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Technology in Mauritius

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Technology in Mauritius

Technology serving the economy and consumers in Mauritius

Mauritius has recently made a significant leap in the technology field with the launch of the MOPRI price comparison app.

Since its launch on May 18, 2023, MOPRI has allowed users to create a product basket for systematic comparison each month. This new application, the result of a collaboration between Verde Frontier Solutions Ltd, the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Ministry of Technology, Communication, and Innovation, is designed to help consumers compare product prices at different local outlets. The app offers the ability to compare prices of over 450 of the most consumed products across more than 50 outlets on the island. In addition, it provides a list of state-controlled priced products, allowing users to report anomalies, such as the sale of a controlled product at a price higher than that stipulated by law. The primary goal of MOPRI is to inform consumers and assist them in making informed choices during their shopping, especially during this period of inflation. The app also ensures local outlets respect the price freeze on essential products. By allowing users to report abuses, MOPRI gives consumers a voice to fight against shady business practices.

Besides its benefits for consumers, MOPRI generates precise analytical reports that will be used to inform evidence-based policy-making. This use of data will help mitigate the effects of the economic crisis by enabling the government to make informed decisions to support the economy and consumers.

However, despite the benefits provided by the app, some gaps remain. Reaz Chuttoo, from the Confederation of Private and Public Sector Workers (CTSP), highlights the need for a Servicing Team to combat traders practicing abusive pricing. He raises questions about the guarantee that traders will reduce their prices when import prices decrease or withdraw promotions once they have expired. He also questions the app’s ability to put an end to cartels.

Despite these concerns, Claude Canabady, secretary of the Consumers’ Eye Association (CEA), welcomes the initiative and suggests involving more consumers and consumer associations. He also recommends displaying information about staple products weekly to help consumers make informed choices.

Thus, while improvements are needed to meet consumer expectations fully, MOPRI represents a significant step in the fight against inflation and the high cost of living in Mauritius.

Mias Sylvia

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