Mauritius By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  15:58

Full Name
Republic of Mauritius (English)
République de Maurice (French )
Repiblik Moris (Mauritian Creole)
Originally called: Ile de France
Origins: The Island was named in honour of Prince Maurice of Nassau by Dutch explorers. The French claimed Mauritius in 1715 and renamed it Ile de France. In 1810, Mauritius was captured by the British and renamed Mauritius

Current Leader

President Kailash Purryag

Overview
The culture is a blend of Indian, Creole, Chinese and European influences
Former United Kingdom Colony
Achieved independence on March 12, 1968

Form of Government
Parliamentary democracy
Head of State is the President
The president is elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms (eligible for a second term)

Government Structure
President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Unicameral parliament

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 559,901 people
Expenditures: 0.3% of GDP
Branches: No regular military forces; Mauritius Police Force, Special Mobile Force, National Coast Guard

Former Rulers
1992- 1992 Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo
1992 – 2002 Cassam Uteem
February 18, 2002 – February 25, 2002 Ariranga Pillay
February 25, 2002 – October 7, 2003 Karl Auguste Offmann
2003- 31 March, 2012 Sir Anerood Jugnaut

Capital
Port Louis
Altitude: 48 metres
Population: 155,226 people

Population
Size 1,280,924 (2010)
Life Expectancy: 74 years
Gender make-up: Female - 50.73 %, Male –49.27%

GDP per capita
$14,522 (2011)

$13,632 (2010)

Geography
Area: 2,040sqkm
Land Boundaries: (0km) None

Major Languages
Creole 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)

Religious Portfolio
Hindu 48%, Christians 32.2%, Muslim 16.6%, Other 2.5%, unspecified I.3%, none 0.4%

National Make-up
Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%

Natural Resources
Arable land, Fish

Main exports
Sugar, Clothing, Tea, Jewellery

Land Use
Arable land: 49.02%
Permanent crops: 2.94%
Other: 48.04% (2005)

Currency
Mauritian Rupee

Dialling Code
+ 230

Internet Code
.mu

Transport
Main airport: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport located 48km southeast of Port Louis
Main Port: Port Louis

Modern issues

Environmental
Water pollution
Degradation of coral reefs

Political
Politics in Mauritius is characterised by coalition and alliance building, most governments over the past 20 years have been coalitions, comprising two or more political parties

On May 7, 2010 Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam won the parliamentary election for a five-year second term

Mauritius is still top among African nations on the list compiled by global watchdog Transparency International, which rates corruption

Economic
Sugar and clothing exports have sustained the economy
Tourism has also boosted the economic sector

Social
Mauritius is ranked the best country to give birth in the sub-Saharan Africa region

Mauritius needs to deal with the issue of being a major transit points for drug traffickers. Poverty and inequality are edging up. Traffic congestion and the high number of road accidents also continue to be a problem.

Foreign Policy issues
Mauritius has friendly relations with India, and with southern and eastern African nations
With its British/French political heritage, the country has always kept close ties with the European Union member states and western countries
Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory), and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius; claims French-administered Tromelin Island

The Major Conflicts

Battle of Grand Port
When: August- December 1810
Who: British Royal Navy vs French Navy
Why: Quest for territory, control
Outcome: French won the battle and took over, British later called for reinforcement making the French surrender to the invasion. British then took control and changed the name of the island

Independence struggle
After World War II, the pace of constitutional reform quickened as Britain began to loosen its grip on its colonies. In Mauritius this transformation was peaceful

What to see
Blue Penny Museum
Casela Bird Park
Pamplemousses Gardens
Lion Mountain
Rock bridge at Pont Naturel

Sports
Popular Sports
Football
Tennis
Rugby
Golf

Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Jonathan Chimier is a Mauritian long jumper who won the 2004 African Championships in Athletics, he is currently holding the record for Mauritius

Quirks
Chitmansing Jesseramsing, Mauritius ambassador who has made America home (longest serving diplomat for 20 years), he keeps referring to his country as ‘’crucible of God's laboratory’’