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!
This is a good reflection on how to move ahead. Unfortunately, the government took their time about going ahead. The concept was on paper but they have been waiting for others to take the initiative and finance structuring. There is a good point about cabling (optical fibre), why did they not build a national network much earlier? It would have helped to have infrastructure to build on. There are some good signs about development from ISPs, one is that Emtel are no longer dependent of MT/Orange. Another is that bandwidth providers intend to bring down costs to ISPs. Still a long way to go and the road ahead is only just being opened.
The government is lame..no visions… We could do better 10 years ago if they thought the IT sector would be a good pillar 10 years after that…
And allow mauritians to recieve money through PayPal to allow freelancers to work
This is something I am waiting since a long time… I have even phoned banks for this, they accept the issues are from their side… PayPal has nothing to do with this, our laws should cope their conditions and our banks should do the rest…
Ohh..! that’s a nice one. I was willing to sell items online 7 years ago using paypal. @ that time both MCB and STATE BANK told me “We’r working on it and it will be available soon ” ( Though most of the people there didn’t even know what paypal meant ). I’m still waiting in my cyber island for it…
No.1 to No.5: All them are already known to all, but it happens that our competent authorities are more busy gettting impressed by their name of “authority” than exercising it fully: planning, financing, implementing and controlling the various actions that need to done with all stakeholders.
No.6: I LOVE it!!!! Indeed, I “chose” Civil Engineering by default, out of fear of electronics and the associated mathematics
No.7: research?? Look, it’s very fortunate that you have Dr Oolun as head of ICTA. He has invented algorithms and stuff that have contributed to the advancement of electronics and people like him, very unfortunately are very rare in Mauritius. What you need is a clearly defined policy for research and finding ways of sustaining it over time. See, our local big businesses are more eager to copy-paste schemes from abroad to squeeze our little rupees out of our pockets through their monopolistic domination of the market than spawning novel ideas.
Research yes, for example research on electronic..or any IT component. We can encourage people to research on new gadget, creates new things… We really lack electronic manufacturers in our country..
youngsters piss on everything ” damn politicians would have these words reflected upon their thoughts thinking of your post Lol
The fact is basically we are really late about technology and never would we be way ahead unless proper initiative are taken by the bench occupiers. Basically, We should firstly get to the level of internet which when having a speedtest, we don’t get internet ratings based on our ISP which is about F+ and D, The fact is Unless Major companies don’t invest in the island about competition with the initial system, Nothing would actually change and always in decades the words ” Mauritius is paradise in everything except the internet” will be echoed everywhere.
The government has to work parallel upon The tourism industry as well as implement new technologies which will be beneficial for new geeks at the job markets, I wonder how they feel about working in those conditions which is based on paper works, the system needs to be updated ASAP and the online system must be secured enough so that minors undergo an atmosphere much likely not based on pornography including Providing proper interactions which will actually increase the rate of entertainment among kids as well as help them academically.
Internet Tariffs must be decreased so that the internet is beneficial to everyone, Refunds must be provided by ISP for providing internet connections which does not meet the required speed.
The internet security team must be updated with people WHO HAVE ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE INTERNET IS !!!! not with people who just know how to block websites due to minor incidents and the government should have Websites which provides online services instead of Discouraging people to be in queues, I believe the government should invest more on the IT sector than building roads to decrease the rate of traffic jam, Internet should be a mean of people doing their jobs, that the only solution to decrease the rate of people going upon motorways nowadays. The government have to suspend the license of ISP’s who are not actually doing their jobs properly and mostlly lay emphasis upon Advertising and who are only upon the aim of making profits instead of providing quality services and not being promising to customers.
The government should recruit people who would control the online world based on professionalism not immaturity, Bring a change in the world decrease the price of internet then only we Mauritians will consider it to be a cyber island as stated.
I have to say that the govt (it’s irrelevant which party) has been putting IT in a lot of departments in the recent years, and I have worked on (and used) some already. From the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Health, Registrar General, Judiciary System, Police (Forensics), many projects have been tendered and are in development already. Just do a regular visit to the public procurement system.
Aah, look how our authorities think that they will boost IT penetration into government services: http://www.lexpress.mu/story/43438-prb-2013-22-d-augmentation-salariale-pour-les-fonctionnaires-calculee-sur-le-salaire-de-base-de-2008.html
Er, for those who may have missed it, it’s the last bullet point…