Roukaya Kasenally is a democracy scholar and associate professor at the University of Mauritius. She is the current chair of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), a board member of West African Democracy Radio (WADR), and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP).
The Mauritius Safe City Project (MSCP), financed by a loan from China, has from the outset been shrouded in opacity. The MSCP resembles other projects across Africa that are strongly linked to surveillance and control. Is China’s Big Brother model being rolled out in an island nation known to be a beacon of democracy? Why was the project pursued? Whom does it serve? Will it roll back freedom?