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Omnicane Award 2014: How can Mauritius reconcile economic growth & green goals?

Omnicane Award 2014: How can Mauritius reconcile economic growth & green goals?

Royal College Curepipe whose team consisted of students Dwarka Krishna Anuj; Mohee Kushal; Aviraj Koravenchiah, Kartick Toshal and Ramsaha Mrinal; lifted the grand trophy (Image: Cecilia Samoisi)

It was Royal College Curepipe that best managed to make a roadmap of sustainable development for Mauritius, winning the 2014 Omnicane Award at a grand ceremony held yesterday, September 19, 2014 at Holiday Inn Mauritius Airport, Mon Tresor, Plaine Magnien.

Mauritius President Kailash Purryag and the Chief Executive Officer of Omnicane, Jacques d`Unienville graced the ceremony.

Like each year, the topic chosen was of crucial importance to Mauritius, where this year’s theme was thought-provokingly designed in relation to the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States recently held in Samoa, namely: How would Mauritius, as a Small Island Developing State, reconcile its economic development goals and environmental imperatives?

Out of 43 entries, which were sent in by 215 students representing 24 colleges, 2 were selected, notably Royal College Curepipe whose team consisted of students Dwarka Krishna Anuj; Mohee Kushal; Aviraj Koravenchiah, Kartick Toshal and Ramsaha Mrinal; and Queen Elizabeth College whose team comprised of students Hania Rajack, Bhavna Ramnauth, Feryial Mangou, Tasneem Ramkhalawon and Nooreeya Yearoo.

The grand winner was awarded a cash prize of Rs 100, 000 and a souvenir trophy, whereas the first runner-up won a cash prize of Rs 40, 000, again accompanied by a souvenir trophy.

Furthermore, taking into account the high threshold of effort and aptitude displayed by various other teams, three special prizes were awarded to student teams hailing from Queen Elizabeth College, Dr Maurice Cure SSS and Droopnath Ramphul SSS, where all members of the three teams received a cash prize of Rs 2,000 and a souvenir trophy.

The jury consisted of the Deputy Director at the International Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Narainduth Boodhoo; the Head of Mission at the Indian Ocean Commission, Raj Mohabeer; and finally, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Santaram Mooloo.

During his speech Kailash Purryag pointed out that “we are a small island developing country and we suffer from certain obstacles, but we are in a relatively good position to build on the existing resilience we have acquired to effectively explore the opportunities of both the blue economy and the green economy.”

Furthermore, he added that our economic goals have to be kept in mind and their achievement must be balanced against the preservation of the environment of Planet Earth on which we live.

For his part, the Omnicane CEO praised the organisation for its role in the support of sustainable development and also mentioned the participation of the company in the sustainability report initiative put forward by the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

“The Stock Exchange of Mauritius will introduce by the end of 2014 the requirement of sustainability reporting for listed companies in Mauritius and, as a sustainable pioneer in Mauritius, Omnicane is cooperating fully with the Stock Exchange,” Jacques d`Unienville said.

To conclude, Narainduth Boodhoo, who announced this year’s winner, said that “the Omincane award gives the opportunity to our students to work as a team and to promote the spirit of team building from the school level.”

Furthermore, he added that the IOC secretariat plans to hold a seminar for all the 43 teams which will be hosted at the IOC secretariat and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development would collaborate so that the event is put in place.

- By Cecilia Samoisi

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