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AfricaMoney | August 17, 2017

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Mauritius Cabinet notes crucial economic decisions on water; health & climate change

Mauritius Cabinet notes crucial economic decisions on water; health & climate change

The Cabinet noted the health ministry’s preventive measures against the Ebola Virus disease that is currently raging in parts of West Africa – particularly Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria – and has claimed upward of 880 lives. (Image: PMO)

The Mauritius Cabinet took decisions to improve the financial and economic space of Mauritius through measures, recommendations and agreements finalized at its meeting held on August 8, 2014.

Based on the socio-economic policies and development strategies of the government, the Cabinet has agreed upon the National Water Policy, which defines the national objectives and targets for the crucial water and sanitation sectors.

As the government has social responsibilities to the poor, the long-term objective of the National Water Policy is to ensure access to good quality water at a reasonable price.

It also takes into account the reduction of non-revenue water to an acceptable level of 20% by 2040, the financial sustainability of the water sector, the protection and conservation of water resources, and the extension of the public sewerage network to achieve 75% coverage by 2040.

Concerning the health sector, Cabinet took note of the Ministry of Health’s preventive measures against the Ebola Virus disease, which is a severe and often fatal illness with a death rate of up to 90% currently raging in parts of West Africa – particularly Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria – and has claimed upward of 880 lives.

The health ministry wants to strengthen surveillance at the port and airport; follow up on incoming passengers mostly from affected countries; strengthen the sensitization campaign on precautionary measures; prepare a protocol for the clinical management of the disease; and arrange for an isolation ward at Souillac Hospital.

Moreover, the Cabinet took note of the launch of a sensitization campaign on climate change adaptation in the coastal zone of Mauritius, which aims at enhancing access to information on climate change and public participation, and engagement in addressing and responding to climate change.

The environment ministry, in collaboration with Mauritian conglomerate Rogers Group and NGO Reef Conservation will organise the campaign, which is in line with the Climate Change Information, Education and Communication Strategy and Action Plan.

The Cabinet also noted that a Capacity Building Workshop was held for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Resilience of Small Islands Developing States.

The regional workshop aims to promote long term planning and address development challenges of climate vulnerability, economic growth and youth employment through technical assistance, knowledge sharing knowledge and skill development.

Furthermore, the Cabinet stressed the outcome of the 10th Session of the Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which served as a platform for structured dialogue to boost bilateral trade, investment and economic relations.

The Joint Working Group (JWG) recommended the establishment of a Joint Trade Committee and a Sub-Committee on Customs matters for the implementation of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

Besides, the JWG agreed to revisit the Agreement signed in 2007 between the Small Enterprises Handicrafts Development Authority (SEHDA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority of Pakistan as well as to facilitate the export of Mauritian Victoria pineapples.

Also, Pakistan will help Mauritius to become a medical hub by sending medical teams in areas, such as cancer and heart surgery/transplant.

In the ICT field, the JWG wants to strengthen mutual cooperation through experience sharing, knowledge transfer, promoting quality standards, institution-to-institution collaboration, joint-ventures and outsourcing.

Finally, the Cabinet noted that Mauritius has also agreed to sign the Gender COMESA Social Charter adopted at the last COMESA Summit. The aim behind the charter is to promote the welfare of the people of the region; improve the quality of life; accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development; and enable all individuals from the region to live in dignity and realize their full potential.

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