Mauritius aims to become ICT hub

Mauritius wants to turn its economy into a regional information and communications technology (ICT) hub in the next few years, according to an official national strategic plan.

Targets in the 2007 to 2011 plan include ”a 7% contribution into Mauritius gross domestic product from offshore ICT export services”.

The plan, posted on the government website, did not say how much the sector contributes at present to the Indian Ocean island’s roughly $6,7-billion economy.

”The government’s vision is to make ICT the fifth pillar of the economy and transform Mauritius into a regional ICT hub,” it said.

With the traditionally important sugar and textile sectors threatened by the liberalisation of global trade, the nation of 1,3-million people is developing alternatives such as tourism and financial services.

Other targets in the plan include doubling the number of foreign investors in ICT and developing at least 29 000 jobs in the sector.

But with a workforce of less than 600 000, a restricted supply of quality ICT workers could prove a constraint, the paper added.

Rated by the World Bank as the best African country for doing business, the paper said Mauritian strengths were its historical and cultural relations with Europe and Asia, the ability to speak English and French, and political stability. — Reuters

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