Republic of Mauritius

Access to digital technologies is one of the main preoccupations of Government and during the year 2021, a lot of progress has been achieved  in terms of growth in the Information Technology and Communication sector, research, innovation, and digital development of governmental services, despite the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Deepak Balgobin, during a press conference on the achievements and future projects of his Ministry.

He enumerated the projects that have been accomplished during the course of the year. They include: digitalisation of Governmental services (MoRendezVous, MauPass, MoKloud, Certification Authority MauSign); launching of nanosatellite MIRSAT1; promulgation of the Mauritius Emerging Technologies Council Bill and Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Act 2021; finalisation of the National Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Strategy 2022-2024; launching of 5G; and collaboration with Facebook/Meta and Tiktok.

As regards projects which will be launched soon, Minister Balgobin underlined that the E-Health project will soon become a reality. He added that in two months, the Ministry of Health and Wellness will launch an expression of Interest for the E-Health project. He also dwelt on the Smart Parking App which will be developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Land Transport and Light Rail so as to enable drivers to buy and use digital parking coupons. Furthermore, he added that next year the Fixed Penalties Payment app will also become a reality where citizens will be able to pay their fixed penalties online.

Other future projects include: the high-speed connectivity in secondary schools where all classes will be equipped with Wi-Fi; Tier IV Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Site; restructuration of several departments of the Ministry under a single agency namely the Mauritius Digital Transformation Agency; and the Chatbot project which comprises two phases. In phase I, Chatbot will be accessible on the Government portal, and websites of Citizen Support Portal and Civil Status Office. Works are expected to be completed mid-February for Phase I and Phase 2 will start in 20 Ministries and departments and will last for 12 months.

Speaking about the Mauritius Post Ltd (MPL), he recalled that the MPL has signed, this year, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives whose objective is to offer facilities to SMEs so as to enable them to boost their business. The MPL also offers money transfer services through RIA, he added.

Minister Balgobin also announced the restructuration of the MPL adding that next year, the organisation will be celebrating its 250 years of existence in Mauritius. He highlighted that the MPL will engage itself in new services such as Market Place E-Commerce.

He rejoiced that the country has a satisfactory performance at the international level as demonstrated by the different indices. Hence, Mauritius is ranked 52nd globally on the Global Innovation Index and 17th on the Global Cybersecurity Index. With all these digital developments, Mauritius is emerging as a Digital Hub in Africa, he stated. He highlighted that the country will be candidate for a seat for the African region at the ITU Council for the period 2023-2026.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.

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