Mauritius’ Cyber City: attracting businesses across the globe
Mauritius, an island of 1860sq km in the Indian Ocean, has since independence in 1968, transformed itself from a monocrop to a diversified economy.
The latest stage of growth for the Mauritian economy has been the transformation of the ICT sector into one of the main pillars of the economy, making the island a preferred ICT-BPO destination. Against this background, Business Parks of Mauritius Ltd (BPML) was created in 2001 as a government-owned private company to spearhead the development of ICT by providing state-of-the-art facilities for advanced software promotion and IT-enabled services on a par with the best in the world.
The most visible manifestation of Mauritius’s push to become an ‘information society’ was the Cyber City Project set up by BPML in 2003. The aim of the Cyber City has been to make Mauritius the preferred destination for business and professionals, and to create wealth and employment through the use of information technology. The Cyber City is a modern development on a site of 152 acres, strategically located at the center of the island at Ebene and provided with world-class facilities. Five distinct zones comprise the Cyber City: the Cyber and Multimedia Zone; the Business and Finance Zone; the Knowledge Centre; the Commercial Zone; and the Residential Zone.
The first initiative of BPML in the development of the Cyber City was the construction of a Cyber Tower, an ‘intelligent’ building of 12 floors. Facilities within the building compare favorably with the best in the world. Upon its completion in 2005, the Cyber Tower was awarded the Intelligent Building of the Year award by the Intelligent Community Forum of New York, from 250 applications received. This prestigious award – the first for a building of its type in the African region – played an important role in placing Mauritius on the map as a regional business hub.
Today, the Cyber City managed by BPML, comprises more than 40 hi-tech buildings covering a total constructed floor area of 500,000sq m. The ICT sector contributes seven percent of Mauritius’s GDP, while at the same time creating high-end employment for over 20,000 people. BPML has played a major part in the resounding success.
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