Forgotten World (164): Mauritius

Mauritius is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches in the Indian Ocean which has a reputation for stability and racial harmony among its mixed population of one and a quarter million Asians, Europeans and Africans. Various cultures and traditions flourish in peace, although Mauritian Creoles, descendants of African slaves who make up a third of the population, live in poverty and complain of discrimination.
The island has maintained one of the developing world’s most successful democracies and has enjoyed years of constitutional order. It has preserved its image as one of Africa’s few social and economic success stories, being a sugar and clothing exporter and a centre for upmarket tourism, but Mauritian exports have been hit by strong competition from low-cost textile producers and the loss of sugar subsidies from Europe.


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