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Blockchain, an opportunity for Mauritius to accelerate development, says Minister Sawmynaden

Date: November 30, 2018
Domain:ICT
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GIS 30 November 2018: The Age of Blockchain has dawned upon us, and the technology is painting a new vista of advanced solutions for businesses, individuals and governments.  For Small Island Developing states (SIDS) like Mauritius, Blockchain represents an opportunity to accelerate development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This statement was made today by the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, at the opening ceremony of the World Blockchain Summit 2018 being held at InterContinental Resort Mauritius, in Balaclava.  This Summit follows, the hosting in Mauritius at the same venue, of two enriching days of discourses, presentations and exchanges of ideas on Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the World AI Show 2018.  The Humanoid robot, Sophia, named the United Nations Development Programme's first ever non-human Innovation Champion, was also present at the AI Show.
World Blockchain Summit 2018 have as objectives to: transform Mauritius into an attractive destination for key players in Blockchain; and, assist Government on mapping the economic impacts of Blockchain and to attract investors in that field.
In his keynote address, the Minister stated that Blockchain is the next disruptive technology that can potentially change the process in which governments and corporates operate in Mauritius and abroad.  Its potential is there for everyone to see, and the sustained investments in Blockchain companies displays the growing trust in the technology worldwide, he pointed out.
According to Mr Sawmynaden, one of the key attractions of Blockchain lies in its flexibility of adaptation and this technology could be extended to any field and application where the technical barriers result in huge inefficiencies, at substantial cost.  By making data accessible through a common digital platform, Blockchain can effectively become a game changer in any venue where a transaction occurs, where trust is at a premium, and where people need protection from identity theft, including the public sector, he emphasised.
In addition, the Minister remarked that a buzz around the technology was created since 2016, and it became clear that Mauritius can play a big role in becoming a Blockchain hub for the region as well as for improving its processes, be it in private companies or for Government, by adopting the technology.  Mr Sawmynaden also called for increased collaboration with start-ups which can develop applications based on Blockchain as well as the implementation of the technology at government level through carefully selected projects.
Moreover, the Minister indicated that a contract has been awarded to Cotrugli Business School to prepare a Strategic Plan for the adoption of Blockchain technology in Government.
The consultants are required to ensure that the Strategic Plan is in line with the vision, mission and objectives of Government of Mauritius.  The Strategic Plan should also provide an assessment of existing government system and non-computerised important activities where blockchain would have high value addition and setting out the approach and solutions which need to be adopted to reach the desired goals.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org
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