Sunday, November 19, 2006


In this abstract I want to continue the tradition of writing stories about countries I visited and this one is about MAURITIUS.

I just wonder how many of my readers even know where this country is... Well, to solve the mystery, it is a small island in the Indian ocean to the east of Madagascar. My personal facination with this country is due to the fact that it is tiny, with not so many natural resources and yet it is one of the best developed countries in Africa.

Here is a short abstract about Mauritius economy from CIA World Factbook: "Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. For most of the period, annual growth has been in the order of 5% to 6%. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The government's development strategy centers on expanding local financial institutions and building a domestic information telecommunications industry. Mauritius has attracted more than 9,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in India and South Africa, and investment in the banking sector alone has reached over $1 billion. Mauritius, with its strong textile sector , has been well poised to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act". Just look at the labels on the bunch of your cotton stuff (from underwear to T-shirts to jeans) and you will be surprised how many of them are produced in Mauritius.

But not only that: Mauritus worked hard on developing the tourist sector and having tried the benefits of it myself I can definitely say they did a fantastic job. Finally, Mauritius has established itslef as one of just a handful of diamond cutting places in the world. Graff's diamonds and jewlry manufacturing base is situated in Mauritius. Unfortunately I couldn't afford any of their masterpieces (which they absolutely are!) but I can assure you that I will never forget in my life what I saw in their factory's exhibition hall.

So what I was driving at is my amazement at how this tiny African country somewhere at the End of the World reinvented itself, which is still not possible for a lot of countries on the Black Continent...

In addition to the "economic wonder" Mauritius is a good example of how cultures blend with each other and live happily together. Here you can find strong French, Indian and creole influences and each of them just adds to the beauty and uniqueness of the island.

Finally, there is fascinating nature here: lush tropical vegetation in the wild and in botanic gardens, waterfalls, coloured sands, volcano and of course turquoise lagoons and millions of tropical fish.

To me there is only one definition for Mauritius - it is one of the most Precious Jems in the African crown and I strongly recommend everyone to see it for themselves.

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