Mauritius: Accelerating its Metamorphosis into an Innovation-Led Economy

One of the most open and robust economies in the region, Mauritius has positioned itself as an investment hub in Africa. Indeed, the island has carved a solid reputation as a well-regulated, trusted and safe jurisdiction. In the Global Innovation Index 2016, the country maintains its 1st position in innovation in Sub Saharan Africa.

As per Vision 2030, the national endeavour is to leverage technology to push back the frontiers of innovation. Already on an ongoing upward diversification curve, the dynamic ICT industry, for one, is set to become a stronger stay of the economy. Consequently, in line with the government`s vision to transform Mauritius into a high-income innovation- driven economy, last September the Board of Investment (BOI) organized the first seminar on Blockchain technology. Blockchain is a technology which offers the possibility of eliminating third-party intervention for the processing of a transaction digitally. For example, generally a bank or a credit card firm is required to act as a financial middleman that approves an online payment, records the corresponding transaction, establishing identity and trust. With blockchain, however, individuals can exchange money or purchase any product or asset securely without a bank account, and do so even across national borders. This technology is reckoned as a game-changer for it is expected to provoke a significant shift in the way business is transacted. It is acclaimed as one of the most promising and valuable technologies that will shape the future because of its capacity to deliver reliable and high-quality information to a widening global business community.

With a population of only 1.3 million people, Mauritius has an edge to enhance its overall efficiency and leap frog into the global business world through the prompt adoption of blockchain. Entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, global organizations and governments have all spotted blockchain as transformational. Mauritius is no exception.

The BOI seminar saw the participation of renowned international speakers who intervened on diverse themes, namely the demystification of Blockchain, the development of its ecosystem, the appropriate regulatory framework and potential applications of Blockchain in today’s innovation-driven paradigm. The event has opened up a vast technological potential for fast progress along with definitive impact on all sectors, from ICT/BPO through healthcare to manufacturing. One notable outcome was the announcement made by WiseKey and Bitland regarding their intention of establishing a Blockchain Centre of Excellence in Mauritius through the creation of a Blockchain Ecosystem. Furthermore, Bitland explained its intention to set up a global training center in Mauritius.

Blockchain technology is unlocking for Mauritius a unique opportunity to be one of the key destinations for innovation and to position itself at the forefront of technological development. By adopting this technology, Mauritius will apply technology competitively to boost its digital economy. The technology shall bridge up the divide among leading organisations, investors and start-ups and develop the ecosystem which will lift Mauritius up as the hotspot for cutting-edge innovation.


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