1. Cabinet has taken note of the international economic situation and the volatility of overseas markets, as well as the current state of the local economy, prior to the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development meeting the private sector.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the humanitarian situation prevailing in Somalia and has agreed, in a spirit of solidarity, to donate an amount of Rs 5m ($167,000) to help alleviate the suffering of the people.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the grounding of MV Angel 1, a Panamanian Bulk Carrier, in the territorial waters of Mauritius. The vessel went aground by the stern off the coast of Poudre d’Or and had ingress of water in the engine room. The vessel representative had dispatched five persons to salvage the vessel. Now that the company, which the owners have hired, has been unable to salvage the vessel, and in view of the danger of an oil leak following further damage to the vessel, Government has decided to take the initiative of hiring another company to salvage the vessel. In this connection, a company in South Africa has been contacted.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Rabindranath Tagore Institute will set up a School of Dramatic Arts and, shortly, launch a Diploma Course in Dramatic Arts, on a part-time basis, with a cohort of 25 students. The Rabindranath Tagore Institute also envisages to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Dramatics leading to a Bachelor’s, a Master’s and a PhD degree in Dramatic Arts.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the status of the National Seaweed Research Programme undertaken by the Mauritius Research Council to develop a seaweed industry. The objective of the Programme is to cultivate and process seaweeds of high value for niche products, both for export and the local market. Cultivation of seaweed would generate substantial employment and income, particularly among the fishing communities and small planters.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Fashion and Design Institute will, as from Academic Year 2011/2012, offer new courses with a view to diversifying its academic portfolio, viz, -
(a) BA (Hons) Interior Design;
(b) HND/BA (Hons) Multimedia Design;
(c) HND/BA (Hons) Product Design;
(d) HND/BA (Hons) Textile Design;
(e) HND/BA(Hons) Art and Design; and
(f) BA (Hons) Interior Decoration.
7. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to ensuring energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption in line with the Maurice Ile Durable concept, certain local authorities have introduced new street lighting technologies with automatic dimmable features. It is expected that the new dimming device, commonly known as an Electronic Power Switch, would help save electricity.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the transition from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which is a new version designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). With the increasing number of internet users, the need to provide space for more addresses than is possible with IPv4 is greatly felt. IPv4, which allows 32 bits for an Internet Protocol address, can support approximately 4 billion addresses, whilst IPv6, which uses 128 bits, can support approximately 340 nonillion addresses. Moreover, the expansion will allow for many more devices and users, flexibility in allocating addresses and efficiency for routing traffic.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Information and Communication Technologies Authority will hold a workshop with all stakeholders in September 2011 with a view to raising awareness on the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the status of the Collaborative Mauritius initiative being piloted by the Mauritius Research Council. Collaborative Mauritius is a meeting platform for innovative Mauritian minds from academia, research and businesses, to strengthen the potential for innovation through the flow of knowledge, and the practice and the promotion of open collaborative innovation within the Government itself and across the Public Sector.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Gigabit Passive Optical Network Project, which aims at enhancing internet connectivity for improved Government Service Delivery. The service is already operational at the New Government Centre, the Emmanuel Anquetil Building, the Renganaden Seeneevassen Building and the Air Mauritius Building. The Network, now, offers high telecommunications bandwidth which can be scaled up by more than 50 folds to provide round-the-clock citizen-centric Government Services, as well as value-added services, such as video conferencing and Voice over Internet Protocol communication.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, 542,638 tourists visited Mauritius during the period January to July 2011, as compared to 516,159 for the corresponding period in 2010, i.e., an increase of 5.1%. During the month of July 2011, some 78,034 tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 77,009 in July 2010, i.e., an increase of 1.3%. Growth has been registered in the following tourist markets: Russia (+5.9%), Germany (+6.7%), Belgium (+5.4%), Italy (+3.0%), Switzerland (+42.1%), India (+19.2%), China (+147.3%), Australia (+41.0%), Japan (+34.3%) and South Africa (+53.1%).
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Civil Aviation Department, in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, would hold a training course on “Safe Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Air” in Mauritius from 21 to 25 November 2011. The objectives of the training course are to assist States to comply with the broad principles governing the international transport of dangerous goods by air and to improve the implementation of standards and recommended practices in order to avoid ambiguities, misunderstandings and hazards.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the visit of Mrs Zhao Shaohua,
Vice-Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, who visited Mauritius from 4 to 6 August 2011. During her visit, Mrs Shaohua had working sessions with the Minister of Arts and Culture and officials of his Ministry on the cultural exchange programme between Mauritius and the People’s Republic of China. Two Memoranda of Understanding were signed providing for cooperation in the fields of culture and exchange of scientific and technical knowledge. Mrs Shaohua also made a donation of musical instruments.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the appointment of Mr Robert Desvaux as Chairperson of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.