Mauritius’ image as a model of media freedom in Africa has acquired a few blemishes, most recently in November when the National Assembly amended the country’s Information and Communication Technologies Act (ICTA) to punish online communications that are deemed likely to cause “annoyance, humiliation, inconvenience, distress, or anxiety” with up to 10 years in prison (Reporters Without Borders, 2018a).
With just a year to go until presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2019, electoral campaigning will soon get underway in Mauritius. Incumbents can tout a number of strengths. Mauritius ranks highly on many indicators of good governance and democracy, such as the Ibrahim Index of African Governance and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, and past elections have generally been considered free and fair (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017; Economist Intelligence Unit, 2017).
Good jobs and economic growth top the priorities of African citizens, but government performance on these issues lags, according to new Afrobarometer findings from across the continent.
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Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has taken pride in promoting its development based on democracy, good governance, human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. Its Constitution affirms that all Mauritians should benefit from the right to equal protection and assistance of the law against any form of discrimination.
For Mauritius, the small island nation that Mark Twain referred to as the model for heaven, rising temperatures and rising sea levels can mean a host of threats, from more severe cyclones and floods to deterioration of coral reefs and beach erosion – an already-occurring phenomenon that the environment minister summed up this way: “Paradise is getting rocky” (Financial Times, 2017).
While personal insecurity in Africa is typically associated with civil wars, crime is actually a far more common threat to the continent’s citizens. Rates of homicide, sexual assault, and property crime in Africa are often far higher than global averages. Despite such threats, many Africans do not report crimes to the police.
The Constitution of Mauritius grants citizens certain fundamental rights, including the right to be free and protected by the law, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of movement and of opinion, freedom to express themselves, freedom of religious belief, and the right to private property (Constitution of Mauritius, 1968).
Summary of results for Mauritius (2017).
Round 7 questionnaire for Mauritius (2017).
In this paper, we provide evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure such as reliable electricity can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, we estimate, via the instrumental variable approach, the effect of access and reliability of electricity on tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 SSA countries.
In addition to the growing number of African states that conduct regular elections and embed democratic principles in their constitutions, evidence comes from survey-based research that most Africans support democratic values and reward governments that adhere to democratic rules (Mattes & Bratton, 2007; Bratton & Mattes, 2001). However, in many countries, citizen demand for democracy is not met by supply of democracy (Mattes & Bratton, 2016) as governments, once elected, fail to respect the norms of democratic governance (Gyimah-Boadi, 2015).
Views on decriminalization of gandia (cannabis) consumption: While two thirds of Mauritians are against the decriminalization of the consumption of gandia one-fourth of the respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that the government should decriminalize the consumption of cannabis.
Fight against drug trafficking: Mauritians are divided in half on the government’s handling of drug trafficking. Nearly half say the government has handled it “very/fairly badly” and another half say “ fairly/very badly”.
A majority of Mauritians do not want cannabis legalised, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey. The debate on legalisation has been ongoing in Mauritius following the arrest of Rastafarians in Port Louis in 2016, according to the Mauritius Times.
There is also division about how the government has handled combatting drug trafficking in the country.
In a stable political environment since independence in 1968, Mauritius transformed itself from a low-income country dependent on sugar into an upper-middle-income country with growing wealth creation from financial services, tourism, and other service sectors (World Bank, 2017).
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, about three-fourths of Mauritians feel that considering the fact that the country is having a problem of declining population growth, the government should give child allowance to all citizens who will have more than two children.
The fertility decline in Mauritius has a long history and occurred in the absence of economic growth and researchers say it may be attributed mostly to improved female educational status and active family planning programs. Currently the population of Mauritius only grows at a growth rate of 0.1%.
Six in 10 Mauritians (61%) say that corruption has increased over the past year, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.
Overwhelming majorities of Mauritians believe that at least some government officials, police, National Assembly members, local councils, and prime minister staff are involved in corruption.
A majority of Mauritians say ordinary citizens risk retaliation if they report corruption.
Mauritius’ commitment to good governance is embodied in its Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, created after the Alliance Lepep came to power in 2014 (Fakun, 2016). The Ibrahim Index of African Governance vouches for the quality of Mauritius’ democracy by ranking the country as the best-governed country in Africa in its 2017 report (Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2017).
Overwhelming preference for democracy: About three-fourths of Mauritians prefer democracy over any other system, consider multiparty competition necessary to give voters a real choice.
Views on political class and accountability: Seven in 10 favour a two-term limit for the prime minister. Almost as many say it’s more important for the government to be accountable than to be efficient.
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, about three-fourths of Mauritians prefer democracy over any other system and almost as many say it’s more important for the government to be accountable than to be efficient.
However, the survey reveals that only half of Mauritians are “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the way democracy is working in their country – a decline of 15 percentage points from 2014.
According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, two-thirds of Mauritians say unemployment is the most important problem that the country is currently facing.
Moreover, the survey reveals that the majority of youth see unemployment as their most important problem. Almost a third of both women and men stated the same. This opinion is being expressed despite the fact that the official unemployment rate is currently 7%.
Do collective experiences that prime sentiments of national unity reduce interethnic tensions and conflict? We examine this question by looking at the impact of national football teams’ victories in sub-Saharan Africa.
In any economy, balancing expenditures, revenues, and debts is a delicate and often politicized task. Competing interests and priorities buffet those tasked with planning a viable and stable national budget. For any state, taxes raised from individuals and businesses are a central plinth supporting the provision of services, the maintenance of infrastructure, the employment of civil servants, and the smooth functioning of the state.
Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparative research despite concerns about comparability.
Using data on more than 800 home languages identified during Afrobarometer Round 5 (2011/2013) surveys in 35 countries, as well as information on multilingualism gathered in 20 countries in Round 4 (2008/2009), this paper explores linguistic diversity and multilingualism at the individual level, within communities, and across countries. Afrobarometer data offer a unique perspective on the distribution of languages and language capabilities from the viewpoint of the users of language rather than those who study it.
In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds.
Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.
Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.
Each election picks a winner.
But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.
Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.
Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.
So how good are Africa’s elections?
Afrobarometer surveyed more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.
Fifty years ago today, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly enshrined a freedom that we had probably treasured ever since our evolution into social animals – the right to assemble and associate freely. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was adopted along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), formalizes the right to peaceful assembly (Article 21) and freedom of association (Article 22), among other fundamental human rights.