50000 new households to be connected to digital economy: Mauritius ICT Minister
Internet Connectivity, Broadband, ICT and Innovation will be at the heart of all the government’s economic and social strategies, stressed ICT minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. (Image: NCB)
At least 50,000 new households will be connected to the digital economy by year end, and 300 WIFI sites – comprising schools and colleges, community centers, shopping malls, campuses, libraries and airport – will be created in Mauritius, said ICT minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
Internet Connectivity, Broadband, ICT and Innovation will be at the heart of all the government’s economic and social strategies, cutting across not only existing pillars but also all the new economic sectors that will be created, he added.
The minister made these statements at the National Assembly on Friday, February 27, 2015, in the course of debates on the Government Programme 2015-2019, where he stressed that the second Economic Miracle in Mauritius will be driven by technology and innovation.
He noted that technology and innovation have inherent dynamism for boosting economic growth through wealth creation and employment generation.
It is expected that innovations in computing will change the way IT services are delivered to businesses and end users. Also, new employment opportunities can be created in the sector through mastering the latest trends in IT architecture comprising of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies, said the Minister.
The development of the ICT-BPO industry is expected to grow through the provision of necessary incentives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) enabling global players to establish their operations in Mauritius, added Pravind Jugnauth.
He indicated BPO Non-Voice-Back Office, Payroll, Finance & accounting, Legal Process Outsourcing, Information Technology Outsourcing-software development, Mobile apps development, Web development, E-commerce, Multimedia, IT Services-Data Centers, Disaster Recovery and Training and Consultancy, as sectors of focus for the ICT-BPO industry.
The minister also spoke about the Government’s commitment to fully maximise the potential of African business opportunities, with Mauritius to increasingly leverage itself as an ideal platform for the delivery of ICT-related business services to Africa.
“We will strive our best to make Mauritius the back office of Europe and USA through the provision of high-end knowledge process outsourcing,” he stressed.
As regards delivery of high-speed connectivity at competitive costs across the island, the minister said that broadband and digital technology should be made available to everyone, and that, very shortly, proposals will be made on the strategies to be executed to achieve this target.
Government wants to make basic broadband connectivity available to all by 2016 and stands ready to intervene for the deployment of high-reliable speed internet to all citizens and all sectors of the economy the Minister stressed.
Furthermore, negotiations are ongoing with major service providers, the Regulator and other stakeholders of the industry to come up with an Integrated Action Plan, he said.
“We will have to determine how and when we can upgrade the norm to a higher speed threshold, say 30 megabits, and to eventually start deploying 100 megabits by 2020, in line with targets set in some countries of Europe and South East Asia,” he noted.
Work on these long-term targets, even if they appear to be ambitious and challenging, has already started, concluded the minister.