Message d’Ameenah Gurib Fakim à la Nation Mauricienne
My fellow Mauritians,
Today, effective noon, I’m resigning as president of Mauritius. I do so with a heavy heart but have kept the interest of the nation first and foremost in my mind.
As you’re all aware, in recent weeks our nation has been marked by political turmoil. There were many unsubstantiated allegations made against me. The fact remains that I inadvertently use a credit card provided by civil society collaborator to make personal purchases. When I discovered the error, I promptly repay the entire balance using personal funds. This was in early 2017 when I also dissociated myself from an honor role that I held to promote science technology in Africa.
I’m confident that an impartial inquiry will review the truth and ultimately exonerate me, but all this is in the past. I call on all Mauritians to look forward and embrace the future with hope and optimism. Our young nation march towards greater progress and improvement in their everyday lives, all Mauritians must not be impeded. It’s been my life privilege to serve you as president.
As your first female president, I was honored to have bipartisan support for my candidacy. This is an important part of my legacy, and it is my sincere hope that Mauritius will continue to seek greater gender balance in all spheres of political representation and civic participation.
I came to the State House, first and foremost, as a scientist entrepreneur and lifelong advocate for harnessing Science and Technology for national development and improving the human condition especially for our youth. Recent events have neither diminished nor dented my enthusiasm for this area of endeavor I intend to return to that familiar territory with renewed zeal and will reapply myself to the cause of working for the improvements of all Mauritians.
As your president, I used my pulpit to promote Mauritius on the global stage benefiting from my international contacts developed over the years.
Early in my tenure, I was honoured to launch the presidential lecture series where our iconic
Statehouse proudly hosted some of the world’s leading thinkers: artists, authors, artificial intelligence experts, conservationists, development experts, economists, intellectuals and Nobel laureates representing public and private sectors academia and civil society. I have always believed that such cross-fertilization of ideas is key to strengthening our economy and keeping our democracy vibrant.
Climate change remains an urgent and growing threat to all small island developing States. Mauritius is no exception. In 2015, I was pleased to represent our country in Paris where the first global climate treaty was born, and I witnessed its ratification at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2016.
Two issues, the availability of water and jobs, will define well-being in the 21st century. I was deeply honored to serve as co-chair of a high-level panel on water convened by the United Nations and the World Bank in 2016. In 2017 I was privileged to serve as co-chair of the International Labour Organization Global Commission on the future work. I have also explained the Mauritius success story to diverse audiences Chatham House, Davos, TED, and leading universities in Africa, Asia Europe and the United States.
This was a labor of affection for young people and for the Mauritian diaspora. I am convinced that the world needs to know our country has been more than just a tourist destination: A knowledge intensive, fast modernizing economy that is at the cusp of evolutionary change towards was greater growth, more jobs for our youth and better education health and nutrition, together with environmental sustainability. Our nation must be known as a place where meritocracy is taking root and the splendid diversity of our people is treasured and nurtured. That’s the reason why I started interfaith and intercultural dialogue celebrating our diversity and promoting social cohesion; the bedrock of our development and progress.
As Mauritians, we have unique strengths evident in the entrepreneurial spirit of our people. In the eyes of the world we remain a beacon of peace and stability, and a bastion of harmony where people of diverse ethnicities live together in closing.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Mauritius, our esteemed judiciary, members of the cabinet, opposition for fruitful collaboration over the past three years. A special word of thanks to the able and committed administrative and security staff at State House. They, more than anybody else, were my dedicated partners in the cause of public service. Together, we worked our thorough innovation of the State House and its gardens and ground so that our common heritage can be enjoyed by all Mauritians both now and into the future. Finally, I would like to thank my family, my parents and friends for helping me live my dream of public service.
The future beckons again. It has been a pleasure serving you as president.