About Agalega
The atoll of Agalega is situated at around 1 000 km north of Mauritius and consists of two islands: the North Island and the South Island covering a total area of 2 600 hectares.
The atoll, which was once known as La Perle des Iles à Huile has a population of 359. The most important activity over a long period of time was to supply Mauritius with coconut oil and copra.

Up to 1975, Agalega was managed by the private sector. After that, the atoll returned under Government administration and was administered by the Agalega Corporation under the Agalega Corporation Act. In 1982, the Agalega Corporation Act was repealed and replaced by the Outer Islands Development Corporation Act to include all outer islands within the State of Mauritius other than Rodrigues.

Agalega faces its own specific problems caused by such factors as smallness, remoteness, geographical location, frail ecosystems, lack of regular transport and communication, inadequate natural resources, limited fresh water supplies and heavy dependence on imports from Mauritius. Despite all these challenges, much progress has been made over the years especially in the housing sector. The housing project initiated in 1996 gave way to nice concrete dwellings. The house is rent-free, however a sum of Rs 150 is charged for electricity.

The twin islands of Agalega may have been known to the Malays and to the Arabs. They may also have been perceived by the Portuguese, those indefatigable sailors who scoured the Indian Ocean in the XVIth century. It may equally be true that, when in 1512 Don Pedro de Masceranhas visited the already known Archipelago of Mauritius and Bourbon and called them by the collective name of the Mascarenes, he also gave the names of Agalega and Ste. Marie (off the East coast of Madagascar) in honour of two of his ships, "Le Galega" and "Santa Maria".

A school of thought now accepts that the islands were discovered and baptised in 1501 by Juan de Nova, who was a Galician in the employ of the Portuguese and who was nicknamed ‘Jean Gallego’ by his sailors.

An extract from Les Nouvelles Annales de Voyage (Tome 38, page 88) reads : “L’Ile Galega , avec l’article A’Galega (La Galicienne), porte ce nom parce qu’elle fut decouverte en 1501 par Juan de Nova, galicien, au service du Portugal, qui commandait une flotte destinee pour les Indes. En revenant en Europe, ce meme navigateur decouvrit les iles de l’Ascension et Sainte Helene’. Sir Robert Scott, in his "Lumuria", however argues that Agalega was discovered in 1509 and was named Baixas da Gale or Galeass Bank because when Diego Lopos de Seqaiera came alongside the islands he jocularly told his pilots that a "galeass" had foundered there joining itself to the banks and thus making them so long". Subsequent maps published showed Agalega as Gale, Galera, Galega and finally Agalega”

There are two nurseries and two pre-primary schools in Agalega. As regard primary schools, each island has one. After completing their primary education, some students come to Mauritius for secondary education and they live with foster parents, relatives as well as in foyers. A Lower Secondary School run by Medco was set up in January 2008 and runs classes from Grades 7 to 11(regular) and extended classes 7 to 9.

At the beginning of the academic year, the Agalega Corporation provides students who are pursuing secondary schooling in Mauritius (Science side) and vocational training at the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development with uniforms, shoes, bags and books. In addition, a monthly stipend of Rs 2000 is allocated to them to cater for their meals during school days throughout their stay in Mauritius.
Since December 2005, electricity is provided to the three villages of Agalega on a 24-hour basis. The Outer Islands Development Corporation is considering reactivating the solar system which exists on the island. A cold-room for storage of goods is also operational since May 2017. As from February 2020, another cold-room has been installed in the South Island.
Telephone facilities were introduced only in the North Island and at present, nine telephone lines are available. Arrangements were made to extend the service to the South Island. As from September 2018 internet facilities provided by Emtel Ltd is available in both islands.
Source: Statistics Mauritius

External Communications
The islands are serviced four times yearly by M/v Mauritius Trochetia for the transportation of goods and other materials. The 'Dornier' plane of the National Coast Guard lands at Agalega only for medical evacuation. A new jetty and airstrip are also being constructed.

Economic Activities
The islands were monetised in July 2002. As regards banking services, there is a MauBank branch.

The only resource available on the islands is coconut. With its 2 600 hectares of land, Agalega has around 70 000 standing coconut trees distributed over an area of 500 hectares or around 20% of the total surface area.

There are three Community Centres equipped with parabolic antenna which enable the inhabitants to receive MBC TV1, TV2 and TV3 as well as radio programmes.

Explore Agalega