Critically Examine the Main Factors and Issues That Have Been Determinant in Public Policy Making in Mauritius Since the Second World War to Modern Times.

Topics: Policy, Government, Public policy Pages: 16 (5364 words) Published: November 18, 2012

In a post-world war period, Mauritius has made a transition from being an under-developed economy towards being an upper-middle economy which is today the best African governed country according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. However, until the 1980’s Mauritius was affected by several issued and the decision of the United Kingdom to grant independence to Mauritius in 1968 and to stop granting financial support was not a good sign for the future of Mauritius. In 1961, James Edward Meade a Nobel Prize winner in Economics predicted a disastrous future for Mauritius in his report to the Government of Mauritius. Out of his report the following is the most striking part which clearly condemns Mauritius to a disastrous future: “Heavy population pressure must inevitably reduce real income per head below what it might otherwise be. That surely is bad enough in a community that is full of political conflict. But if in addition, in the absence of other remedies, it must lead either to unemployment (exacerbating the scramble for jobs between Indians and Creoles) or to even greater inequalities (stocking up still more the envy felt by the Indian and Creole underdog for the Franco-Mauritian top dog), the outlook for peaceful development is poor” . However, a sound policy making system in Mauritius has helped to develop an upper-middle income economy with a high level of Human Development Index, High per capita income of around $4000 and a stable political sphere as Mauritius is a full democracy despite being part of the African Continent where Democracy is not much present. Thus, Mauritius has become a model for many countries which try to emulate the feat of the “Mauritian miracle” as they try to adopt some of the policies adopted in Mauritius. Therefore, this paper will critically examine some major factors and issues which are the source for the creation of major policies in Mauritius since World War 2 to modern times.

What is Public policy?

A policy can be defined as a major course of action adopted by an individual, central or local government regional or international organization to ensure leadership and attain objectives While Public policy is “when a government takes a decision or chooses a course of action in order to solve a social problem and adopts a specific strategy for its planning and implementation” . In the Australian Policy Handbook, Peter Bridgman and Glyn Davis have developed an 8 step policy cycle:

1.Issue identification
2.Policy analysis
3.Policy instrument development
4.Consultation (which permeates the entire process)

But, in this paper, we are more concerned with the influences on Public policy making in Mauritius rather than defining the steps involved in policy making. Thus, in this context, it can be said that, as a developing economy, Public policy making in Mauritius has since the post World War era been influenced by major issues like: Education, Health, Social Justice and Economic issues.

Some major Issues in Mauritius

As mentioned above, Mauritius as a developing economy has been influenced by some of its major issues in the process of Public policy making. The reason behind the influence is that since the Colonial period, Mauritius has been facing Socio- economic issues which unless tackled will not allow progress to be made.

Monocrop Economy

Mauritius has been driven by the culture of a monocrop economy for a large part of its history until achieving independence. Since the climate in Mauritius is suitable for growing sugar cane, perhaps better than many other crops, the sugar industry grew to a predominant position in the Mauritian economy. Besides, the Mauritian sugar was given a secure market and was bought at a preferential tariff which yielded huge profits. Over time Mauritius, became dependant on the production of sugar as Cane covered nearly half of the island and three...
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