Because of its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius spent centuries under the control of various European powers before winning its independence from Great Britain in 1968. The country is composed of the islands of Mauritius, Cargados Carajos, Rodriques, and Agalega. Mauritius is often described as an island paradise, and author Mark Twain compared it to heaven.

Mauritius’s closest neighbor is Madagascar, which lies to the east. Classified as an upper- middle-income nation, Mauritius is a multiparty democracy and one of the most stable countries in Africa. Mauritius covers 2,030 square miles (about 5,258 square kilometers) of land and about 3.9 square miles (10 square kilometers) of water. Cyclones are a constant hazard between November and April.

Steady income growth in the early 21st century led ...

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