CABINET DECISIONS – 20 AUGUST 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has chosen Mauritius to hold its next Annual Prize Ceremony and Discussion Forum scheduled for November 2010. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is an African initiative that has been established to –
(a) stimulate debate on good governance across sub-Saharan Africa and the world;
(b) provide criteria by which citizens can hold their Governments to account;
(c) recognize achievement in African leadership and provide a practical way in which African leaders can build positive legacies on the continent when they have left office; and
(d) support aspiring leaders for the African continent.
The Discussion Forum is an opportunity for major figures in the governance arena to discuss key issues facing Africa. Prominent dignitaries, amongst others, Mr Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, and Mr Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, and about 300 to 400 participants, comprising representatives of Governments, civil societies, multilateral organizations, business leaders, the private sector and the media, would attend the Forum.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation ranked Mauritius first for two consecutive years, i.e., 2008 and 2009 indices, for African governance.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, 516,159 tourists visited Mauritius during the period January to July 2010 as compared to 485,376 for the corresponding period in 2009, i.e., an increase of 6.3%. During the month of July 2010, some 77,009 tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 71,872 in July 2009, i.e., an increase of 7.1%. Growth was registered in the following tourist markets: France (+6.7%), Germany (+13.4%), Belgium (+3.1%), Switzerland (+5.7%), Reunion Island (+7.0%), China (+24.1%) and India (+54.1%). However, a decline was recorded in the number of tourists from the United Kingdom (-6.7%).
3. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the two-day Forum on Food and Agro- Processing organised by Enterprise Mauritius in July 2010. The main objective of the Forum, which had as theme Expanding the Capacity, Enhancing the Quality and Competitiveness and Increasing Exports of the Food Processing and Agro-Based Industry, was to bring together stakeholders of the Food Processing and Agro-Based Industry to brainstorm on ways and means to sustain the development of the industry and formulate an action plan for the next three years. Pending the finalisation of the plan, Enterprise Mauritius has initiated a series of measures to boost the Sector, including the organisation of in-store promotional campaigns in two high retail centres in Europe and a special Eat Mauritian food festival and the facilitation for the upgrading of packaging and labelling, as well as the standards of agro-processing companies to comply with foreign market requirements.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the World Health Organisation has, on 10 August 2010, declassified Influenza A(H1N1) from pandemic alert phase 6 to post-pandemic. In Mauritius, there has been a progressive decrease in the number of cases of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is, however, continuing to implement measures set out in the Preparedness Plan on pandemic influenza, especially for surveillance and case management, to avoid any resurgence of the disease. The flu clinics would be closed on 25 September 2010 at the end of the Vaccination Programme.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions proposes to amend the National Savings Fund Regulations and the National Pensions Fund Regulations to provide for an increase in the minimum and maximum salaries on which contributions are payable to the National Savings Fund and the National Pensions Fund, as a yearly inflation-proofing process, aimed at maintaining an appropriate lump sum. The floor is being revised from Rs1,540 monthly to Rs1,750 monthly and the ceiling is being raised from Rs10,095 monthly to Rs11,470 monthly as from 1 July 2010.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the International Social Security Association Regional Office for Southern Africa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, would hold its next Seminar in March 2011 in Mauritius. The aim of the Seminar is to provide a platform to the staff of Member Organizations in the Southern African region to share knowledge on major social security issues facing countries of the region. About 40 delegates are expected to participate in the Seminar.