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Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, French, is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of Madagascar.

In addition to the island of Mauritius, the republic includes the islands of St. Brandon, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands.

Sugar cane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of export earnings.

The official language of Mauritius is English. All government administrative documents are therefore drawn up in English. Together with English, French is also used in instruction in the educational system.

The largest religions present in the republic are Hinduism (48%), Roman Catholicism (23.6%), Islam (16.6%), and other Christian denominations (8.6%); followers of other faiths totaled 2.5%.

Agricultural products include: sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses; cattle, goats and fish.

Major trading partners: UK, UAE, France, U.S., Madagascar, South Africa, China, India.

The flag of Mauritius consists of red, blue, yellow and green stripes which stand for: Red: the struggle for independence, Blue: the Indian Ocean, in the middle of which Mauritius is situated, Yellow: the new light of independence shining over the island, Green: the lush vegetation of the island.

Did you know Mauritius was the only known habitat of the extinct Dodo bird?

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