After the “100,000” visitors count officially announced for the electronics trade fair, Infotech 2012, today we are welcoming A.A as a guest writer. He will be sharing his ideas which might, according to him, will help in making the cyber island a reality. Please do go through his ideas and don’t hesitate to discuss the points and even share your ideas on the topic.
Wish all of you a wonderful week ahead,
Dear politicians, if you are reading this, do steal my ideas please!
We have been hearing this concept of turning Mauritius into a cyber island since a very long time now. Today, I am going to share my personal views on it, by proposing some ideas of how to make it become a reality :
1/ Competitions among ISPs
Encourage competitivity between ISPs so that the decrease in prices are more considerable. We cannot afford to pay thousands of rupees for the highest internet speed while other neighboring islands like Reunion and Seychelles are paying much less. The internet speed and service available on the island are unacceptable. These fiber optic cables to increase speed should have been implemented a decade ago, not now. We are late! Very late!
There’s still room for new ISPs to enter the market to bring in more competitivity!
2/ Removal of VAT
Remove VAT on certain technologies like computers, laptops and tablets will encourage people to purchase more often. Tablet PCs for example, should have been a revolution now. A tablet PC is highly economical since it will save on your electricity bill. The cost of charging it is much lower as compared to using a normal desktop personal computer.
On top of that, thanks to its mobility, you can use it everywhere.Being much affordable than a laptop, it will also keep people away from some common pains due to the excessive hours seated in front of a PC.
3/ International IT companies
Encourage international companies to invest in our country! As far as I know, we have only been promoting the tourism sector more than ever, so why not bring the IT sector to a similar level? We can encourage international IT companies to invest here. I am not aiming at Google, WordPress, Microsoft, or whatever, but we can attract other software, network, web and any related companies. We have people who can do it. We really lack IT companies here;
Nowadays, we have a bigger share of companies in the BPO sector than in the software/consulting field! This is definitely not the definition of a cyber island.
4/ Improve our education in IT
New courses should be introduced at diploma/degree levels. Courses based only on digital marketing does not exist in the different institutions on the island, and this list goes on. I have also heard that we lack good programmers : I do not know if this has been solved now. More students should be encouraged to get into programming instead of specialising themselves on system and network administration.
More emphasis should also be put on the IT security sector. At Higher School Certificate level, a semi-advanced programming should be a must instead of displaying Visual Basic message boxes.
5/ Computerize the governmental bodies
Our country cannot be considered as a cyber Island if the government itself does not computerized its institutions like hospitals or police stations. Taking an appointment in a hospital (Tir carte rendez-vous) should have been hassle-free, without the need to issue papers after waiting in a long queue. Computerizing an institution can only have its advantages.
If some people keep having the thought that computerization will make them lose their job, then we will never be able to move on! This mis-perception should be cleared beforehand.
6/ Boost Electronic, Mechanical and Electric engineering
We have so many guys studying electronic, mechanical and electric engineering in our universities.
Why aren’t they encouraged to be more creative, like creating gadgets, robotized equipment or even computer chips? The number of companies dealing with electronics is scarce onto the island. From what I have heard, these companies are not ready to get these tasks here. By saying this, the country will never improve! Providing good training and the necessarily infrastructure should greatly help!
7/ Invest on research and finance new ideas
Finally, I will close my recommendations by including investment on research. Yes, the government and private sectors should encourage research programmes in IT; we have many brilliant people here having ideas who can help the country! We should finance new comers who have ideas; the economy can only win from these!
There are other ideas in the mind but the post will get too long. To conclude, can we dream that one day our country will really be considered as a real cyber island? Can we dream the impossible?
I have been hearing the term “Cyber Island” since 10 years now and if the government does not bring any change in its strategy, we will still hearing the same term “Cyber Island” for the next 10 years again! We are late, extremely late, so concrete actions need to be taken before our youngsters piss on everything here and leave for other countries.
Thanks to Yashvin for having given me the opportunity to write my ideas here!