Education and Protection of the Environment to shape Mauritius’ future in a COVID-19 landscape

In a span of fifty years, Mauritius has reached high-income status according to the World Bank criterion. Key to this success was the combination of: (i) effective policies; (ii) resilience to shocks; (iii) adaptation to changing external events cemented by close collaboration between Government, the private sector, unions, and civil society. These actors will need to continue to collaborate on the new challenges: (i) restoring trust in the Government following the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath; (ii) facing the 4th industrial revolution; (iii) shifting to a development path that arrests the deterioration in the environment.

Past success has rested on five pillars of which two, sugar and textiles have faded, leaving the three pillars of tourism, offshore and outsourcing. After noting the importance of combining effective policies, resilience to shocks and adapting to changing external events, the paper offers remarks for the short and long-run. 

For the short-run, restoring confidence and resisting protectionist pressures are essential. To this effect, making the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) truly independent is required. Greater reliance on external scrutiny should also help. 

For the long-run, substantial resources should be attributed towards building three ‘new’ pillars: education, service center for Africa and the Environment. Twenty years ago education was already signaled as the marginal contribution to the Mauritian miracle. This situation still prevails: for its per capita income, education outcomes are still lagging. The second pillar would develop a service centre for Africa (contingent on improved education outcomes) by building on the ICT infrastructure and the Services economy. The third pillar is related to the SDGs and strengthening the tourism pillar by building and projecting an ‘environmentally friendly’ image. Indicators of the health of the environment suggest that Mauritius has failed to protect both its land and its maritime environment. Here too, a sustained commitment by all actors will be necessary.


Melo J. (2020) Education and Protection of the Environment to shape Mauritius’ future in a COVID-19 landscape, FERDI Working paper P277