Back in October I wrote about the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, which was then fresh off its number one ranking in the latest Mo Ibrahim index, which ranks African countries according to their quality of governance.

2009, however, will provide less to cheer about. Per Reuters:

“Mauritians are bracing for a bruising 2009. Textile firms report orders falling by up to 15%, while the tourism sector, which grew by less than half a forecast 8.1% in 2008, is expected to remain flat this year.”

Annual growth had grown from 2.3% in 2005 to over 5% following a plethora of reforms in 2006 that modernized both the sugar and textile sectors and boosted investment in tourism, telecommunications and financial services. However, GDP is expected to grow by around 4.0% at the most in 2009, lower than the 5.2% growth in 2008. And some analysts think even that estimate is optimistic. They caution that the coming year “will compound the difficulties of last year, which saw record oil prices, a strong local currency and the global financial meltdown expose Mauritian exporters to a painful triple shock.”