The development of Smart City projects has only just begun, it is a vital component to modernize the physical fabric of the country and at the same time strengthen the bases for economic growth and create new job opportunities
For many it may be a small country of just 1.3 million people, and island in the middle of the ocean far away from everywhere, but the truth is that Mauritius is the largest economic and technological platform between Europe, India and Africa. Mauritius is becoming increasingly popular among the Direct Foreign Investors. It is recognized by experts in the offshore sector as one of the leading African markets for business owners. For Europe, it has become the true gateway to the African continent through various free exchanges, double taxation treaties and airlines connectivity.
My first encounter with Mauritius was 6 years ago and, since then, we have been close friends. It is empowering how a country, in recent decades, can diversify its economy in such a way as to become an example at international level; moving from a monoculture sugar industry to a multisectoral economy.
Today I would like to talk about “Smart Cities”, one of the key pillars on which the authorities and the main economic actors are focusing for the development of their cities. Just to give us a better idea of the success they are achieving, in 2019 Mauritius was classified by the Mercer Quality of living city ranking as “the first smart African city where the quality of life is really good”. Port-Louis' development policy, in particular the protection of the environment and the socio-political-economic climate that prevails in the city, was decisive in obtaining this distinction.
For Mauritius, the development of Smart City projects has only just begun, it is a vital component to modernize the physical fabric of the country and at the same time strengthen the bases for economic growth and create new job opportunities.
Moka or Beau Plan Smart City, two of the six developing smart cities on the island, aim to create exemplary neighbourhoods around its lush mature landscape and foster a healthy lifestyle; a "complete lifestyle" by offering the opportunity to live, work, play and educate, all in one destination.
In order to achieved such a challenging vision, the Government of Mauritius has established the Smart City Scheme, offering a plethora of opportunities to global investors to share in the vision of Mauritius in creating intelligent, innovative and sustainable cities of tomorrow.
This is an ambitious economic development program to consolidate Mauritius into a fully-fledged international financial and commercial center with ideal conditions to work, live and spurring investment. The goal is to provide an enabling framework and attractive tax incentive package to attract higher value-added, capital-intensive industries, such as pharmaceuticals, precision engineering, and high-end consumer products to manufacture and foster the development of smart cities around the whole island.
The focus is to deliver a happier lifestyle through the development of self-sufficient cities offering integrated sustainable solutions and ensuring minimum wastage and maximum comfort for the long-term benefit of all citizens and the future generations irrespective of social and economic class.
The rules are clear, these smart cities must be developed using the latest advances in urban planning and digitized technologies. Providing to the investors -national and foreign- options to live in a sustainable, convenient and pleasant urban environment.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnaith, highlighted that the vision of Government is “to build a Mauritius of the future with towns, cities and villages across the country that will be redesigned and new ones created, where there will be walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity and accessible public spaces with positive economic, health and environmental impacts on people.”
During the last decade, the progressive evolution of the regions where these smart cities are being developed towards an ecological city where life is good, is based on a concept of "citysmarting". The key elements of this plan are the optimal use of resources, a better quality of life, the participation of the main stakeholders, the creation of real economic opportunities and promote citizen engagement. Based on a carefully thought-out master plan, it is a flexible improvement process that continually adapts to the achieved critical mass and technological advances.
When completed, Smart Cities will make Mauritius a global smart country, a center of excellence for international business and knowledge development that will create a sustainable high quality of life.
This is a project that will allow to develop a tailored city, in which technology and the latest advances go hand-in-hand, offering us to experiment and create a new world full of possibilities.
IFB Advisors, acts as a bridge of alliance between the key players in the sector and investment and development opportunities in Mauritius. We closely monitor the evolution of Smart Cities involved in the initiatives proposed; providing tailor made solutions, creating value and sustainable growth.
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With a proven experience in Institutional Affairs defending interest, establishing and forging alliances between the public and private sectors. She is a professional with an outstanding experience and a solid knowledge of business development in emerging markets, especially in the African continent.
Isadora has a high profile of networks with private and public companies, institutions, international organizations and think tanks.
IFB Advisors emerged in 2019 as a consultancy firm providing services to companies seeking new business partners in Africa. The sole objective is to support trade, investment and development projects across the continent.
"Childhood experiences define how we will be in the future. Spending the summers surrounded by children of different nationalities awoke my curiosity about international collaboration, which later became my lifestyle and my passion.”