Sunday, 17 February 2008

Mauritius #2

Some thoughts about Mauritius...:

It is a real fusion… a French then British colony… a history of African slaves and then an influx of indentured Indian workers creates a wonderful mix… of languages, religions, attitudes and approaches and all living in apparent harmony.

And some stunning food with the Afro-French-Indian combination hitting the spot.

Mauritius is very exciting and who knows what the next five to ten years will bring… protecting the ‘charm’ that a small island mentality fosters while fighting for a fair share of the tourist dollars is a difficult balance to make.

Meanwhile the local population is just starting to get fed the rich diet that is the western way – Macdonald’s, KFC… the unstoppable march of the West’s beacons of so-called civilisation, along with mobile phones and the other paraphernalia of conspicuous consumption.

I am no politician but I do know that I met over 150 committed business people in Mauritius who are working together to ‘make things happen’. It will be organisations like the British Council that will organise/facilitate opportunities to enable the local Mauritian businesses to do much more than simply survive.

There is a hunger to make businesses flourish in Mauritius – this needs local support and commitment… and an input of no-nonsense help and guidance that is hands-on, practical and results-oriented. How exciting!

Finally, my thanks go out to my new friends in Mauritius: Simon, Ann, Martine, Andrew, and of course Coom - I hope to see them all when they visit the UK!

AND the big message that we all took away with us from our work together: TAKE ACTION!!!

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