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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 12 January 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 12 January 2007

1. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of the Employees Participation Scheme in the shareholding of Mauritius Telecom. In line with the agreement concluded with all stakeholders, 1% of issued ordinary shares held by Government would be sold to employees of Mauritius Telecom at a discounted price. The contractual sale documents are being drawn up and the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2007.

2. In line with Government's decision to provide Universal ICT Education and as announced by the Prime Minister in his message to the nation on Independence Day 2006, Cabinet has taken note of progress made in the implementation of the Universal ICT Education Programme which started on 4 September 2006. To date, 21,611 trainees have been registered out of which 13,068 have started or completed their course.

3. Cabinet has taken note that the China International Institute of Multinational Corporations, a non-governmental organisation operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, has selected the City of Port Louis as the best foreign cities for investment by Chinese Enterprises.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities organised at national and regional levels to commemorate the 172nd Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in Mauritius. The official programme at Pointe Canon, Mahebourg, would comprise, inter alia, -
(i) a wreath laying ceremony at “Monument aux Esclaves”;
(ii) a cultural show; and
(iii) an exhibition on the themes : “The Wreck of the Le Coureur – a testimony of the Illegal Slave Trade” and “From Captivity to Freedom : A History of the Liberated Africans associated with the Aapravasi Ghat during the nineteenth century”.
The Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture and Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund and other socio-cultural organizations would organize various activities at regional level.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Hon M. Aires Aly, Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Mozambique would be the Chief Guest for the occasion.

5. Cabinet has taken note of developments regarding the management of the Ferney Valley by a management company comprising Discover Mauritius Ltd., a wholly government-owned company, and Ciel and Nature Ltd. Ferney Valley would be marketed as an eco-tourism product. Any surplus fund derived from the revenue generated by the operations of the Company after deduction of all running charges, would be paid into the National Wildlife and Conservation Fund, the National Heritage Fund and the National Environment Fund.

6. Cabinet has taken note that, after Panchavati, St Hilaire, Camp Levieux, Vallée Pitot, Bel Air, Plaine Verte and Rivière des Anguilles, the Caravane de l'Entrepreneuriat was organized at the Dr Maurice Curé SSS, Vacoas on 18 December 2006 for the benefit of the inhabitants of the following regions –
(a) Vacoas;
(b) Floréal;
(c) Cité Mangalkan;
(d) La Caverne;
(e) Sadally Road;
(f) Réunion;
(g) Allée Brillant; and
(h) Hollywood.
On that occasion, 14 Certificates of Registration were issued for projects, such as, manufacture of handicraft, furniture making, manufacture of food items and dressmaking.
16,396 persons visited the Small Enterprises and Handicraft Development Authority from July 2005 to December 2006 for counselling and facilitation, and 4,105 Certificates of Registration had been issued out of which 2,431 were for new enterprises.
The next Caravane is scheduled for 31 January 2007 at Chemin Grenier.

7. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, the Société Usinière du Sud, in collaboration with the Industrial Vocational Training Board (IVTB), mounted training programmes from March to October 2006 for some 70 retrenched employees to enhance their employability through re-skilling. The employees were trained in the following fields-
(a) Domestic Pipework Installation and Sanitation;
(b) Servicing of Windows, Split Units and Commercial Refrigeration Systems;
(c) Industrial Electrical Installation;
(d) Servicing of Diesel Engine;
(e) Domestic Electrical Installation;
(f) Learner Driver for Goods Vehicles;
(g) Basic Food Production;
(h) Selection, Installation and Maintenance of Industrial Pumps;
(i) Basic Siemens Simatic s7/300; and
(j) Control Circuits for Single and 3 - Phase Motors.

8. With a view to boosting passenger traffic to further develop the tourism industry in Mauritius, Cabinet has taken note that a fresh round of bilateral air services talks between Mauritius and Italy, one of the major markets, would be soon held in Rome with a view to reviewing the existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement.
Tourist arrivals from Italy for the period January to November 2006 was 60,016 compared to 36,705 for the corresponding period in 2005, representing an increase of 63.5%. The increase was mainly due to the injection of additional capacity on the route through additional frequencies by designated air carriers, as well as the operations of unscheduled flights by special carriers during specific periods.

9. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius acceding to the Agreement on the Establishment of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).
IPGRI which was established in 1991 under the Agreement on the Establishment of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, aims, inter alia, at -
(a) assisting countries, particularly developing nations, to assess and meet their needs for plant genetic resources conservation and to strengthen links between conservation and the sustainable use of these resources;
(b) strengthening and contributing to international technical and scientific cooperation in the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources; and
(c) developing and promoting improved strategies and technologies for plant genetic resources conservation.
By becoming party to the Agreement, Mauritius would benefit from technical assistance and scientific advice in respect of national plant genetic resources programmes, including direct inputs by IPGRI in the formulation of overall plant genetic resources policies and strategies.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Education & Human Resources in the 16th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Cape Town, South Africa from 10 to 14 December 2006. The theme of the Conference was “Access to Quality Education : For the Good of All”. The Conference reviewed progress on the following -
(a) achievement of Universal Primary Education;
(b) elimination of gender disparities in education;
(c) improvement of quality in education;
(d) use of Distance Learning to overcome barriers;
(e) support to education in difficult circumstances; and
(f) the mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS on education.
In the margins of the Conference the Minister of Education & Human Resources had bilateral meetings with the following personalities –
(i) the Hon Bernard Shamlaye, Minister of Education, Seychelles;
(ii) the Hon Haroun A. Suleiman, Minister of Education and Vocational Tranining, Zanzibar;
(iii) the Hon Steve Maharey, Minister of Education, New Zealand;
(iv) Professor Narend Baijnath, Vice-Principal: Strategy, Planning and Partnerships, UNISA;
(v) Professor Brenda M. Gourley, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, UK; and
(vi) Sir John Daniel and Professor Asha Kanwar of Commonwealth of Learning.