8 November 2017

Mauritius: E-Mig 2017 - No Efforts Spared to Promote Use of Emerging Technologies, Says Minister Sawmynaden

press release

Government is sparing no efforts in harnessing a new culture which is geared towards promoting the daily use of emerging technologies, and thus, has recently launched about 40 new e-services with the ambition to ease the everyday life of Mauritians.

This statement was made by the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, this morning at the Intercontinental Resort, in Balaclava. He was giving the keynote address at the opening of an International Conference on Global Trends in Management, IT and Governance in an e-World (e-MIG 2017). The event, organised by the Open University of Mauritius in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is enabling the sharing of ideas and experience on global trends shaping the e-World.

In his speech, the Minister observed that employees and customers now expect to be always connected to the Internet by using their smartphones. This is forcing companies to bring mobile solutions to the market faster, while also trying to make these mobile solutions align with core business strategies, he pointed out.

According to Mr Sawmynaden, mobile Apps and e-services have today become necessities. However, the brainpowers to devise all these systems and solutions are needed and that is why the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation has engaged itself fully in building-capacity initiatives, he said. With partners from the private sector, Mauritius is part of the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative and an AppFactory Academy has also been set up, he highlighted. Within the AppFactory, young developers and ICT graduates are equipped with the latest software development experience to turn their ideas into real mobile Apps, the Minister added.

Speaking about making the ICT sector the first pillar of the Mauritian economy, Minister Sawmynaden noted that presently, Mauritius does not have enough trained ICT professionals to fulfil this ambition and that is why a number of important measures is provided for in Budget 2017-2018. These include: allowing new companies with income derived from their Intellectual Property assets developed in Mauritius to benefit from an eight-year income tax holiday; and, enabling innovative start-ups with a minimum operational expenditure of 20% for Research and Development purposes to obtain Innovator Occupation Permits for their foreign employees.

The International Conference

During the three-day event, presentations under the broader themes of Management, IT, Governance, Law and Technology in Education, are focusing on the following: Harnessing Big Data for Marketing Decisions in the Digital Era; Factors of User Interface Design that influence Usage of Banking Websites in South Africa; South Asian Experience in Democratic Decentralisation; The Internet, Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism, an Academic Minefield; and, The Role of Stakeholders for E-Learning Success in Higher Education.

More than 100 participants are attending. They are academics, researchers, students, IT professionals, private sector delegates and civil servants from various countries namely South Africa, Namibia, China, Estonia, France, and Mauritius. Foreign multidisciplinary speakers are acting as facilitators during plenary sessions to inform participants of the latest trends pertaining to management and e-Governance.

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