On this occasion, he announced a €7.9 million contribution to support the country's priority to address unemployment and build an innovative Mauritius.
Commissioner Neven Mimica said: “The EU has a long-standing relationship with Mauritius, which we believe has made a difference in the country's development success story. We stand ready to further support Mauritius and today's €7.9 million programme shows our commitment. It will support employability, education and innovation, and will contribute to the Africa-Europe Alliance ultimate goal of creating sustainable jobs”.
During his visit, Commissioner Mimica also met several Members of the Mauritius Government: the Vice-Prime Minister and also Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands as well as Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo; the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Nandcoomar Bodha; the Minister of Education, human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Leela DeviDookun-Luchoomun; the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mahen Kumar Seeruttun; the Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Maneesh Gobin; the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Soomilduth Bholah; and the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance; Dhamendar Sesungkur.
The €7.9 million programme signed with Mauritius today aims at:
- Improving the relevance of post-secondary and vocational training education in Mauritius to allow more young people from vulnerable groups to study.
- Enhancing applied research and innovation capacity by enabling collaboration between academia and industry. In particular, the programme will support the development of nanotechnology research. This should encourage further private investment and trigger the creation of high added-value jobs.
Commissioner Mimica also met the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission, Hamada Madi, with whom he signed a €28 million regional programme to improve port security and safe navigation in the region.
EU-Mauritius cooperation under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) focuses on tertiary education, research and innovation. The overall budget amounts to €9.9 million, with the bulk of the support (€7.9 million) going to the programme signed today and the remaining €2 million to technical cooperation. This programme complements the EU's comprehensive partnership with Mauritius in key areas such as maritime security, trade and investment, fisheries and the ocean economy, agriculture, climate change, cyber security, human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment. Altogether, the EU's current support to Mauritius amounts to approximately €50 million.
The Port Security programme will benefit countries of the Indian Ocean region, including Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. It is part of the overall action of the EU to support maritime security in the region. The EU is also one of the major security providers in this region with EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta, which has significantly contributed to maritime security in the region.
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