Press Release 

Launching of the  Mauritian PKI on 6th December 2010 at Swami Vivekananda International Convention Center, Pailles

Under  section 18(1)(z) of the Information  and Communication Technologies Act 2001, as amended, the ICT Authority is the  Controller of Certification Authorities (CCA) for Mauritius. The CCA, as the “Root”  Authority of the Mauritian Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), certifies the  technologies, infrastructure and practices of all the Certification Authorities  (CAs) duly licensed, recognised, or approved to issue Digital Certificates. The  purpose of Digital Certificates is to ensure, through the use of Digital and  Electronic Signatures, confidentiality, authenticity, integrity and  non-repudiation for online transactions.

A PKI is a  combination of technologies, processes, policies, practices and legal  provisions that enable the use of electronic signatures; such a signature is a  feature required in an open environment, such as the Internet, where the parties  involved in a transaction do not know each other, and yet wish to ensure that  the transaction is a trusted one. PKI is a system that allows a reliable third  party to issue a Digital Certificate, which is the vehicle that guarantees the  required level of trust as it contains information about the person holding the  certificate.

The coming into  operation of the PKI in Mauritius  has been fast-tracked under the high-level Economic Cooperation Agenda between  the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius. Accordingly, the  Mauritian CCA had signed in February 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding with the  CCA of India. This MoU mainly rests upon the utilisation by the Mauritian  CCA of the technical Infrastructure known as the Root Certification Authority of  India which is used by the Indian CCA to digitally sign the public key  certificates of all licensed CAs in India. 

Pursuant to this  MoU, the Root Certification Authority of India will also be used to digitally sign  the public key certificates of all licensed CAs in Mauritius. This operation will be  undertaken by the Indian CCA on behalf of the Mauritian CCA.

The Electronic Transactions Act Regulations  2010 , which has come into force on 1 Dec 2010, puts in place a licensing scheme  for Certification Authorities (CAs) in Mauritius. In addition to laying  down the administrative framework for licensing by the Controller of CAs, the Regulations  also stipulate the criteria for a CA to be licensed in Mauritius, and  the strict continuing operational requirements after obtaining a licence. The  criteria that CAs will be evaluated against, include, their financial standing,  operational policies and procedures, and trustworthiness of its personnel.

PKI has emerged worldwide as the  trusted technology of choice for ensuring the trustworthiness of identity  credentials in three key areas: e-government, national identity programs, and e-passport  programs. 

By adopting this technology in Mauritius, we are making a huge step towards  making of Mauritius  an I-Mauritius in line with the goal set by Government for 2010 – 2015.