Island Lecture Series May Lecture: Economic Success of Mauritius

Tue, May 16, 2017 7:00pm to 9:00pm
SDU Main Building - Faculty Lounge

The final Island Studies Lecture of the year features Mauritius native and now Prince Edward Islander, Ms Ouma Cuniah, speaking about the economic success of her home island, Mauritius.

Nobel prize-winning economist James Meade famously predicted a dismal future for Mauritius when he wrote in 1961, “It is going to be a great achievement if (the country) can find productive employment for its population without a serious reduction in the existing standard of living… (The) outlook for peaceful development is weak.”

And yet, nearly 50 years post-independence, on the Global Peace Index Mauritius ranked No. 1 as the most peaceful country in Sub-Saharan Africa and 23rd globally. The country also ranked first in Africa on the Word Economic Freedom Index 2016 and is in the fifth position internationally – tying with Canada, Georgia, Ireland, and UAE.

Mauritius, an island of 1,852 km², is located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The island was successively colonized by the Dutch, the French, and the British. It became independent in 1968. With a population of nearly 1.3 million, the country derives its identity from a strong fabric of multiculturalism, multilingualism, and African, Asian, and European ethnicities. 

Ouma Cuniah will talk about the drivers behind the economic development of the country and draw comparisons and parallels with other islands sharing similar history, and with Prince Edward Island.

Ouma has been working at UPEI since July 2015. She holds a master’s degree in Commerce, and as a Chartered Certified Accountant has worked closely with the corporate sector in Mauritius and other neighbouring islands for nearly two decades.

Admission to the lecture is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Watch for another lecture about islands – near and far – starting in the fall. For more information, or if you'd like to suggest a topic for a lecture, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

Laurie Brinklow
(902) 894-2881
Contact UPEI