CABINET DECISIONS - 01 JUNE 2007
1. Cabinet has taken note of the report of Professor Edward Newton, UNIDO Consultant, on the establishment of a Design and Fashion Institute in Mauritius to develop the creativity and talents of Mauritian Entrepreneurs for the production of fashionable and differentiated products, as announced in Government Programme 2005-2010. The Institute would be responsible, inter alia, to -
(i) mount diploma, degree and postgraduate courses geared towards specific and targeted needs of industry and commerce in areas of international fashion technology, fashion business, fashion accessories, jewellery design and communication design;
(ii) provide up to date fashion intelligence to the industry and local retail shops through a Fashion Design Bureau;
(iii) set up fashion incubators to nurture and promote new fashion designers and entrepreneurs;
(iv) establish a fashion and design resource centre to provide high level facilities, equipment and services at an affordable price to industry and commerce, SMEs, designers/makers and fashion retailers; and
(v) provide consultancy services in the area of fashion and design to industry and commerce.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the Wilberforce Lecture Trust and the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, City of Hull, UK, has invited Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister, to participate in the activities marking the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. On that occasion, the Prime Minister would deliver the keynote address on the life of William Wilberforce, MP, and his contribution to the abolition of the slave trade. He would leave Mauritius on 2 June 2007.
3. Cabinet has taken note that the new maritime training centre put up at Pointe aux Sables would be named as the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy. The Academy, registered with the Mauritius Qualifications Authority, would run training programmes, and introduce new courses, syllabi and examinations in conformity with international norms. It would also establish academic linkages with similar foreign institutions.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Seventh Session of the Sino-Mauritian Joint Commission held in Mauritius on 23 May 2007.
The Commission reviewed the development of bilateral, economic, technical and trade cooperation since the Sixth Session of the Sino-Mauritian Joint Commission held in 2002, and agreed to consider funding –
(a) a Pilot Integrated Social Development Project comprising housing facilities, amenities, social and economic development programme for some 200 needy households; and
(b) a CCTV surveillance System to combat crime and improve security in some parts of Mauritius.
The Commission also discussed -
(a) projects as part of a 5-year programme in which the Chinese Authorities could participate along with other development partners, inter alia, infrastructure development at Riche Terre, the Bagatelle Dam project, a pilot Tourist Village Project at Belle Mare and the construction of a new fishing port at Bain des Dames, and the Terre Rouge –Verdun Link Road;
(b) expansion and promotion of bilateral trade;
(c) the further strengthening of cooperation in the field of human resources; and
(d) support to Chinese enterprises to invest in Mauritius in traditional sectors like textile, agro-industry and financial services as well as in emerging sectors.
The Chinese side has invited Mauritius to participate in the China International Fair for Investment and Trade to be held in September 2007. This fair which is a major event aiming at promoting bilateral investment, would serve as a roadshow for emerging investment opportunities in Mauritius and the region.
5. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the WTO Agreement, the Third Trade Policy Review of Mauritius is scheduled on 23 and 25 April 2008. The main purpose of the Review is to enable a regular evaluation of individual members’ trade policies and practices and their impact on the functioning of the multilateral trading system. The Report by the WTO Secretariat is prepared on the basis of a series of documents/statistical information which the Member country would have to provide in areas of trade policy during a fact finding mission which would be undertaken by two representatives of the Trade Policy Review Body.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Attorney General's Office has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa to pave the way towards a more structured and constructive collaboration, viz.-
(a) training of professional staff through exchange programmes;
(b) conducting joint researches and studies or projects;
(c) exchange of information, laws and legal publications about relevant issues relating to the work of the parties in order to enhance a common understanding of the relevant issues;
(d) sharing of information on best practices, systems, processes, techniques, structures; and
(e) strategies to enhance both parties’ ability to combat crime, in particular, transnational organised crime.
7. Cabinet has taken note that an artificial turf would be installed at St. François Xavier Stadium, Port Louis.
Artificial turf has the advantage of increased player comfort and safety, with low maintenance cost and extended usage. More clubs and teams would, therefore, have the opportunity to train and play on the artificial pitch during long hours, seven days a week.
8. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius submitting its candidature to the Inter-governmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO. The Inter-governmental Committee aims at promoting the objectives of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and encouraging and monitoring its implementation. The involvement of Mauritius in the Inter-governmental Committee might bring added value to the request made by Mauritius for the inscription of Le Morne on the World Heritage List.
9. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius would participate in the Ninth All Africa Games to be held in Algiers, Algeria from 11 to 23 July 2007. Mauritius would be represented by 35 athletes in nine sports disciplines namely athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, judo, kickboxing, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting and also in sports activities for athletes with disabilities.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of the Programme Design Project Mission conducted by Landgate, the Western Australian Land Information Authority, for the setting up of the Land Administration Valuation and Information Management System.
The Mission has recommended, inter alia, -
(a) measures for strengthening of institutions;
(b) procedures for an accelerated establishment of a survey cadastre;
(c) the design of the Land Registration and Valuation Component; and
(d) strategies for Human Resource Development.
11. Following the success of the Caravane de L’Entrepreneuriat organised in various parts of Mauritius and in Rodrigues, Cabinet has taken note that the Caravane de L’Entrepreneuriat was held at Ste Croix on 23 May 2007. In that context, two workshops were organised to cater for inhabitants of the neighbouring localities, including Caro Calyptus, Vallée des Prêtres, Tranquebar as well as Batterie Cassée.
On that occasion, Certificates of Registration were issued to 65 applicants for projects such as fast food, sale of vegetables, beauty parlour, manufacture of garments, footwear and cleaning services. Cheques from the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd were handed over to three beneficiaries.
The next Caravane is scheduled for end of June 2007 at Plaisance, Rose Hill.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Ministry of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives and the National Women Entrepreneur Council would hold talks on entrepreneurship development in secondary institutions as from June 2007.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping to Helsinki and London.
In Helsinki, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping participated in the 57th World Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition organised by the International Association of Public Transport from 20 to 24 May 2007. The theme of the Congress, “Public Transport: Moving People, Moving Cities”, encapsulated how public transport fulfils a dual role, viz. -
(a) ensuring better mobility for citizens; and
(b) contributing to the social, economic and environmental vitality of cities with a focus on social inclusion, climate change and energy options.
The Congress emphasized on the devastating effects of global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions and the need to adapt public transport in a manner that the environment is protected.
In London, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping visited the Mitcham Vehicle Testing Station and was apprised of the latest technology, innovations and legislation in the field of vehicle testing. He also had the opportunity to witness the inspection of a six-axle semi-articulated goods vehicle.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) Dialogues on “Aid and Budget” held on 17 and 18 May 2007. The Dialogue has explored the following four areas –
(a) putting aid on the budget;
(b) budget transparency;
(c) aid and fiscal space; and
(d) budget support and performance assessment framework.
CABRI is a professional network aimed at supporting African senior budget officials in their reform efforts in delivering on the following ideals namely, accelerating service delivery, improving budget management and contributing towards the achievement of development goals.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation in the Retreat of the African Union (AU) Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Tenth AU Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council held from 7 to 11 May 2007 in Durban, South Africa.
The main purpose of the Retreat of AU Foreign Affairs Ministers was to examine the state of the African Union, to brainstorm on the proposal to establish a Union Government in Africa and to hold in-depth discussions on the nature of the Continent’s integration agenda.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation met –
(i) the Honourable Sibusiso Ndebele, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Minister of Sport and Recreation of KwaZulu-Natal;
(ii) Mr Logie Naidoo, Deputy Mayor of the Ethekwini Municipality, with whom he discussed the twinning of Durban and Port Louis for future cooperation; and
(iii) Ms Ela Gandhi, Chancellor of the University of Technology of Durban, Ms Nazieme Jappie, Dean of the University and Professor Lionel Slammert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for close collaboration with tertiary institutions of Mauritius, including the University of Technology of Mauritius.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the 22nd World Conference of the International Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations held in Macau Special Administrative Region from 14 to 18 May 2007. The theme of the Conference was ‘Drugs Are Not Child’s Play. Wholesome Families- No Drugs'.
The Conference unanimously acknowledged the importance of harm reduction strategies in the struggle against social ills associated with drug addiction. The general feeling was that harm reduction strategies are being implemented as a gateway towards a drug-free society. The Conference also underlined the crucial role of the family in the fight against substance abuses and there was unanimity on the positive role of parents and school teachers to inculcate anti-drug values in children since their tender age.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Eleventh Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) which was held at the Grand Baie International Conference Centre from 13 to 18 May 2007. The Commission considered, inter alia, a change in its status and adopted a statement concerning "Actions Being Taken To Achieve a More Effective and Efficient Commission”.