Mauritius Shares IT Experience at GSMA Ministerial Program

11 years, 11 months ago - February 19, 2011
The Government envisages to make access to internet a basic citizen’s right. Primary and secondary schools are already equipped with free broadband internet while the post office provides since 2006 internet access to the public at large under the Public Internet Access Point project.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mr Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, made this statement during his intervention, on 14 February, at the CEOs and Ministers Roundtable of the GSMA Ministerial Programme. The Programme is an integral part of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2011, an annual gathering of the mobile industry.

The GSMA Ministerial Programme is a platform for high-level dialogue between governments, regulators and industry. It comprises a CEOs and Ministers Roundtable, a Leadership Summit with discussions between ministers and heads of regulatory authorities on opportunities for the industry and governments relating to the future of mobile development; a Government Mobile Forum to enable governments and regulators to converse on specific regulatory issues; bilateral meetings and regional workshops.

Topics covered include the world of applications and their impact on the mobile ecosystem, the way mobile can enable a new era for health and healthcare systems around the globe, the allocation of spectrum for mobile broadband, securing the future of the mobile internet, as well as health and planning issues for mobile phone and base station technology. Discussions at the roundtable centred around two main themes namely: Creating an enabling environment to accelerate digital inclusion and Balancing growth of services and consumers’ confidence.

In his presentations, Minister Pillay Chedumbrum pointed out that Mauritius is taking further steps to promote computer literacy among citizens with special attention for the vulnerable groups and the elderly people. He made mention of the introduction of a One Laptop Per Child programme, which consists in giving one laptop to every needy student reaching Form VI in secondary schools, and the setting up of 150 computer clubs in all community centres. Furthermore, decentralisation of new cyber parks with intelligent buildings across the island would bring ICT development closer to the public, in particular those at grassroots level, he said.

The Minister listed out measures implemented to protect citizens against cyber attacks through a holistic approach to cyber security. In that regard, he referred to the establishment of the independent national CERT –MU (Mauritius Computer Emergency Response Team), the introduction by the Regulator of a centralised online content filtering system to filter out websites that contain materials relating to child sexual abuse and the introduction of the Public Key Infrastructure system to allow the use of digital signatures for safe and secure electronic transactions.

He also elaborated on the convergence of core technologies and e-governance as the tool for sustainable development in the globalised economy. To that effect, the Government is promoting e-government and e-services, through effective and secured communication from a demand-side approach, and encouraging the ‘Work from Home’ ICT policy.

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