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Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Partly due to the geographical proximity of “twin sister” Reunion, historical, cultural, and human relations are long-standing and rich. Maurice is probably the country most French-friendly and French-speaking in the area: French language and culture is “natural” – advancing through the local Creole – and France’s image is excellent.

On May 11th, 2010, Franco-Mauritian Nobel Laureate, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio inaugurated the new French Institute of Mauritius (IFM), marking the end of the construction entrusted to “Colas” in December 2008, on a plot in Rose Hill provided by Mauritians, to replace the old Charles Baudelaire Cultural Center, whose dilapidation presented an outdated image of French culture. This ambitious achievement of a true partnership is expected to reinforce French influence and culture in Mauritius, especially with regards to students, whose number in France has declined steadily (1,556 in 2009, compared to 1,814 in 2006), moving us down from 1st to 3rd largest host country (behind the UK and Australia).

The French Institute of Mauritius is a brilliant showcase for contemporary France. Its results are largely positive: 2604 registered readers (+67% compared to May 2010), most did not go to the former site of the Charles Baudelaire FCC; a young audience: 65% of readers are under the age of 25; 126,508 loans compared to 83,665 in 2009 (+51%); The coexistence with the Alliance Française (seen more as a language school) does not come naturally and the two institutions should further explore their complementarity.

Updated on 19.06.12

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