Ubiquitous connectivity, the new norm in Mauritius

By David Bunei, General Manager: East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, Cisco

Digitisation is everywhere - in every city, every country, every company, and every industry. In fact, those who have seen the value of digitisation have been able to generate +9% in revenue, +26% in profitability, and +12% in market share through digitisation.

Digitisation has allowed industries such as Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Energy, Transportation, Cities, and Service Providers to grow exponentially. These industries have demonstrated the capability to use technology to radically improve performance and people’s experience, through increased operational efficiency, the creation of new business services and improved product quality.

The Government of Mauritius started articulating the concept of digitisation during last year’s national budget speech in March 23, 2015 – as a means back then, to attract new investors and generate new revenue streams not limited to creating smart cities in Mauritius and embarking on e-health, e-transportation, safety and security so much so that the Government announced that it was considering fiscal incentives to incentivise a digitised business model.

A year later, Mauritius has embarked on various projects including recovering, imaging, digitising, archiving and preserving of old weather observations extracted from ship logbooks in 188 volumes from the late 18th to the early years of the 20th century held by the Mauritius Meteorological Services, National Archives of Mauritius and the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute. The Government also has a plan to refurbish the Capital City, and build a new greenfield administrative City – The Heritage City.

In addition, despite dropping one place, Mauritius is still the readiest country in terms of exploiting the opportunities presented by information and communication technologies (ICT) in Africa. The Networked Readiness Index assesses factors, policies and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage ICTs for increased competitiveness, innovation and well-being. The report, indicates that Mauritius sits at number 49 and is the leading African country. This makes Mauritius the most tech savvy and ubiquitously connected country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Key to engaging this readiness will be the Mauritius government’s ability to implement policies to boost ICT.

Recently, Cisco held a cross architecture workshop in Mauritius and we shared how we are at the beginning of a global transformation that is characterised by the convergence of digital, physical, and biological technologies in ways that are changing both the world around us and our very idea of what it means to be human and Mauritius is one of the leaders of this change.

Partnering with a leader in networking infrastructure and a technology partner like Cisco, means that the Mauritius government will have support around high level engagement around a country digitisation strategy, not limited to smart cities, but embarking also in e-health, safety and security among others. With some high level engagement, Cisco can help the government set some concrete strategies and assist with the implementation.

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