Mauritius, an Indian Ocean archipelago, is seen as a model of stability and economic prosperity in the region.
Once dependent on sugar exports, the island has built up a strong outsourcing and financial services sector, and an important tourism industry and now boasts one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes.
Mauritius claims sovereignty over the Chagos islands, arguing that the archipelago was illegally detached from Mauritius before its independence.
The Chagos islands lie around 1,000 km to the north-east and are home to the US military base on Diego Garcia. Several hundred islanders were expelled to make way for the base.
- The Republic of Mauritius
- Capital: Port Louis
- Population 1.3 million
- Area 2,040 sq km (788 sq miles)
- Major languages English (official), Creole, French, Indian languages
- Major religions Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
- Life expectancy 70 years (men), 77 years (women)
- Currency Mauritian rupee