Remuneration Order for messengers on the basis of recommendations made by the NRB.
The recommendations amongst others relate to a wage increase varying from 7.93% to 8.06% for both Head Office Attendant and Office Attendant; increase in the daily meal allowance, funeral expenses and medical expenses.
The Remuneration Order also provide for payment of an end of year bonus, maternity allowance, leave with full pay for a female employee suffering from a miscarriage, overseas leave, death gratuity and retirement benefits.
The Remuneration Order will take effect as from 1st May 2000.
5. Government has taken note of a new scheme to be introduced by the Postal Services for a Postal Code System and the standardisation of the structure of postal addresses in Mauritius (including Rodrigues and Agalega).
The new Postal Code System will ease manual or semi-automated mail sorting to provide for faster and more reliable mail delivery involving adoption of a well-demarcated, scientific system to modernise and improve Postal Service. It will also facilitate mail delivery and help to identify specific agglomerations with a view to modernising and improving the level of mail services.
The Postal Code will be introduced on a pilot basis at the Curepipe Post Office by June 2000. The system will be extended to cover other Post Offices in Mauritius (including Rodrigues and Agalega) by December 2000.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the National Identity Card Act being amended to provide for the issue of new Identity Cards based on Smart Card technology. The introduction of the Smart Card technology will be useful for the payment of old-age pension in replacement of the present system of Order-books. The Smart Card will also be used to have access to the Central Population Database. The new Smart Identity Card will offer possibility for multipurpose applications.
7. Cabinet has agreed to a proposal to entrust the management of the Constance Planters Fund to a Committee under the chairmanship of the Mauritius Cooperative Agricultural Federation. This Fund has been established following the closure of Constance Sugar Factory as from crop 1998. The Constance La Gaiete Milling Company has already credited a sum of Rs 6M out of an agreed total of Rs 15M.
8. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology & Natural Resources redefining the irrigation boundaries of the Northern Plains Irrigation Project (Stage I). This review has become necessary with the modernisation of the irrigation system which is being converted into drip irrigation. Plots of land which cannot be irrigated or on which there are residential buildings will be removed from the irrigation area.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade at the South Summit of the Group 77 and its preparatory meetings in Havana, Cuba from 10 to 14 April 2000.
10. Cabinet has taken note of –
(i) the reconstitution of the Outer Islands Development Board under the chairmanship of Mr. H. Jeanne, Principal Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Local Government;
(ii) the constitution of the National Art Gallery Board under the chairmanship of Mr. Rajkumar Taposeea; and
(iii) the appointment of Mr. Jean Michel Langlois as chairman of the Mauritius Film Development Corporation.
11. Cabinet has agreed to the Minister of Labour & Industrial Relations, Employment & Human Resource Development amending the First and Second Schedules to the Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 to include sterile disposable gloves as an additional item to be provided in first-aid boxes and first-aid kits.
12. Cabinet has apprised of the recommendations made by the MAB in its report on the review of the organisational set up of the National Handicraft Promotion Agency (NHPA) including the human resource requirements of the Agency.
The recommendations are currently being examined by the Management of the NHPA for implementation.
13. To mark the 100th birth anniversary of Alphonse Ravaton, also known as "Ti Frère", Cabinet has taken the following decisions as a tribute to a genuine son of Mauritius -
- a cultural programme on Sunday 23 April as from 1500 hours at the Indira Gandhi SSS, Quartier Militaire;
- a "nuit du séga" to be organized on 28 April in his honour at Trou d'Eau Douce;
- the Traffic Centre at Quartier Militaire, the birth place of Alphose Ravaton be named "Alphonse Ravaton Square";
- MBC/TV will have a series of special programmes on 'Ti Frère' during the week 23-28 April.
The African Cultural Centre under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture will organize a series of programmes over the period 22 to 28 April to celebrate the event.