Mauritius: A look at three individuals changing the country for the better

By Kervin Victor
Posted on Thursday, 7 July 2022 12:05

Mauritius Minister of Finance Renganaden Padayachy arrives for an EU Africa summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (John Thys, Pool Photo via AP)

Highly educated Mauritius has put its foot to the metal to deal with the current challenges. Here are three leading lights in the service of the island state.

Renganaden Padayachy

Helping Mauritius bounce back

Finance minister Renganaden Padayachy is a member of Mauritius’s economic policymaking elite. He worked at the central bank, the Financial Services Commission and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry before his current appointment in November 2019.

Under his leadership, public debt and the fiscal deficit have risen, while the value of the local currency dropped, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also oversaw an increase in the welfare budget to R100bn ($2.3bn) following the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

He told the media in April: “You should not compare us to other countries. We have the capacity to respond to this crisis and we have adopted the strategies we need to bounce back better.

Shirin Gunny

Promoting Mauritian manufacturing

With the crisis in Ukraine highlighting Mauritius’s dependence on imports, local production is in the spotlight. Shirin Gunny, an artist and strategic planner, is the managing director of Made in Moris, a label that promotes locally made products.

She was appointed by the Association of Mauritian Manufacturers to launch the label in 2012. Gunny, who previously worked in Canada and China, is responsible for ensuring the strategic and operational development of Made in Moris locally and beyond Mauritian borders. She will be making the most of the opportunities offered by the free trade agreements signed by Mauritius with India, China and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Rehana Mungly-Gulbul

Speeding up justice

In November 2021, Rehana Mungly-Gulbul became the first woman to hold the position of president of the judiciary. She is the country’s twelfth chief justice and she is focused on reforms.

She wants to reduce the time it takes judges to make their rulings. This is particularly important as electoral petitions have been ongoing for more than two years.

She has support from across political divides, with oppositionist Paul Bérenger and Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth saying her appointment was “historic”. She knows the ins and outs of the legal system, having worked in private practice and for the crown counsel prosecution services.

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