Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2018: A Roadmap for Economic Transformation

In 2018, the Government of Mauritius embarked on an ambitious journey to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its economic framework, recognizing AI’s potential to enhance productivity, drive innovation, and improve the quality of life.

This initiative, outlined in the “Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2018” report, aims to establish AI as a cornerstone of the country’s next development model.

Objectives and Approach

The Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2018 aims to leverage AI to achieve the following objectives:

Drive Economic Growth: By integrating AI into key sectors, the strategy seeks to boost productivity, efficiency, and innovation, leading to overall economic growth.

Foster Innovative Entrepreneurship: The strategy aims to create an ecosystem that supports and encourages entrepreneurs to develop and implement AI-driven solutions, thereby fostering a culture of innovation.

Enhance Public Services: By adopting AI in public services, the strategy intends to improve service delivery, increase accessibility, and enhance the quality of life for citizens.

Position Mauritius as a Regional AI Hub: The strategy envisions Mauritius as a leader in AI within the region, attracting investment, talent, and partnerships in the field of AI.


To achieve these objectives, the strategy outlines a multi-faceted approach:

Establishment of the Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Council (MAIC):

The MAIC is envisioned as the central body to oversee AI initiatives, provide strategic guidance, and ensure alignment with national priorities. It will also serve as an advisory body to the government on AI-related matters.

Regulatory Sandboxes:

The strategy proposes the use of regulatory sandboxes to provide a controlled environment for testing and experimenting with AI innovations. This allows entrepreneurs to explore new technologies and business models without being immediately subject to full regulatory requirements.

Innovator Occupation Permits:

To attract and retain AI talent, the strategy suggests offering innovator occupation permits, which would facilitate the entry and stay of entrepreneurs and professionals working on AI projects.

Fiscal Incentives:

The strategy recommends providing fiscal incentives, such as tax breaks, grants, and subsidies, to encourage investment in AI research and development, as well as the adoption of AI technologies across various sectors.

Collaboration and Partnerships:

The strategy emphasizes the importance of collaboration between government, industry, academia, and international partners to share knowledge, resources, and best practices in AI.

Skill Development and Education:

To build a skilled workforce in AI, the strategy advocates for investment in education and training programs, as well as partnerships with educational institutions to develop AI-focused curricula.

Priority Sectors for AI Implementation


AI’s role in manufacturing is pivotal for revitalizing the sector. The strategy emphasizes the use of AI for:

  • Process Optimization: AI algorithms can analyze production data to identify inefficiencies and suggest improvements, leading to streamlined operations and reduced waste.
  • Predictive Maintenance: By monitoring equipment in real-time, AI can predict failures before they occur, minimizing downtime and maintenance costs.
  • Supply Chain Management: AI can enhance supply chain visibility, forecast demand more accurately, and optimize inventory levels, ensuring smoother operations and better customer satisfaction.

Healthcare and Biotechnology:

The strategy acknowledges AI’s transformative potential in healthcare, aiming to make Mauritius a regional hub for medical tourism and biotech innovation:

  • Diagnostic Accuracy: AI-powered tools can assist in diagnosing diseases with greater precision, enabling timely and appropriate treatment.
  • Personalized Treatment: By analyzing patient data, AI can help tailor treatments to individual needs, improving outcomes and patient experiences.
  • Research Enhancement: AI can accelerate biotech research by analyzing vast datasets, leading to quicker discoveries and advancements in medical science.


AI is seen as a game-changer for the agricultural sector, with the strategy advocating for:

  • Precision Farming: AI can optimize resource use (such as water and fertilizers) based on soil and crop data, leading to more sustainable and efficient farming practices.
  • Crop Monitoring: Drones and AI-based imaging can monitor crop health and growth, enabling early detection of issues and targeted interventions.
  • Pest Management: AI can help identify and manage pest threats, reducing crop damage and the need for chemical pesticides.

Ocean Economy :

The strategy highlights the importance of AI in enhancing maritime activities and protecting marine resources:

  • Intelligent Port Management: AI can streamline port operations, from cargo handling to traffic management, improving efficiency and safety.
  • Maritime Security: AI-powered surveillance and monitoring systems can enhance security, detect illegal activities, and assist in search and rescue operations.
  • Environmental Monitoring: AI can help track marine biodiversity, monitor water quality, and detect pollution, aiding in conservation efforts.

Challenges in Implementing AI in Mauritius

Skill Development:

One of the major challenges is the lack of a skilled workforce proficient in AI technologies. This gap can hinder the development and implementation of AI solutions across various sectors.

Data Privacy Concerns:

As AI systems rely heavily on data, there are concerns about how personal and sensitive information is collected, used, and protected. Ensuring data privacy is crucial for maintaining public trust in AI applications.

Ethical Considerations:

The ethical implications of AI, such as bias in decision-making algorithms and the potential for job displacement, need to be carefully addressed to ensure that AI benefits are equitably distributed.

Recommendations in Implementing AI in Mauritius

Setting up the Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Council (MAIC):

The establishment of the MAIC is recommended to provide strategic oversight of AI projects and ensure that they align with national priorities and have a positive socio-economic impact. The council would also serve as a central body for coordinating AI initiatives and fostering collaboration between government, industry, and academia.

Developing a Robust Regulatory Framework:

To address ethical and privacy issues, the strategy suggests creating a comprehensive regulatory framework that sets clear guidelines for AI development and use. This framework should cover aspects such as data protection, algorithmic transparency, and accountability, ensuring that AI systems are designed and operated in a manner that respects individual rights and societal values.

Investing in AI Research and Talent Development:

To bridge the skill gap, significant investment is recommended in AI research and education. This includes supporting AI-focused academic programs, providing training and upskilling opportunities for the existing workforce, and attracting international talent in the field of AI. Building strong partnerships with leading AI research institutions and industry players can also help in knowledge transfer and capacity building.

Providing Incentives for AI Adoption:

To encourage the adoption of AI technologies in key sectors, the strategy proposes offering incentives such as tax breaks, grants, and subsidies. These incentives could be targeted towards businesses and organizations that invest in AI research, develop innovative AI solutions, or implement AI technologies to improve their operations and services.


Addressing these challenges and implementing the recommended measures are essential for the successful integration of AI into Mauritius’s economic and social landscape. By establishing a strong governance structure, creating a supportive regulatory environment, investing in human capital, and providing financial incentives, Mauritius can harness the potential of AI to drive innovation, enhance competitiveness, and improve the quality of life for its citizens.