Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century
and subsequently settled by the Dutch
- who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU -
in the 17th century. The French assumed control in 1715,
developing the island into an important naval base
overseeing Indian Ocean trade,
and establishing a plantation economy of sugar cane.
The British captured the island in 1810, during the Napoleonic Wars.
Mauritius remained a strategically important British naval base,
and later an air station, playing an important role during World War II
for anti-submarine and convoy operations,
as well as the collection of signals intelligence.
Independence from the UK was attained in 1968.
A stable democracy with regular free elections
and a positive human rights record,
the country has attracted considerable foreign investment
and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.
Recent poor weather, declining sugar prices, and declining textile
and apparel production, have slowed economic growth,
leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community.
Flag of MAURITIUS :
The flag of Mauritius was adopted upon independence, March 12, 1968. It consists of four horizontal stripes of equal width, colored (from top to bottom) red, blue, yellow, and green :
- Red : for the blood shed in the struggle for independence
- Blue : the Indian Ocean, in the middle of which Mauritius is situated
- Yellow : the new light of independence shining over the island and the golden sunshine
- Green : the lush vegetation of the island.
The flag was recorded at the College of Arms in London on 9 January 1968.
National Anthem of MAURITIUS :
Words by : Jean Georges Prosper
Music by : Philippe Gentil
Adopted : 1968
The music for "Motherland" was composed by Philippe Gentil, a member of the Mauritius Police Force's band. However, upon publication in a national newspaper, the band master, Philippe Oh San was erroneously credited as being the composer.
The lyrics were written by Jean Georges Prosper.
The anthem is short and briefly describes the lucious landscape of Mauritius. It also mentions the qualities of its people : peace, justice, and liberty.
English lyrics :
Glory to thee, Motherland,
O motherland of mine.
Sweet is thy beauty,
Sweet is thy fragrance,
Around thee we gather
As one people,
As one nation,
In peace, justice and liberty.
Beloved country, may God bless thee
For ever and ever.
Land : 2 030 sq km
Elevation extremes :
Small coastal plain rising to discontinuous mountains encircling central plateau.
1 284 264 (2010 estimation)
Demonym : Mauritian
Ethnic groups :
Country name :
ISO country code :
Government type :
Port Louis (population of city : 147 688 -2003- Largest city in Mauritius)
Other major cities :
Administrative divisions :
The island of Mauritius itself is divided into nine districts :
- Black River (Capital : Bambous)
- Flacq (Capital : Centre de Flacq)
- Grand Port (Capital : Mahébourg)
- Moka (Capital : Quartier Militaire)
- Pamplemousses (Capital : Triolet)
- Plaines Wilhems (Capital : Beau Bassin and Rose Hill, Phoenix)
- Port Louis (Capital of Mauritius)
- Rivière du Rempart (Capital : Mapou)
- Savanne (Capital : Souillac)
- Rodrigues, an island 560 kilometres (350 mi) north-east of Mauritius, which attained limited autonomy in October 2002. It had the status of the 10th administrative district of Mauritius before autonomy was attained.
- Agalega, two small islands about 933 kilometres north of Mauritius, famous for supplying chickens.
- Cargados Carajos, also known as the Saint Brandon islands, about 402 kilometres north of Mauritius.
12 March 1968 (from the UK).
National holiday :
Independence Day, 12 March.
12 March 1968 ; amended 12 March 1992.
Executive branch :
Legislative branch :
Judicial branch :
Currency Mauritian rupee (
Agriculture products :
Sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses, cattle, goats, fish.
Exports partners :
Imports partners :