CABINET DECISIONS – 15 OCTOBER 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is making arrangements to open a new shelter in Cap Malheureux to accommodate children in distress.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the 10/10/10, 350.org.Global Work Party, on 7 October 2010, the Minister of Education and Human Resources launched the Tree Planting Campaign in both primary and secondary schools, as part of the Maurice Ile Durable initiative and the Green School Project, to sensitize school children on the importance of preserving the environment, encourage an eco-friendly attitude and create a green and embellished environment. The Tree Planting Campaign would continue in 2011 and beyond, in order to sustain the environmental awareness campaign, foster greater environmental responsibility among the youth, as well as impart the enhanced use of the by-products of trees.
3. In line with Government’s policy to boost arts and culture and promote local artists, Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a scheme to subsidize 50% of the cost of the rental of venues hired for shows where only local artists would perform, provided they meet the criteria of the scheme.
4. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, in collaboration with the National Empowerment Foundation and NGOs, would organise a Family Day for the benefit of the very poor on 17 October 2010 at the Anse La Raie Youth Training Centre. The following activities have, inter alia, been organised during the week:
(a) an awareness campaign on action being taken to combat poverty; and
(b) the implementation of diverse pro-poor projects across the country and targeting specific vulnerable groups, such as water and electricity supply at Robert Scott, Cité La Cure, opening of a remedial school for adults at L'Escalier, social housing at Rose Belle, children's playground at La Valette and a day nursery at Résidence Père Laval.
5. Cabinet has taken note that, following an offer of Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, the African Presidential Archives Research Centre of Boston University, USA, would hold the next African Presidential Roundtable in Mauritius in June 2011. The African Presidential Roundtable is a multi-continental forum involving students, academia and leaders from the public and private sectors in the US, Europe and Africa to dialogue on contemporary political and economic trends in Africa. The Roundtable, which will have as theme Energy in Africa, will focus on how governments, institutions and individuals can help bring Africa closer to finding a solution on the issue of energy. It is expected that about 10 former Leaders of Africa would attend the Roundtable.
6. With a view to further stimulating competition in the Information and Communication Technology market, Cabinet has agreed to an “Open Access Policy” being applied for the operation of undersea cable landing stations in Mauritius. The Open Access Policy would allow interested parties, on equal conditions with a transparent relation between cost and pricing, to get access to and share communication resources on one level to provide value-added services on another level in a layered communication system architecture. It also encourages market entry from smaller local companies and seeks to ensure that no entity can take a position of dominant market power.
7. Cabinet has taken note that a short-stay Visa Waiver Agreement has been concluded between Mauritius and Norway. The Agreement would allow citizens of Mauritius to enter and stay, without prior visa, in the territory of EU Member States within the Schengen Area for a maximum period of three months during a six-month period.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Tertiary Education Commission would call for proposals for National Research Chairs to be based at the University of Mauritius and/or the University of Technology, Mauritius, with a view to stimulating strategic research in areas of national and international importance and retaining and attracting the best qualified research scientists to the two Universities. The thematic areas that have been selected, in the first instance, are Information and Communication Technologies; Social and Economic Policy; Environment and Natural Resource Management; and Innovation, Policy and Science.
9. Cabinet has taken note that a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Maritime Transport would be signed between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Mauritius. The Memorandum of Understanding aims at, inter alia, promoting cooperation for the development of merchant shipping and preventing illicit migration on board vessels and marine pollution.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 would be launched on 21 October 2010 at the Grand Bay International Conference Centre. The objective of the Decade is to accelerate the implementation of agreed global and regional commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women. On the occasion, screening of Non-Communicable Diseases would be carried out, plants and eco-friendly bags would be distributed and the cyber-caravan would promote computer literacy.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the National Action Plan on the Family, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare would, on 19 October 2010, launch the National Programme on Strengthening Values for Family Life, which aims at empowering couples to lead a successful married life and build positive parenting and family bonding. Cabinet has further taken note that the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare and the Indian Ocean Centre for Education and Human Values would sign a Memorandum of Understanding which provides for technical cooperation in strengthening the support services involved in the National Programme.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions would promulgate regulations under the Unemployment Hardship Relief Act and the Social Aid Act to provide for increase in the rates of Unemployment Hardship Relief and Social Aid as announced in July to December Budget 2009 and Budget 2010.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology to Japan where he participated in the Second Japan-Africa Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting, which aimed at promoting cooperation in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation between Japan and Africa.
Cabinet has further taken note that, during bilateral meetings that the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology had with personalities present at the Meeting, the following were concluded –
(a) The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty would provide equipment in the field of Seismology data collection and Hydro-Accoustics worth USD150,000;
(b) The Director and the Chief Scientist of The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, UK, would assist in the setting up of a botanical garden around the University of Mauritius; and
(c) 10 eminent academics from, inter alia, Harvard University, The Royal Society in England, Japan Science and Technology Agency, University of Ottawa, University of Stanford, as well as Nobel Price Winners Dr Torsten N. Wiesel from The Rockfeller University, New York, and Professor Richard R. Ernst from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, have agreed to act as Mentors to Mauritian Phd. students and researchers.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands to Uganda where he participated in the Global Forum on Local Development and the Pan African Ministerial Workshop on Leadership Development and Capacity Building for Poverty Reduction in Africa. The theme of the Forum was Pursuing the MDGs through Local Governments and the objectives were to bring together key players to support the growing importance and significance of democratically elected Local Governments and make them champions for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Forum culminated in the Kampala Call to Action, which recognizes, amongst others, the advantages of local government in the delivery of basic social services, e.g., health, education, water and sanitation, in promoting local economic development, responding to climate change, managing natural resources, ensuring gender equity, and contributing to state-building in post-crisis situations.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Fisheries and Rodrigues to The Gambia where he participated in the First Conference of African Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The objective-s of the Conference, which had as theme African Fisheries and Aquaculture: Contributing Towards Agricultural Development and Economic Growth, were to -
(a) identify clear evidence-based priority actions to be implemented in fisheries and aquaculture development in Africa within the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme Framework; and
(b) determine strategies to support fisheries governance and policy reforms necessary to improve the role of sustainable fisheries in contributing to African Union Member States economies and welfare.
Mauritius was appointed as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Bureau of the African Union Commission for Fisheries.