Mauritius which is widely known as the paradise island, is a leading investment destination. Smart City Scheme was launched by the government of Mauritius in 2015 which is mixed use development program. The Government has planned to set up Smart cities in Mauritius with an aim to promote the lifestyle, leisure, working of people that should also be environmentally-friendly.
Why should there be Smart Cities in Mauritius?
According to Forbes Survey 2017, Mauritius was rewarded as the best country for business which is 1st in Africa and 39th in the world. Also, it is a great news to the Mauritians, as at least 25% of the residential units will be sold to Mauritian Citizens or members of Mauritian diaspora.
Benefits provided to the investors. The government is providing overabundance of opportunities through the ‘Smart City Scheme’ to international investors for the establishment of future smart cities in the paradise island.
A package of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives will be provided to the investors by the government along with a clear framework.
Projects approved by the Economic Development Board of Mauritius
The smart cities project was approved by the Economic Development Board which comprises of urban and rural areas such as Mon Tresor, Cap Tamarin, Uniciti, Moka and Jin Fei which are the holders of ‘Smart City Certificate’. Additionally, there are places like Beau Plan, Mon Choisy, Trianon, Saint Felix, Yi Hai Gardens, Royal St Louis which are holders of LOT– Letter Of Intent.
Additionally, the project under the Smart City Scheme must be developed on 21.05 hectares (50 acres) of land.
Why there should be a smart Moka?
Moka is located at the heart of the island which is surrounded by two motorways. Also, the town is close to major urban areas like Beau-Bassin/ Rose-Hill, Quatre Bornes, Vacoas-Phoenix and close to the dormitory suburb like Ebene. Moka holds 70% of the purchasing power and 40% of the workforce. The region is developed from an agricultural zone to one of the fastest growing places in Mauritius comprises of existing activities like education (for example CTI-Charles Telfair Institute and Lycée des Mascareignes which are internationally recognised English and French university and school), health (e.g Apollo Bramwell Hospital), shopping centres (e.g bagatelle shopping mall), residential, retail, public services, Banks ATM, offices (i.e Vivea Business Park St Pierre, Ebene cybercity etc), cultural leisure, sport among others.
Cap Tamarin Smart City
Cap Tamarin is a smart and joyful village. Cap Tamarin smart city project was launched in 2018. According to the article Africa Capital Digest (AFCD) published in 8th July 2018, Vantage Capital made its first investment in Mauritius of US $10 million to build a smart Cap Tamarin which will include villas, apartments, homes for elderly people that will be well-equipped with specific medical prerequisites. There is also an aim to build a 40, 000 sq.m landscape park that will close to the Tamarin beach.
Freedom Hill is the name of one of the apartments in Tamarin that will be developed under the ‘Smart City Scheme’. Its aim is to provide its residents and foreign customers a well-protected environment with a 24 hour security service.
Mon-Trésor Smart City
Omnicane is the promoter of the Mon-Trésor Smart City which signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Belgian group Wilco Group on 14th of March 2017 for the design, development and establishment of a multifunctional commercial space. The Business Gateway is the commercial area of Mon Trésor Smart City, which is designed specifically for airport-related business, it covers an area of 550, 000 meter squares which consists of an Office park, a Commercial Park and a Shopping Centre. The park is very well-equipped with a high-speed internet and which is situated in the vicinity of Holiday Inn, a business oriented hotel providing facilities like conferencing and accomodation.
Mauritius JinFei was involved in various development projects some of it has already been completed such as Eden Garden Culture and Entertainment Square, the latter was started in 2016. This centre opened its doors at the start of the year of 2019. The latter comprises of three cinemas, a reception room among others. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1.1 billion which is financed by the Mauritius Jin Fei Economic and Cooperation Zone Ltd.
UNICITI (Médine Ltd)
UNICITI (Médine Ltd) completed the construction educational institution, office building among others in 2018. Projects that are under development are infrastructure works (phase 1), primary and secondary schools as well as an underpass. In 2018, an estimated cost of 1.4 billion rupees were invested and there was approximately 1,200 creation of jobs.
To conclude, Smart Cities are vital if the world has to face critical challenges successfully. The percentage of people living in cities is rising every year, it is estimated that 60% of the human population will be settled in cities by 2030 and 66% by the year 2050. Moreover, a smart city can provide its residents and businesses with a wide range of tools and applications which can be classified into: E-information, E-business, E-marketing, E-Government, E-innovation as well as E-participation, the use of this digital technologies is to improve the lifestyle of people and to reduce costs. Also, smart city make use of intelligent lighting and smart building controls for an unassailable and healthy economy.