GIS - 13 June, 2013: To mark the International Archives Day 2013, the electronic archives system and a website of the National Archives Department, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, were launched yesterday afternoon at Coromandel.
The ceremony was graced by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Tassarajen Pillay Chedumbrum, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Mookhesswur Choonee, and other personalities.
In his address, Minister Pillay said that the National Archives Department is the storehouse of the nation’s history and that it is through the marvel of technology that the documents which were worn out are being restored for the future generation.
He recalled that the electronic archives system implemented at the National Archives Department is an example of Government’s policy to bring its services closer to the population. Access to the internet should be a basic human right as it would allow citizens to enjoy all Government services online, he said.
Minister Pillay also announced that, after consultation with all stakeholders, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is putting final touches to a new e-Government strategy which will place the citizen at the centre of Government’s attention.
For his part, Minister Choonee commended the National Archives Department for its laudable initiative and said that as from today, the treasures of the history of Mauritius are just a click away. He outlined that the National Archives Department is the oldest archives in the southern hemisphere, with 198 years of history on paper. By putting into place the electronic archives system, we are preserving for the future, he said.
According to the Minister, culture has a very significant position for Mauritius and with the development of a cultural industry, it will soon become a pillar of the economy. He announced the construction of a building at Ebène Triangle, Réduit which will house both the National Archives Department and the National Library.
UNESCO will help Mauritius to celebrate the 200 years of existence of the National Archives Department in 2015. On that occasion, an exhibition on Mauritius will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, said Mr Choonee.
The National Archives has its origin from the early settlement of the island, dating as far back as 1721. However, its official operation as an institution was proclaimed in 1815 during the British rule.
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