Geographical Location of Mauritius

Mauritius consists of the main island of Mauritius, the small volcanic island of Rodrigues, the two Aleg Islands and the St. Brandon Islands. The island state is part of the Mascarene archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa. The island of Mauritius is of volcanic origin, but is surrounded by coral reefs. It consists of fertile plains with steep cliffs surrounding a plateau with several small rivers. The climate is subtropical, with heat and high humidity throughout the year. Large tropical cyclones can occur from September to May.

The islands are sensitive to climate change, which can be seen in rising sea levels and the fact that the country has been hit more by powerful storms than before. The biggest environmental problems in Mauritius are deforestation, water pollution and coral reef destruction. Deforestation has led to soil erosion and the country's rich natural flora is under threat. The government has taken a number of measures to prevent the destruction of the country's environment and has also put forward new guidelines for sustainable development.

In 2020, Mauritius suffered the worst environmental disaster in the island's history when a ship ran aground and 1,000 tons of oil leaked into the sea. The oil spill is expected to have catastrophic long-term impacts on critically vulnerable marine ecosystems that are home to 38 species of coral, more than 72 species of fish, 4 species of seagrass and the endangered green turtle.

Brief History of Mauritius

The island of Mauritius was uninhabited when it was discovered by Arab and Malay sailors in the 15th century. When Portuguese sailors, like the first Europeans, discovered the island in the 16th century, it was still uninhabited. The first colonization of the island occurred in 1598, when Dutch sailors settled on it. The Dutch named the island Mauritius in honor of the Dutch prince Maurice of Orange. The Dutch left the colony in 1710, and five years later the island was occupied by the French. It became a prosperous colony under the control of the French East India Company. The French built a plantation economy in which sugar was the most important product and slaves from East Africa and Madagascar were used as labor.

Mauritius was occupied by Britain in 1810 and formally became a British colony in 1814. After the British outlawed slavery in the 1830s, French Mauritians began importing labor from India for their plantations. Mauritius became independent in 1968, retaining the British monarch as head of state until it became a republic in 1992. Since independence, the country has had a stable democratic government and a strong economy.

Society and Politics of Mauritius

Mauritius is a parliamentary democratic republic where the head of state is the president. The president serves a largely ceremonial role and is elected by parliament every five years. The president officially appoints the prime minister, who is always the leader of the party that wins the most seats in parliament after the election. The Prime Minister and the government have executive power. Mauritius is one of the few countries in Africa with a functioning multi-party system, and the country's politics are characterized by coalitions between several parties.

There is broad agreement among political parties about the country's democratic values. Democratic rights are well developed and the electoral system ensures that different ethnic groups are represented in parliament.

The standard of living in Mauritius is one of the highest among developing countries. Public health care is well developed here; everyone has access to clean drinking water. However, women are underrepresented in the labor market and in politics and often earn significantly lower wages than men. In addition, domestic violence against women is a serious problem that is rarely reported to the police.

Economy and Trade of Mauritius

Mauritius has long been one of Africa's strongest economies. The country has evolved from an agrarian economy with a focus on sugar exports to a more universal economy with the growth of industry, finance and tourism. In recent decades, the country's economic growth has been relatively stable. This doubled the country's per capita income and increased prosperity. Since the early 2000s, large investments have been made in information and communication technologies.

In value terms, Mauritius imports more than twice what the country exports. Sugar, along with manufactured goods, is a major export product, but fishing is an increasingly important source of income. The four most important trading partners are France, China, Saudi Arabia and India.
About seven percent of the country's population lives below the national poverty line, the lowest rate of any African country. Standards of living still vary across the islands, with Creoles of African descent predominating among the country's poorest population.

Flag of Mauritius
Coat of Arms of Mauritius

Basic Information About Mauritius

  • Full name - Republic of Mauritius
  • Capital - Port Louis
  • Language - Creole
  • Population - 1,273,428
  • Form of government - parliamentary democracy
  • Region - 2,040 km2
  • Currency - Mauritian rupee
  • National Day - March 12