Mauritius

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Introduction - Mauritius:
CountryMauritius
BackgroundAlthough known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in 1505; it was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968. A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africas highest per capita incomes. Recent poor weather and declining sugar prices have slowed economic growth, leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
Location - Mauritius:
LocationSouthern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates20 17 S, 57 33 E
Map referencesPolitical Map of the World
Areatotal: 2,040 sq km
land: 2,030 sq km
water: 10 sq km
note: includes Agalega Islands, Cargados Carajos Shoals (Saint Brandon), and Rodrigues
Area comparativealmost 11 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline177 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May)
Terrainsmall coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau
Elevation extremeslowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Piton 828 m
Natural resourcesarable land, fish
Land usearable land: 49.02%
permanent crops: 2.94%
other: 48.04% (2005)
Irrigated land220 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardscyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Environment current issueswater pollution, degradation of coral reefs
Environment international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography notethe main island, from which the country derives its name, is of volcanic origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs
People - Mauritius:
Population1,250,882 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 23.5% (male 147,808/female 146,270)
15-64 years: 69.8% (male 436,043/female 437,441)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 32,475/female 50,845) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 31.2 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 32.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.798% (2007 est.)
Birth rate15.26 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate6.88 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.011 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.997 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.639 male(s)/female
total population: 0.971 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 14.14 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.88 years
male: 68.92 years
female: 76.9 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.94 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.1% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids700 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deathsless than 100 (2001 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Mauritian(s)
adjective: Mauritian
Ethnic groupsIndo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
ReligionsHindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other Christian 8.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)
LanguagesCreole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.4%
male: 88.4%
female: 80.5% (2000 census)
Government - Mauritius:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Mauritius
conventional short form: Mauritius
local long form: Republic of Mauritius
local short form: Mauritius
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Capitalname: Port Louis
geographic coordinates: 20 09 S, 57 29 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 districts and 3 dependencies*; Agalega Islands*, Black River, Cargados Carajos Shoals*, Flacq, Grand Port, Moka, Pamplemousses, Plaines Wilhems, Port Louis, Riviere du Rempart, Rodrigues*, Savanne
Independence12 March 1968 (from UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 12 March (1968)
Constitution12 March 1968; amended 12 March 1992
Legal systembased on French civil law system with elements of English common law in certain areas; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Sir Anerood JUGNAUTH (since 7 October 2003); Vice President Abdool Raouf BUNDHUN (since 25 February 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM (since 5 July 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president and vice president elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 25 February 2002 (next to be held in 2007); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, responsible to the National Assembly
election results: Karl OFFMANN elected president and Raouf BUNDHUN elected vice president; percent of vote by the National Assembly - NA%; note - Karl OFFMANN stepped down on 30 September 2003
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly (70 seats; 62 members elected by popular vote, 8 appointed by the election commission to give representation to various ethnic minorities; to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 3 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - AS 38, MSM/MMM 22, OPR 2; appointed seats - AS 4, MSM/MMM 2, OPR 2
Judicial branchSupreme Court
Political parties and leadersAlliance Sociale or AS; Hizbullah [Cehl Mohamed FAKEEMEEAH]; Mauritian Labor Party or MLP [Navinchandra RAMGOOLAM]; Mauritian Militant Movement or MMM [Paul BERENGER] (in coalition with MSM); Mauritian Social Democrat Party or PMSD [Charles Xavier-Luc DUVAL]; Militant Socialist Movement or MSM (the governing party) [Pravind JUGNAUTH]; Rodrigues Movement or MR [Joseph (Nicholas) Von MALLY]; Rodrigues Peoples Organization or OPR [Serge CLAIR]
Political pressure groups and leadersvarious labor unions
International organization participationACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Usha JEETAH
chancery: 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-1491, 1492
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0983
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador John PRICE
embassy: 4th Floor, Rogers House, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis
mailing address: international mail: P. O. Box 544, Port Louis; US mail: American Embassy, Port Louis, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2450
telephone: [230] 202-4400
FAX: [230] 208-9534
Flag descriptionfour equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, yellow, and green
Economy - Mauritius:
Economy overviewSince 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%. This remarkable achievement has been reflected in more equitable income distribution, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, and a much-improved infrastructure. Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings. The governments 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 (AGOA).
Gdp purchasing power parity $17 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $7.175 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate4.9% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $13,700 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 5.1%
industry: 25.2%
services: 69.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force555,000 (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture and fishing 14%, construction and industry 36%, transportation and communication 7%, trade, restaurants, hotels 16%, finance 3%, other services 24% (1995)
Unemployment rate9.4% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line10% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income gini index37 (1987 est.)
Inflation rate consumer prices 8.9% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 23.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.475 billion
expenditures: $1.854 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt57.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productssugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats; fish
Industriesfood processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, nonelectrical machinery, tourism
Industrial production growth rate8% (2000 est.)
Electricity production2.107 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption1.96 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption21,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$651 million (2006 est.)
Exports$2.318 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesclothing and textiles, sugar, cut flowers, molasses
Exports partnersUK 30.5%, France 15.2%, UAE 10.5%, US 10.3%, Madagascar 7% (2006)
Imports$3.391 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmanufactured goods, capital equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports partnersFrance 15.5%, South Africa 8.6%, India 7.4%, China 5.9%, Bahrain 5.6%, Saudi Arabia 4.2%, UAE 4.2%, Germany 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.358 billion (2006 est.)
Debt external$2.834 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$42 million (1997)
Currency code Mauritian rupee (MUR)
Exchange ratesMauritian rupees per US dollar - 31.656 (2006), 29.496 (2005), 27.499 (2004), 27.902 (2003), 29.962 (2002)
Communications - Mauritius:
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June
Telephones main lines in use357,300 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular772,400 (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: small system with good service
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay trunk system
international: country code - 230; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); new microwave link to Reunion; HF radiotelephone links to several countries; fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Radio broadcast stationsAM 4, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stations2 (plus several repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code.mu
Internet hosts4,997 (2006)
Internet users182,000 (2006)
Transportation - Mauritius:
Airports6 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 2,020 km
paved: 2,020 km (includes 75 km of expressways) (2005)
Merchant marinetotal: 6 ships (1000 GRT or over) 22,386 GRT/23,214 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, passenger/cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 2
foreign-owned: 4 (India 2, Switzerland 2) (2006)
Ports and terminalsPort Louis
Military - Mauritius:
Military branchesno regular military forces; National Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 313,271 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp0.3% (2006 est.)
Disputes internationalMauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius; claims French-administered Tromelin Island
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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