A new initiative to support production of renewable energy in Mauritius may provide a model for other countries to follow suit.
"Sex workers rights are human rights", close to a hundred people shouted during a recent march in Rose-Hill, a major town in Mauritius. Their aim was to sensitise the population, particularly the parliamentarians, to the state of sex workers on the island.
The small island state of Mauritius is the only African country likely to meet all eight of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 - at least on paper. But its citizens say government could do more to improve livelihoods, gender equality and environmental sustainability.
"Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.
Workers from Bangladesh have helped Mauritius to achieve the economic success and world market share that the Indian Ocean island state boasts about. But many live and work in conditions described as akin to "modern slavery", apart from facing discrimination, the denial of labour rights and even violence.
Incumbent Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has won the Mauritian election, retaining a third term of office.
Sandhya Boygah considers herself a victim of male-dominated politics. In 2007, she was asked by her party, the ruling Labour Party, to step aside and allow a man to stand for the elected post she sought.
She cannot swim, but Marie-Claite Hector is not afraid of the ocean. The 53-year-old pushes her small boat with all her strength towards the blue lagoon, starts the engine, and sets out to sea.
Eric Mangar deplores the fact that Mauritius, despite being a net food importer, has failed to learn its lessons from the food crisis. The island state is pursuing "business as usual" without taking steps to improve food production on the local front.
As the Second Africa Water Week ends, participants have reiterated that lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation has a direct bearing on public health and the economy in Africa.
"No more commitments... We have had enough of the promises. Can we please see something happening on the ground? Right now, it is business as usual and that’s why Africa is off-track on the MDG target."
The Sugar Protocol enabling developing world sugar farmers to produce for the European market over the past 34 years ended on Sep 30. Among these, the small island state of Mauritius built two major industries -- tourism and textile and clothing – on the back of its sugar sales.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has spent the last two decades travelling among the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean studying plants.
Every year 400 Mauritians undergo amputations, another 400 have heart surgery; 175 people's eyes are under the knife every week - all due to a disease that is easily prevented, Type 2 diabetes.
Mauritius appears to have a happy problem with the 400,000 tons of waste it produces each year. The island's only landfill is full and the government must decide whether to turn to incinerating waste - generating electricity in the process - or to compost it, to the benefit of farmers.