Hon. Chair
The Secretary General
Colleagues Ministers
Ladies and Gentlemen 

It is a great pleasure for me to make this policy statement today in this plenary session.  I would like to first of all thank the Government of UAE for hosting us and I wish to congratulate you Chairman on your election to this important function. 

Ladies and Gentlemen 

It is an ideal time for me to share some of the accomplishments of Mauritius in ICT which only started in 2003. 

Firstly, the deployment of Fibre To The Home (FTTH) is now 100% completed.  Our broadband penetration figures have reached 101.4%.  2 additional submarine cables are being laid now which which will add up to the 2 existing ones. 

Secondly, we have laid much emphasis during the year on building skills in the sector and so we have taken the initiatives of doubling the intake of ICT students at University of Mauritius and 50 scholarships will be awarded for students wishing to specialize in Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.  We are also organizing the World AI Show Mauritius and Blockchain Summit Mauritius on 28 to 30 November 2018 to create awareness in emerging technologies and the humanoid robot Sophia will grace that event. 

Additionally, we are having initiatives for women and girls in ICT. 

Thirdly, we have scaled up the pace of digitalization in the Civil Service with the implementation of mobile apps including a mobile app for reporting domestic violence and child abuse and a mobile app for alerting people in case of disasters.  We have also put in place the National Open Data Portal.  Our challenge is to constantly populate the Open Data Portal which is the main resource repository for innovation to happen. 

This leads me naturally to our fourth important main initiative which is on innovation. 

We launched the National Innovation Framework which energises the innovation ecosystem through the provision of matching grant innovation schemes.  Both the public and private sectors are encouraged to come up with innovations to transform their businesses with new products and services. 

Fifthly, We are  keeping with pace developments in cybersecurity.  Mauritius enacted a new Data Protection Act in 2017 which incorporates international best practices in data protection and is aligned with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 

Moreover, in line with the Sustainability Goal of ITU’s Connect 2020 Agenda, we are setting up a Cyber threat monitoring system which includes a Security Operations Centre.  This will be the very first of its kind in the region and will better equip Mauritius to defend its cyber infrastructure against cyber threats in real time. 

With the increasing reliance on technology, the costs and frequency of cybercrime incidents especially on social media have increased.  In order to effectively report and address such incidents,  we launched the Mauritian Cybercrime Online Reporting System (MAUCORS) in March this year.   We also conducted cyberdrills for the SADC region. 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Furthermore, a National Cyber Security Strategy and a National Cybercrime Strategy have been developed to address cyber threats, protect the critical infrastructure of the country and enhance the capabilities of law enforcement officers to detect, handle and prosecute cybercriminals. 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I also wish to add that my Ministry is setting up a Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.  This centre will serve as a common platform for countries in the region to discuss how law enforcement agencies could detect, handle and prosecute cybercriminals and the judiciary to understand this highly technical and complex area whenever cases are brought before the Courts. 

The role of this centre will also be to set out the right approach to fight cybercrime through improved law enforcement capability, effective criminal justice framework and active international engagement.  

Ladies and Gentlemen 

To conclude, the only way to fight cybercrime is for all of us to speak one language, I therefore appeal to the ITU to assist us, Member States, by setting up a Group of Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Experts for harmonizing laws in cybersecurity and cybercrime, ensuring effective international collaboration in cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime and engaging social media sites for prompt and efficient actions in response to complaints by Member States. 

Thank you for your kind attention.