Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean. The British took control during the Napoleonic Wars and Mauritius became independent from the UK in 1968.
The main languages spoken in Mauritius are Mauritian Creole, French and English. English is the only official language but the lingua franca is Mauritian Creole and the newspapers and television programmes are usually in French. Mauritius does not have a standing army. All military, police, and security functions are carried out by 10,000 active-duty personnel. The local climate is tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; there is a warm, dry winter from May to November and a hot, wet, and humid summer from November to May. Anti-cyclones affect the country during May to September. Cyclones affect the country during November–April. The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Seasonal cyclones are destructive to the flora and fauna, however they recover quickly. The island of Mauritius itself is divided into nine districts. Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors. The economy is mainly dependent on sugarcane plantations, tourism, textiles, and services, but other sectors such as seafood processing, information technology and medical tourism are rapidly developing as well. In order to provide locals with access to imports at lower prices and attract more tourists going to Singapore and Dubai, Mauritius is gearing towards becoming a duty-free island within the next four years. Mauritius is one country that has achieved successful economic and human development with a dual-track approach to economic liberalisation, whereby poorer sections of society have participated in its economic growth. The only available means of inland public transport, so far, are via taxi cabs and buses.The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language and its one million citizens speak mostly Mauritian Creole, a French-based creole, English and French. It is only in the Parliament that the official language is English but any member of the National Assembly can still address the chair in French.