Image source: The Cyber Island Project
Here is an interesting blog post from Geek Scribes, a friendly blog which I’ve known during my UoM days. They don’t publish so often, but after nearly one monthly, the Geeks produced their critical review on: Mauritius is not a cyber island, Here’s why.
Well, I would like react to this brilliantly written blog post which considered the following five main themes surrounding the concept of ‘Cyber Mauritius':
- Cyberculture in Mauritius
- Internet Connection/Price in Mauritius
- IT/Computing Courses in Mauritius
- Entrepreneurship for Young IT Graduates
- Mauritian Technopreneurs, where are their products?
- Lack of IT Companies competing with each other.
This is great! My personal opinions on the topic:
Firstly, I agree, there is no culture of computing nor that of using Internet, yet in Mauritius. Unlike European countries, Internet is the first thing to which they think when for eg. The busy guy at the office don’t have time to do groceries and prefer to shop online or to compare the prices of the different insurance companies before choosing a plan. For now, the ‘killer product’ is for job seekers in Mauritius who wish to create their profile on www.myjob.mu and hope to get contact with potential employers. However, this said, it is interesting to notice that 99.8% of Mauritians have a mobile phone. The early adopters and a good percentage possess smartphones (I had done my dissert on that but haven’t published the research findings yet. This is in my todo-list). I think a great potential exist for low-cost smartphones to change the habit of Mauritians to do just more than calling and texting. There are mobile applications, enough memory to permit them carry their data with them, enough processing power to multi task etc.). I think with Nokia adopting the Windows Phone platform and the rising trend of Android phones, things will change…
Secondly, Internet Connection in Mauritius. No doubt, Mauritius Telecom/Orange faces no major competitor whilst the Emtel Fibre Network is still work-in-progress. No more comments as a lot has been complained already on the freaking connection speed and the price for which we poor Mauritians are paying.
Thirdly, Mauritius is reputed for its bilingual population. We have ‘Free Education’, ‘Free Transport’, Educational Institutions etc. I read that however, the IT companies claim that there is a lack of qualified people to work in ICT. This is why ICT Academy is being launched by the end of October 2011. The Academy is being headed by the Ex-Deputy Center lead of Accenture IT. Read more here and here. I personally advise a post HSC Student to study at a University in order to ‘learn how to think’, to do Professional exams like the ACCA or BCS which is close to the industry, and to develop soft skills (communication skills – French writing and speaking, elocution for eg.)
The DBM is here as well as many Govt Institutions – SMEDA, Enterprise Mauritius etc. to help with business plans and financing sources. Recently we had the new MBC TV show – Le Boss. I personally believe there is a lack of startups because we don’t have risk takers. Mauricien la prefere ‘bat bater’. Its more secure to be salaried than taking the responsibility of providing for the pay slips for the employees who work for your startup, right? This said, we have a number of startups in Mauritius – knowledge7.com, conceptplusdesign.biz, flowerinmauritius.com etc (do comment other businesses you know). So am a bit optimist, slowly startups with rise… Maybe Garaz Developeurs will join the list ;)
I am glad to read the launching of http://espacesjeunes.com today in the local newspaper. Sarcasm: One day, gov.mu will get better and if we live beyond year 2012, maybe we will be able to withdraw money from our Paypal Account in Mauritius, lol! New stuffs are coming like www.nurodeli.mu, http://www.taxiservices.mu/, http://mariage.mu/ or marryme.mu, http://www.grandbaie.mu/ etc.
So that’s it as my reaction to this blog post. Geekscribes people I don’t know if you still at UoM but keep the blog alive. J
On a note aside, To all those Engineers graduating at the UoM Faculty of Engineering, Congrats! Your doors to the world of work opens now…