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Africa Day Celebrations 2018: Winners of essay competition rewarded

A prize giving ceremony for an essay competition, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research in the context of the commemoration of Africa Day 2018 in Mauritius, was held yesterday at the National Empowerment Foundation in Port Louis.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr V. K. Daby, the Director (Planning and Budgeting) of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mr K. Ng Wong Hing, Mr Bobby Hurreeram, Government Chief Whip and Member of the Pan African Parliament, Mr. Jean Francois ChaumiAre, Chairperson, Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture and other personalities were present on this occasion.

The essay competition was one of the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to create awareness, especially amongst the youth, of the strengthened relation between Mauritius and Africa over the past decades. It also aimed at popularising Agenda 2063, the 50-year vision for a better Africa, and its implementation in Mauritius, while giving participants, the opportunity to voice out their vision for Africa. The competition was opened to students of Lower and Upper 6, and essays could be submitted by a group of up to five students.

Each winner received a shield, a certificate and a cheque. Students from Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Professor Basdeo Bissondoyal Secondary School, Loretto College of Rose Hill, Eden College Girls, and GMD Atchia College ranked 1st to 5th respectively.

In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Daby, highlighted that the winners embody the drive and optimism of today's Africa. The prize winners, who are all girls, also bear testimony to the fact that Mauritius rightfully deserved the African Union Gender Scorecard Award at the African Summit in 2017, he underlined.

Africa's development requires strong, educated and innovative people and there is consensus that education is paramount to poverty alleviation, and gender and youth emancipation. Youth, pointed out Mr Daby, are the leaders of tomorrow and consequently, their development must be among the prime concern of society aiming for sustainability. In line with this philosophy, Government is investing in the youth in its endeavour to create the necessary healthy, educated, skilled and resilient workforce which can bring economic growth to the country and the continent, he underscored. Students, as leaders of tomorrow, will play a proactive role in further deepening the Mauritius-Africa relations, he added.

For his part, Mr Ng Wong Hing underscored that the essay competition has given secondary school students the opportunity to envisage the Mauritian socio-economic development and prosperity in the context of the African Union Agenda 2063. He also emphasised that Africa and Mauritius need men and women whose integrity is as strong as the magnetic compass is faithful to the pole.

Source: Government of Mauritius