1. Cabinet has taken note that Moody’s Investors Service has placed Mauritius on a waiting position for the possible upgrade of our Baa2 position in view of the economic performance, resilience to shocks, the positive growth in recent years and Government’s significant progress in reducing its debt-servicing burden.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the European Union has made a grant of 10.2m Euro (Rs400m) for our good performance on a list of 45 indicators. Mauritius is one of the 19 countries which have received the grant.
3. Cabinet has taken note that the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the SADC Parliamentary Forum would be held in Mauritius from 12 to 14 April 2012. Honourable Speakers and Members of Parliaments of the SADC Region, viz., Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia, would attend the Meeting.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the measures taken by the Gambling Regulatory Authority to better regulate off-course betting on horse racing and curb gambling-related problems. The measures include the discontinuation of Thursdays’ operations and regulation of operating hours. The Gambling Regulatory Authority also proposes to develop a code of practice for gambling operators and improve its central server to register all bets for more effective monitoring.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons, in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture and with the assistance of the Victory Arts Foundation, Mumbai, proposes to set up a National School of Performing Arts for persons with disabilities with a view to ensuring their socio-economic empowerment, improving their self-esteem and self-confidence, and giving them the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, would organize a Programme on the Psycho-social Dimension of Ageing comprising a Public Conference, two Regional Conferences and a Training Programme. The objective of the programme is to provide the necessary psycho-social support to the elderly persons and their carers to enable them to cope effectively with ageing and improve their quality of life. Dr Gérard Moutou, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, a renowned Mauritian Geronto-Psychiatrist based in Reunion Island, would facilitate the Programme.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Housing and Lands to Saudi Arabia where he had discussions with the Saudi Authorities on arrangements relating to travel, accommodation and visa, so that the Hadj pilgrims fulfil their pilgrimage in the best possible conditions.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Saudi Authorities have been requested to consider the grant of an additional 700 visas to increase this year’s quota to 2,000 and to authorize Mauritian pilgrims to return to Mauritius from Madina Airport.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the operationalization of the Common Training Strategy for NGOs launched on 5 December 2011. The Strategy enables NGOs to meet their training needs to address social challenges and to coordinate their resources to contribute to social development with greater effectiveness. The Committee managing the Common Training Strategy has already elaborated a Training Plan of Action incorporating training programmes in priority areas, such as Good Governance; Accounting and Finance; Social Entrepreneurship; Project Cycle Management, Monitoring and Evaluation; Communications, Leadership and Community Development; and Organisation and Management.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the World Trade Organisation Chairs Programme and the University of Mauritius, would jointly hold an International Conference on International Trade and Investment in Mauritius from 24 to 26 October 2012. The Conference would focus on the effects of the global financial crisis in African countries, and discuss, amongst others, themes, such as aid for trade, macroeconomic policies and financial analysis, trade barriers, competition policy, and trade liberalization. International scholars, professionals, practitioners, students and academics from local Tertiary Educational Institutions, policy makers from relevant Ministries and other stakeholders are expected to attend the Conference. The Keynote Speaker would be Professor Oliver Morrissey of the University of Nottingham, who has made extensive research on the economic effects of aid and trade policy reform in Africa.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the International Conference on Higher Education and Economic Development has been rescheduled to be held in Mauritius in September 2012. The aim of the Conference is to address the need for new paradigms in higher education that would respond to economic development, social mobility and progress, and the knowledge economy.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the Regional Workshop on Environmentally Safe Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes, organized by the Africa Institute for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes, in collaboration with the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI), would be held in Mauritius in June 2012. The objective of the Workshop is to bring together participants from Government agencies of member countries of the Africa Institute to exchange knowledge and ideas relating to transportation of hazardous chemicals and other wastes in an environmentally sound manner.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the proposed appointment of Mr Simon Springett as the UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Mauritius in succession of Mrs Leyla Tegmo-Reddy.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the following appointments –
(a) Mr Kevin Leerajsingh Chuttur as Chairperson of the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council; and
(b) Mr Luc Allan Penny Hack as Vice-Chairperson of the Gambling Regulatory Board.
14. Cabinet has taken note that Mrs Marie-Anne Françoise Rosemay Christophe has been nominated member of the Executive Committee of the National Women Entrepreneur Council.