CABINET DECISIONS – 27 AUGUST 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, on 16 and 17 August 2010 to Windhoek, Namibia, where he participated in the 30th Jubilee Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). HE Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana, HE Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, HE Dr Sam Nujoma, former President of Namibia and HE Kenneth David Kaunda, former President of Zambia, also attended the Summit.
The Summit, inter alia, reviewed the political situation in the region, particularly in Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, discussed security threats posed by piracy in the coastal waters of SADC Member States, especially the Seychelles, Mauritius and the United Republic of Tanzania.
In his intervention on Madagascar, the Prime Minister underscored our active involvement in the SADC mediation process and the initiatives at the level of the African Union and the Indian Ocean Commission. Following a proposal of the Prime Minister, the Summit agreed to establish a SADC Liaison Office in Madagascar to support the dialogue process. The Prime Minister informed the Summit that the facilities at our Embassy in Antananarivo would be put at the disposal of the representative of SADC to allow follow up on the negotiations.
On the issue of piracy, the Prime Minister emphasized its adverse impact on imports and exports by sea, port activities, cruise ship calls, fishing and the fish-processing industry, tourism and the economy in general. He also highlighted the key elements of a long term strategy, which, inter alia, included the formulation of a sound maritime policy at continental level with the involvement of the AU and regional groupings, namely SADC, COMESA and IOC. He informed the Summit that Mauritius has agreed to host a Tribunal for the trial of suspected pirates in the way Kenya and the Seychelles have done. He also informed the Summit that it is proposed to hold the Second Regional Ministerial Conference on Piracy in Mauritius in October 2010.
The Summit also discussed economic performance in the region, the issue of agriculture and food security, climate change, HIV and AIDS, and Gender and Development.
2. Taking into consideration that piracy, particularly off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean, has become an international problem and adversely impacts on economies, Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius, in collaboration with COMESA and the Indian Ocean Commission, hosting the Second Regional Ministerial Conference on Piracy on 7 October 2010. The Conference aims at building on the momentum created by previous meetings and agreeing on a comprehensive multilateral approach to fight piracy based on an Action Plan with short, medium and long terms measures. Ministers from countries of the region, the High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Margaret Ashton, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations, including the United Nations, the International Maritime Organisation, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, the EU-Led Naval Force and SADC, would attend the Conference.
3. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organised to commemorate the 110th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam on Saturday 18 September 2010, viz., –
(a) wreath laying ceremonies at the Samadhi of SSR at the SSR Botanic Garden, in front of the statue of SSR at Port Louis Waterfront and at the SSR Memorial Park, Kewal Nagar;
(b) launching of the UNESCO Gold, Silver and Bronze Commemorative medals with the effigy of SSR;
(c) prize giving ceremonies to reward winners of Drawing, Painting, and Poem Writing Competitions and the SSR Education Award;
(d) exhibition of paintings at the SSR Memorial Centre for Culture;
(e) setting up of a SSR Peace Corner at Kewal Nagar;
(f) telecasting of documentary films on SSR by the MBC;
(g) issue of a Gold Foil hundred rupee stamp of SSR; and
(h) exhibition of photographs/documents, projection of video-clips on SSR at the Municipality of Port Louis.
4. Cabinet has taken note that, following the initiative of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has acquired two specialized ambulances to attend to emergency cardiac cases. The two ambulances, which are equipped with highly sophisticated equipment, such as Electrocardiograph, Cardiac Monitors and Defibrillators and other cardio-respiratory resuscitation materials, would be operational by mid-September 2010.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the “Sankoré” Project initiated by President Sarkozy to achieve the Education for All Goals through digital empowerment, i.e., the use of digital interactive white boards, interactive projectors, as well as educational software, to render teaching and learning processes more creative and lively. The Prime Minister would, during his forthcoming visit to Paris, finalise the Project with President Sarkozy.
The Minister of Education and Human Resources had a preliminary consultation on the “Sankoré” Project with Prof. Albert Claude Benhamou, Délégué Interministériel pour l’Education Numérique en Afrique (DIENA), who visited Mauritius recently. Prof. Benhamou has intimated that the French authorities would assist Government to implement the Project as from this year.
6. Cabinet has taken note that, under the Manufacturing and Services Development and Competitiveness Programme, the Ministry of Business, Enterprise, Cooperatives and Consumer Protection would launch the Mauritius Business Growth Scheme on 24 September 2010 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre. The Manufacturing and Services Development and Competitiveness Programme, which aims at supporting enterprise growth, competitiveness and employment creation in the Manufacturing and Services Sectors, comprises three components, namely –
(a) improving access to quality business development services to support enterprise productivity and competitiveness, specially in areas of skills and training, technology upgrading, standards and marketing constraints facing SMEs;
(b) strengthening policy and institutional framework to rationalize and consolidate existing public sector SME institution and programmes; and
(c) increasing access to finance credit to constrained SMEs.
7. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security to boost local production of garlic, the annual consumption of which far exceeds local production, viz., -
(a) setting up of a Seed Purchase Scheme under the Food Security Fund on the same lines as for onions and potatoes;
(b) improvement and modernization of production techniques;
(c) introduction and promotion of new high yielding garlic varieties; and
(d) development of a rapid multiplication for certified and quality planting materials and multiplication of selected accessions from local germplasm (tissue culture).
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the President of the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) would sign a Memorandum of Understanding that would help mobilize expertise, build capacity of public officers and position Mauritius as a Centre for export of services. ACET was set up in 2007 to provide high quality policy analysis and advisory services to African Governments with a view to achieving long term growth and transformation of their economies.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Arts and Culture signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation providing for cooperation in the field of culture and technical assistance in the preservation and restoration of relics of history, music, fine arts, art exhibitions and handicrafts.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the National Pensions Board with Mr Baboorunjitsing Goordyal, GOSK, CSK, as Chairperson.