Updated: March 2, 2021
By Emmanuel Mordi, TODAY NEWS AFRICA
Just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so is Mauritius in the eyes of other African nations! Until 1638, Mauritius, a tiny African island, was apparently uninhabited and later colonized by Dutch east Indians.
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It has a rich cultural diversity accommodating the original European descendants who were mostly French, African slaves and creoles, the Afro – mauritians; Chinese traders, indo and sino mauritians and laborers.
Irrespective of this diversification, and despite not having a shared language and customs, there is a tensed nationalized sense of pride. Whatever way it is put, unity in diversity has contributed immensely to the growth and economy of this tiny island. Thus, Mauritius is often considered a global example of a successful culture.
Demographically, its current population is approximately 1.1 million with its capital and largest city port Louis densely populated. By far, its population density is one of the highest in the world. Interestingly, there is no official language in Mauritius. Its press uses French, which is mostly understood by more of its population than English, though government and administrative work is written in English, the majority of its citizens understand a creole language. Truly, the genuine form of communication seems to be a hybridized affair and its government find it less thoughtful to worry about. Like I pointed out earlier, the tensed sense of national pride is as a result of its government overreaching policy of national identity being forged early among school children and continues in the workplace, though the mix of cultures forms the identity of the island. With no defining cultural traits, the question arises whether Mauritius has a unique culture, or whether one is developing.
The 1980s ushered in an economic boom for the island, thanks to the industrialization policy of its export business championed by the then government presently, Mauritius economic freedom score is 73.0, making its economy the 25th freest in the 2019 index. But in Africa, Mauritius is ranked 1st among 47 countries and its overall score is above the regional and world averages. Interestingly, Mauritius is a leading nation among other African nations as the most business friendly country, with solid economic policies and prudent banking practices.
Despite the fact the mainstay of its economy is mainly on sugar production, Mauritius is better by far than some of its rich African peers which are still wallowing in the crinkum-crankum of poor leadership, poverty and underdevelopment cum political instability. Think of a country able to manage its resources, look into Africa, think Mauritius, and visit Mauritius.
Emmanuel Uzochukwu Mordi is a research fellow