CABINET DECISIONS - 5 OCTOBER 2007
1. Cabinet has taken note that Plaine Corail Airport in Rodrigues would be named after late Sir Gaëtan Duval in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the development of Rodrigues, particularly the tourism sector. Sir Gaëtan was closely associated with the construction of the initial runway for Plaine Corail Airport, and he is particularly remembered for having been the one to enable the enfranchisement of the Rodriguan people and the creation of the Ministry of Rodrigues. He was also involved in the construction of the first major hotel in Rodrigues, as well as, the implementation of a number of projects, e.g., housing projects for the poor, electrification and water supply, aimed at uplifting the living conditions of the Rodriguans.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities, organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Islamic Cultural Centre and the Urdu Speaking Union, to celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr at national level from Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 October 2007.
The programme would comprise, inter alia, -
(i) an Eid Gathering at Taher Bagh, Port Louis;
(ii) recitals by Qawwali Troups from India, Nazeer Naseer Warsi & Brothers;
(iii) Horse Riding/Jumping Castle for children;
(iv) Mehendi application;
(v) Film Show; and
3. Cabinet has taken note that the following activities would be organized to commemorate the 173rd Anniversary of the Arrival of Indentured Labourers in Mauritius -
(a) wreath-laying ceremony, multi-faith prayer and cultural items at the Aapravasi Ghat on 2 November 2007;
(b) prize giving to winners of Poem writing and Painting/Drawing competitions;
(c) inauguration of the Exhibition ‘Aapravasi Ghat and its Buffer Zones’ on 30 October 2007;
(d) visit and presentation of a gift and a bouquet to the eldest person from each of the seven major linguistic groups of the Mauritian Society;
(e) organization of a song competition by the Hindi Speaking Union; and
(f) launching of the Bhojpuri Feature Film ‘Kab Hoy Gawna Hamar’ at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture on 2 November 2007.
4. In line with the declared vision of Government to make ICT the fifth pillar of the economy and to facilitate the process for the community to make use of ICT and to participate fully in the socio-economic development of Mauritius, Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of the Community Empowerment Programme, a project aimed at encouraging the development of a Community Web Portal with local contents, providing a platform for sharing local knowledge, and equipping 93 out of the 107 Post Offices throughout the island with personal computers and broadband connectivity (ADSL).
5. Cabinet has taken note of the water resources situation in the country and of measures being taken to ensure an adequate water supply to the population during the dry season. Cabinet has further taken note that the Meteorological Services has forecast that the dry season this year might be more pronounced and run up to early next year as a result of the La Nina phenomenon.
Cabinet has also taken note of the water levels in our reservoirs as at 1 October 2007, which were as follows –
Mare aux Vacoas
Piton du Milieu
Based on the climatic conditions as forecast by the Meteorological Services and the available water resources coupled with the La Nina effect, the Central Water Authority has decided to effect water cuts in the most affected areas.
6. In line with Government objectives to transform the Textile and Clothing Industry into a Fashion Industry, Cabinet has taken note of the organisation by Odysseus Events Ltd, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives and Enterprise Mauritius, of the first edition of the Fashion Festival from 21 to 25 November 2007 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, Pailles.
The main objectives of the Festival are to:
(i) promote culture and inter-cultural exchanges among artists and designers of several countries;
(ii) develop creativity of local designers and artists;
(iii) enhance the skills and know-how of the fashion industry;
(iv) create a platform for sharing of knowledge and expertise;
(v) provide an outlet for young designers and serve as a means of identifying promising talents in the long run; and
(vi) showcase the cultural diversity and richness of Mauritius.
7. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to providing initiatives for better managing permissible activities within the Marine Protected Areas, the Fisheries and Marine Resources (Marine Protected Areas) Regulations 2001 would be amended to regulate activities in those Areas, including Marine Parks, through a system of permits.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the AIDS Unit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat would organize a workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV and AIDS from 15 to 17 October 2007 in Mauritius. The main purpose of the Workshop would be to finalise, inter alia, the following Monitoring and Evaluation documents -
(i) Reports on HIV and AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop and of the HIV and AIDS Management Information System;
(ii) SADC HIV and AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Building Plan 2007-2009; and
(iii) A Guide for Core HIV and AIDS Indicators to be tracked and reported on by SADC Member States.
These documents would help measure progress achieved in the implementation of commitments taken at regional and international levels, such as the Maseru Declaration 2003 and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2001.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit in the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer held from 17 to 21 September 2007 in Montreal, Canada.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, a number of awards were presented to numerous individuals and agencies, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. Mr Mario Molina and Mr Frank Rowland, the 1995 Nobel laureates for chemistry whose work had helped form the basis of the Montreal Protocol were among the awardees. On behalf of the National Ozone Unit of the Ministry of Environment & National Development Unit, the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit received the Implementers Award in recognition of its extraordinary contribution to make the Protocol’s phase-out goals a reality. Mr Sateeaved Seebaluck, Permanent Secretary of that Ministry was honoured with the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel Champion Award in recognition of his service to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and the global effort to protect the ozone layer.
During the meeting, it was decided, inter alia, to-
(a) choose as a baseline the average of the 2009 and 2010 levels of HCFC consumption and production for developing country parties;
(b) freeze consumption and production in 2013 at the baseline level;
(c) complete the phase-out of consumption and production by 2020 for developed country parties, with reduction steps of 75% by 2010, 90% by 2015 and allowing 0.5% for servicing the period 2020-2030; and
(d) encourage parties to promote alternatives that minimize environmental impacts, particularly climate impacts, as well as health, safety and economic considerations.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Public Utilities in the 51st Session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna, Austria from 17 to 21 September 2007. This year’s Session marked the 50th Anniversary of the IAEA, which was entrusted with the mission ‘Atoms for Peace’. One of the recommendations of the IAEA was to actively pursue the design and production of small and medium size reactors, which are safe and affordable, so that nuclear power could be a feasible option for countries, such as Mauritius, with a small power system.
In the margins of the Session, the Minister of Public Utilities met, inter alia, Mr A. Kokoddar, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and discussed on technical assistance to enable the Radiation Protection Board to meet the IAEA requirements in developing radiation protection infrastructure.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the First Extraordinary Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Industry held on 26 and 27 September 2007 at Midrand, South Africa.
Recommendations made at the Conference include –
(a) the establishment of a common structure for resource management, sharing natural resources, skills and experiences in order to create a regional industry which would compete at international level and benefit from economies of scale;
(b) the implementation of the Egyptian initiative on African Technology Transfer initiative as a valuable platform for Africa’s industrialization and the promotion of transfer of technology and innovation; and
(c) a request being put up to the AU to develop a reference code for mining at regional and continental levels and governance indicators to serve as reference points for African countries.
The Minister also had bilateral discussions with the delegations from South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Algeria, Libya and Sierra Leone on, inter alia, importation of diamond, iron and steel.
12. Cabinet has taken note of activities which would be organized on the occasion of the World Post Day 2007, a yearly event celebrated on 9 October all over the world. The main purpose of the event is to promote awareness of the public on the important role played by postal services in the worldwide communication network despite the application of latest technological developments in the world of communication. The theme adopted by the Universal Postal Union for this year is “Stay Connected,” to underline the growing importance of the postal services in the communication sector.
In the context of the World Post Day 2007, the Mauritius Post Limited is organising a series of activities during the period from 6 to 16 October, viz -
(a) launching of new Stamps and a First Day Cover issue;
(b) launching of an online Counter Automation System which will offer faster service and help reduce queuing time;
(c) lunch to residents of “Couvent Mère Thérèsa”, Roche Bois on Saturday 6 October 2007.
(d) Open day visits whereby pupils of primary schools would be invited to visit 11 Post Offices.
13. Cabinet has taken note that Mr R. Sadien, MSK, of the State Employees Federation, Mr J.F.M. Thomas, MSK, of the Mauritius Labour Congress and Mr P. Buldee of the Mauritius Trade Union Congress would be the Employees Representatives on the National Savings Fund Technical Committee.
14. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy, put up at Pointe Aux Sables, would be inaugurated on 16 October 2007. The main objective of the Academy is to run training programmes and courses with a view to building up a pool of seafarers.