1. Following discussions the Prime Minister had with the Tianli Group during his recent visit to China, Cabinet has reviewed developments in the setting up of the Mauritius Tianli Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone. The project would attract investment of the order of USD 321 m. About 40 Chinese enterprises in various economic sectors propose to operate in this Trade Cooperation Zone. It is foreseen that the project would create about 7,500 jobs.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the Marine Industry Sector Strategy and Action Plan for the period 2006-2010 drawn up by Enterprise Mauritius in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The Action Plan outlines the various strategies and measures that would be taken to sustain the vibrancy of the marine sector. The Plan reviews developments that have taken place in the marine sector in Mauritius, takes stock of the evolution of the sector, identifies the growth opportunities and constraints, and highlights the contribution of the sector towards GDP and employment creation. It, also, sets out the measures that need to be implemented to propel the marine sector to new horizons.
The measures recommended in the Action Plan include -
(a) a feasibility study for the development of an integrated Marine Cluster site that would include slipways, haulage equipment, modern factory facilities, deep water marinas and peripheral servicing facilities;
(b) the establishment of training and certification programmes by the IVTB, in collaboration with industries, the Human Resource Development Council, the Mauritius Qualifications Authority and various international bodies;
(c) the harmonisation of the industrial and tourism strategy in terms of licensing policy and legislation for the pleasure boat sector;
(d) the development of a regional strategy to position the Indian Ocean as “The New Carribbean” cruising ground for super yacht market; and
(e) the opening of an International Marine Sale Office at the Port with possibility of displaying local leisure boat for sale.
3. In line with Government's aim to set up a modern and effective Land Administration Management System with a national database on the market value of immovable properties used for residential purposes, Cabinet has taken note of developments in the establishment of a national valuation roll of all properties within the boundaries of the Republic of Mauritius, excluding agricultural properties.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the participation of the Minister of Local Government in the Eighth Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention held from 27 November to 01 December, 2006 in Nairobi.
The theme of the Conference was “creating innovative solution through the Basel Convention for environmentally sound management of electronic wastes”. The main objective of the Conference was to carry out a review of the achievements of the strategic plan of the Basel Convention. A declaration on the environmentally sound management of electronic and electrical wastes was also considered. The declaration recommends, inter alia, –
(i) the promotion of awareness at all levels on the issue of electronic and electrical waste, challenges and solutions;
(ii) the combat against illegal traffic in e-waste in the context of the implementation of the Basel Convention;
(iii) national, regional and global comprehensive actions for the environmentally sound management of electronic and electrical waste and end-of-life equipment, through shared responsibilities and commitments from all stakeholders;
(iv) the improvement of waste management controls through the establishment of robust national policies, legislation and diligent enforcement, including producers and traders responsibilities, as well as take back and recycling schemes and their targets; and
(v) the development and consolidation of national, regional and international cooperation and programmes or initiatives to support the implementation of activities aimed at environmentally sound management of electronic and electrical waste utilizing, as appropriate, the Basel Convention Regional Centres.
The Ministry of Local Government proposes to organize a workshop with a view to sensitizing all stakeholders and the civil society on the disposal of electronic and electrical wastes.
5. With a view to promoting leisure and sports activities in Grand Baie, Cabinet has taken note that the existing football ground at Grand Baie would be upgraded and additional facilities, such as parking, changing rooms, toilets, a volleyball cum basketball pitch, a jogging track and lighting facilities, provided. The whole project would be executed and sponsored by Seaview Ltd.
6. Cabinet has taken note of activities organised by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture and the Pamplemousses/Rivière du Rempart District Council, for the celebration of Christmas 2006 at National Level at the parking lot of Super U, Grand Baie, on Saturday 23 December 2006. The programme would comprise, inter alia, -
(a) a défilé with the participation of socio-cultural organisations of the region;
(b) a production based on Nativity to be illustrated by ‘Tableaux Vivants’;
(c) a performance by the winner of the Christmas Song Competition; and
(d) popular songs and dances by local and foreign artists.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the publication of the Health Statistics Annual Report for Mauritius and the Digest of Vital and Health Statistics for Rodrigues for the year 2005.
The salient features of the Report for Mauritius are as follows:-
(i) the estimated resident population of the Island of Mauritius, as at 31 December 2005, was 1,211,302 as compared to a population of 1,201,000 as at 31 December 2004, i.e. an increase of 0.9%;
(ii) the Crude Birth Rate was 14.9 per thousand mid-year resident population as compared to 15.3 in 2004;
(iii) the Infant Mortality Rate which was 14.0 per thousand live births in 2004, dropped to 13.2;
(iv) there was a total of 3,550 beds in Government hospitals at the end of 2005, with an average occupancy rate of 69.0%;
(v) the number of inpatients treated in Government hospitals was 190,674 and the number of operations performed was 39,094;
(vi) the total number of attendances for the treatment of diseases and injuries at outpatient departments of hospitals, mediclinics, area health centres and community health centres was 6,400,848; and
(vii) 36 cases of malaria (35 imported and 1 introduced), 925 cases of HIV/AIDS (of whom 7 non-mauritians), and 122 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis were notified to the Sanitary Authorities.
The Digest of Vital and Health Statistics for Rodrigues 2005 reveals that:-
(i) the estimated resident population of the Island of Rodrigues, as at 31 December, was 36,994;
(ii) the Crude Birth Rate was 24.3 per thousand mid-year resident population;
(iii) the Infant Mortality Rate was 12.3 per thousand live births, the lowest ever recorded figure;
(iv) the number of inpatients treated in the Government Hospital and the two health centres in Rodrigues was 13,046. The number of attendances for the treatment of diseases and injuries at the outpatient departments of the hospital and health centres and at the community health centres was 201,226; and
(v) 3 cases of HIV/AIDS and 1 case of pulmonary tuberculosis were notified to the Sanitary Authorities.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation in the first Africa-South America (ASA) Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria on 30 November 2006. The objective of the ASA Summit was to strengthen cooperation between the countries and people of the two regions and to forge a stronger strategic partnership to enhance effective multilateralism on a South-South basis. The Summit adopted the Abuja Declaration, the Abuja Plan of Action as well as the Abuja Resolution on Africa-South America Cooperative Forum which highlights the need to explore and exploit opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in areas of trade and investment, agriculture, energy, technology, water resources and tourism.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Women's Rights, Child Development, Family Welfare & Consumer Protection to South Africa where she attended the Conference and the Launch of the 16 Days Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, and to Senegal where she attended the UNESCO/ADEA Meeting of the Africa Launch of the Global Monitoring Report on Early Childhood Development.
The Conference on No Violence Against Women which was organized in the context of the International Day for No Violence Against Women, took stock of the achievements and shortcomings of the campaign in South Africa and other countries in eradicating violence against women and children and looked into preventive interventions for the future. Topics covered included -
(a) Victims Empowerment Charter;
(b) Men’s perspectives on gender-based violence;
(c) Child Trafficking, Pornography and other sexual offences; and
(d) Traditional & Cultural Practices in relation to gender-based violence.
10.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Health and Quality of Life to Windhoek, Namibia, where he attended the SADC Health Ministers' Meeting. The Meeting considered and approved the following Regional Strategic Frameworks –
(i) the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy for the SADC Regional 2006-2015 which identified priority issues and outlined strategies and activities for addressing the main contributing factors; and
(ii) the SADC Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan 2006 to 2019 which ensures adequate production, recruitment and retention of the required human resources for health in the region.
The meeting, also, reviewed progress on major health programmes, viz.,-
(i) the Establishment of a Special Fund to support the struggle against HIV and AIDS in SADC countries; and
(ii) the funding proposal on the establishment of a SADC Sub-Regional Malaria Epidemics and Emergency Stock was approved.
The Meeting, also, adopted a SADC Free Avian and Pandemic Influenza Plan which aims at preventing the introduction of H5NI infection in the region and harmonizing policy guidelines and controlling measures in the event of an outbreak.
11. Cabinet has taken note that Government condemns the military coup which took place in Fiji on 5 December 2006. The Government of Mauritius which upholds the rule of law, deplores that once again the use of military force has been resorted to in order to change a constitutionally elected Government in Fiji. Government earnestly wishes that the rule of law be restored at the earliest.
12. Following the reorientation of subsidy on rice and flour, Cabinet has taken note that 68,901 households, comprising 110,306 members, has been paid income support for the period of July to December 2006. An amount of about Rs 44 million, which includes the end-of-year bonus, would be disbursed in that connection up to the end of December 2006.