The Mauritian academic diaspora is an important and useful asset for Mauritius as it can contribute to position the country as a major higher education destination. The academic excellence that the diaspora can bring to the local universities will be instrumental in providing them an international outlook and boost their competitive edge, resulting in job and wealth creation.
This statement was made by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this morning during the opening ceremony of the International Conference of the Mauritian Academic Diaspora 2018 at Auditorium Paul Octave Wiéhe, in Réduit. Ministers, members of the diaspora and other eminent personalities were also present on this occasion.
In his address, the Prime Minister highlighted that the Conference has brought together members of the Mauritian diaspora from various academic fields to engage with their counterparts from the University of Mauritius and other local universities. He observed that the Conference is bound to be a unique forum for sharing of professional experiences and discussing future joint projects.
He emphasised that there is a need to create strong platforms for more interactions between Mauritius and its diaspora. The immense knowledge and experience which members of the diaspora have acquired in their countries of adoption represent invaluable potential resources for Mauritius, he added.
Speaking about incentives available to the academic diaspora, the Prime Minister underscored that Government has set up a research fund managed by the Tertiary Education Commission to encourage fundamental academic research in various areas. The Mauritius Research Council, on the other hand, manages a fund for applied research and the Economic Development Board has an incentive scheme with many important benefits aimed at cementing effective diaspora relationships and opportunities for engagement for the progress of Mauritius, he added.
For his part, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, pointed out that the diaspora can bring a very rich contribution to the development of Mauritius. He observed that the impact of the diaspora can bring trade investment, increase capacity building with networking, encourage transfer of skills, knowledge and technology, which in turn can help shape the modern Mauritius.
He further stated that the diaspora's expertise is much needed in areas such as blue economy, information technology, climate change, green economy, robotics, and research. Mr Bodha encouraged members of the academic diaspora to work in collaboration with local counterparts so as to contribute to the country's development.
International Conference of the Mauritian Academic Diaspora 2018
The three-day conference has been organised by the University of Mauritius as part of the activities to mark the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Mauritius. The theme chosen is "Mauritian diaspora: Showcasing international success".
More than 30 members of the Mauritian academic diaspora are present on this occasion and the topics to be discussed include artificial intelligence and robotics, econometrics, ICT, medicine, nanotechnology, social sciences and humanities, law, marketing, education, and international relations.