On the sidelines of the Expo 2020 Dubai, the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation of the Republic of Mauritius in collaboration with the Economic Development Board of Mauritius hosted an ICT Business Forum on 10th January 2022 in Dubai.
The Business Forum themed “Mauritius at the centre of digital revolution” aimed at showcasing the success of Mauritius’s digital story as well as underpinning the country’s emergence as a global business and technology hub presenting huge opportunities for the world.
The event saw the participation of over a hundred delegates comprising key representatives of the public sector and private sector operators of Mauritius as well as the dynamic participation of potential investors and clients.
The official opening ceremony was graced by the presence of HE. Humaid Ben Salem, Secretary General of the UAE, Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Business Forum kicked off with a welcome address by Mr. Ken Poonoosamy, Commissioner General of Mauritius Pavilion, and Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Board Mauritius. Mr. Poonoosamy emphasised on the strength of Mauritius in continuously readapting and reinventing itself with the aim of collaborating with advanced countries such as the UAE to develop the suitable ecosystem in supporting Africa’s need for digitalisation and embarking in its industrial revolution. The resilience and ingenuity of the ICT industry in maintaining a positive growth despite the difficult pandemic situation was also highlighted. He expressed his satisfaction with the response garnered through the presence of ICT operators attending the business forum. This bears testimony to the willingness of the Government and operators in positioning Mauritius at the centre of digital revolution for the Indian Ocean and paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous Africa.
Delivering the keynote address, Honourable Steven Obeegadoo, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Ministry of Tourism underlined that the business forum will drive strategic alliances and collaborations and position Mauritius as the platform for digital services delivery. He emphasised that the Mauritian Government has introduced several concrete initiatives with a view to transform Mauritius into the Digital Valley of the Indian Ocean and act as a steppingstone towards Africa and other markets with niche and optimized delivery capacity through Mauritius. He expressed his satisfaction towards the ability and response of the ICT industry in successfully containing the impact of both the 1st and 2nd wave of COVID19 and continues to be a Net Hirer with the milestone of 30,000 people reached in 2021.
He reaffirmed the commitment and dedication of the Government of Mauritius to foster business relationship, stimulate discussions and develop partnerships with the UAE. The DPM underlined that Mauritius is well positioned in a strategic location and shares a prominent business relationship with India and China and is now ready to consolidate its ties with the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council).
In his address, Honourable Deepak Balgobin, Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Republic of Mauritius presented the opportunities of the ICT sector in Mauritius as the Digital and Innovative hub of Africa. The Minister underlined that Mauritius is providing a bespoke ecosystem for investment and Government has put up a whole mechanism to facilitate and improve ease of doing business in the country. He has called for a greater collaboration with Dubai in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things as well as other emerging sectors.
The Business Forum also saw a series of panel discussions on three major themes namely The Journey towards building a Digital Island, Connectivity for a Digital Island and Power Growth through Innovation.
Through these panel sessions gathering key captains from the Mauritian ICT industry, participants have been apprised on various opportunities in enhancing the ecosystem as well as digital and innovative projects that have been implemented and are currently underway. It also served an excellent platform for companies looking to create new partnerships and forge new business collaborations through a series of one-on-one sessions scheduled between interested parties from the UAE and experts from the Mauritian ICT sector.