Science and technology have been at the core of all major development advances in the last 50 years and tomorrow's development challenges will also require long term investments in both research and capacity building efforts to promote sustainable innovation, highlighted the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.

He was speaking yesterday at the Philippe BonAme Hall, MSIRI, Reduit at a ceremony organised by the Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) to pay tribute to the following scientists and technologists, namely Dr. Octave Wiehe, Prof. Robert Antoine, Prof. Jagadish Manrakhan, Prof. Sir Edouard Lim Fat, Mr Maurice Paturau and Mr Claude Michel, who contributed to nation building in the field of Science and Technology for the last 50 years.

In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth underpinned the pivotal role of institutions like the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute, the Mauritius Research Council and entities like the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research in the local tertiary education sector as key drivers for innovation and research. He recalled the importance of countrymen in the fields of science and technology in the past which have inspired the younger generations.

On this score, he pointed out that Government is making every effort to improve the science and technology landscape by enhancing opportunities for the youth whose future concerns everyone. One of the endeavors of Government is to attract the science and technology diaspora so as to enable them, during their work to establish collaborative programmes with researchers in Mauritius, and enhance the quality and output of the results of the local expertise, Prime Minister Jugnauth added.

Mauritius, highlighted the Prime Minister, has the potential to leverage science and technology to spur its growth and development but there is also the need to develop new strategies and policies in order to bolster the economy that will help generate employment and improve the living conditions of the people.

We need to build new pillars of development in which science and technology remain the major drivers of sustained economic growth, emphasised the Prime Minister.

For his part, Dr. Jean Claude Autrey, President of the MAST, made a retrospective of the evolution of science and technology in Mauritius and lauded the contribution of the scientists and technologists who contributed to nation building in the field of science and technology for the past 50 years.

Source: Government of Mauritius