Upset in Seychelles presidential election as incumbent loses – The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) The Seychelles presidential election has seen an upset, with the electoral commission on Sunday declaring longtime opposition contender Wavel Ramkalawan the winner over incumbent Danny Faure. The ruling party has been knocked from power for the first time since 1977.

Opposition leader Ramkalawan, a 59-year-old priest who has largely devoted himself to politics, received 54% of the vote in the Indian Ocean island nation while Faure received 43%, the commission chair Danny Lucas said, calling the race hotly contested.

Mr. Faure and I are very good friends and an election does not mean the end of ones contribution to ones motherland, Ramkalawan, a six-time presidential candidate, said shortly after the announcement. He promised a consultative approach and no interference by the executive in the work of the countrys various institutions.

Faure accepted his loss and added I wish you all the best, the Seychelles News Agency reported. The outgoing president promised to continue living in the country and said he would be available to dispense advice.

The new president is expected to be sworn in Monday.

Ramkalawans party also won more than a two-thirds majority of National Assembly seats, the news agency reported.

The voting turnout was roughly 75% in the archipelago nation of just under 100,000 people whose tourism-heavy economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States and other nations quickly congratulated citizens of the Seychelles for the peaceful election, with the U.S. calling the vote orderly and free.

The U.S. congratulated Ramkalawan, saying that your historic election is evidence that Seychelles has become a truly democratic nation. The countrys history includes a stretch of one-party rule, a coup in 1977 and a coup attempt in 1981.

Faure, who has been outspoken on the dangers of climate change and the need to protect island nations like his own, assumed the presidency in 2016 after longtime President James Michel stepped down after the ruling United Seychelles party lost parliamentary elections to an opposition coalition.

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Upset in Seychelles presidential election as incumbent loses - The Associated Press

Seychelles is likely to maintain its record of free and fair elections in upcoming polls – The Conversation CA

The Seychelles takes to the polls this week for its presidential and legislative elections. The elections are running concurrently in order to save money. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the tourism-based economy since the Seychelles closed its borders in March and only began phased re-opening in June.

In accordance with recently developed Southern African Development Community Guidelines for observation of elections in the region under public health emergencies, pre-election consultations by observer groups were conducted virtually in August. The post-election analysis will also be virtual.

There are three candidates in the running for the top seat. Incumbent Danny Faure represents the United Seychelles Party, Wavel Ramkalawan is from the Seychelles Democratic Union, and Alain St Ange is from the One Seychelles Party.

The United Seychelles Party has been in power since 1977 in various incarnations. It maintained victory at the polls even after the electoral system was democratised in 1993.

However, for the first time since 1993, the opposition Seychelles Democratic Union, won a parliamentary majority in the 2016 elections and party leader Ramkalawan is set to contest his sixth presidential election this year.

Based on the last election, the candidates from the United Seychelles Party and Seychelles Democratic Union are evenly matched. President Faure has focused on the economy in his campaigns, especially the rebuilding of national reserves; reducing partisanship in politics; and representing people from all walks of life.

Ramkalawan is equally focused on the economy. He has also committed to boosting the local economy should he win the seat. St Ange has pledged to decriminalise marijuana and install a technocratic government.

Read more: How to hold elections safely and uphold democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Seychelles is relatively new to democracy. It held its first multiparty presidential and legislative elections in 1993. The country had been a one-party state since since 1979. The transition to a multiparty democracy was entrenched by the 1993 constitution.

Since then, it has built up a fairly good reputation for well-functioning, democratic governance. Barring some allegations of corruption in the electoral process, it has shown rapid improvement, thanks to a strengthened anti-corruption legislative framework.

As we observe in our paper on the quality of elections in Africas small island states, Seychelles is an electoral democracy. It has committed itself to holding free, fair, and regular elections in accordance with its constitution. Its elections are managed by an objective, credible and responsible electoral institution although it has been accused of inefficiency in the past.

The country is also a signatory to the African Unions 2002 Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa as well as the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The Seychelles has done fairly well in adhering to the principles of free and fair elections. Since 1993, it has conducted five multiparty presidential and legislative elections. Observers have consistently praised its elections for being generally credible, transparent, peaceful, free, and fair.

However, in the last elections (2015/2016), the Seychellois Electoral Commission faced criticism for being inconsistent in enforcing its mandate. There were allegations of attempted vote buying, lack of efficiency in the electoral system, and limited civic education on voter registration and other voting procedures.

Read more: Constitutional Court ruling heralds changes to South Africa's electoral system

There were also concerns about definitions of the terms votes cast, valid votes cast and spoiled ballot paper. The lack of clarity muddied the results of the presidential election.

The election was one of the most closely fought presidential elections in Seychelles history. Only 193 votes separated the two leading candidates following a second round runoff.

James Michel won 50.15% of the vote and opposition leader, Ramkalawan, 49.85 percent. The closeness of the result, irregularities noted above, and Ramkalawans allegations of vote buying prompted a review of the countrys electoral framework. Michel later resigned and Faure took over.

In reviewing the framework, the commission consulted political parties and civil society. This was based on the African Unions suggestion for more transparency in the system. It presented its reforms recommendations in 2017.

Based on those recommendations the National Assembly approved 17 amendments to the Election Act in August 2020. The aim was to ensure a fair and just electoral process. A 2018 amendment had already established a permanent chief electoral officer to oversee the Electoral Commissions secretariat and its operations.

As the Seychellois people go to the ballot, it is worth mentioning that historically, the youth vote has not been actively sought. This is despite campaign promises to include young people in matters of governance. The youth are considered to be the most important and dynamic segment of the population. They are becoming an increasingly influential demographic. Yet, they have shown relatively little interest in exercising their right to vote, and should be encouraged to do so.

Also, women are not as active in the countrys politics as they could be. Womens representation in the Seychellois parliament dropped from 43.75% in 2011 to 21% in 2019. This is below the 23% world average. Moreover, in the history of the Seychelles, only one woman Alexia Amesbury has contested a presidential election.

Amesbury is a well-known Seychellois lawyer, politician and human rights activist who has since been elected to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. The absence of women representation is a worrying trend because it means less participation across all levels of decision-making. This has dire consequences for attempts to achieve equality and sustainable development for everyone.

There needs to be more discussion on longstanding traditional beliefs about the role of women in leadership. Despite the Seychelles general appearance as a matrifocal society, when it comes to political leadership, women are often perceived as having been promoted through the benevolence of a male presidency.

Read more: Nigeria: why having fewer political parties isn't enough

Away from the limited representation of women and the youth, there is nothing to suggest that the coming elections will not be free and fair. What remains to be seen is how the virtual election observation will play out in upholding the credibility of the process.

Nevertheless, even with the above points of contention, the electoral management body appears to be playing its role fairly well. And the amendments to the electoral laws are an indication that the Seychellois government is intent on upholding the principles of electoral procedure and practice that it has committed to.

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Seychelles is likely to maintain its record of free and fair elections in upcoming polls - The Conversation CA

Seychelles – Wikipedia

Country in the Indian Ocean

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles (; French:[sl][7][8][9] or [sel][10]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: La Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelagic island country in the Indian Ocean at the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. The country consists of 115 islands. Its capital and largest city, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and the French overseas regions of Mayotte and Runion to the south; as well as Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago (administered by the United Kingdom as the British Indian Ocean Territory) to the east. With a population of roughly 94,367, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.[11]

Seychelles was uninhabited prior to being encountered by Europeans in the 16th century. It faced competing French and British interests until coming under full British control in the late 19th century. Since proclaiming independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, characterized by rapidly rising service, public sector, and tourism activities. From 1976 until 2015, nominal GDP grew nearly sevenfold, and purchasing power parity increased nearly sixteenfold. Since the late 2010s, the government has taken steps to encourage foreign investment.

Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP of any African nation. It is the first African country with an HDI score exceeding 0.800, and therefore the only country in the continent with a very high Human Development Index. It is one of only two countries in Africa classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank, the other being Mauritius. Despite its relative prosperity, poverty remains widespread as the country has one of the highest levels of economic inequality in the world and markedly unequal wealth distribution, with the upper and ruling class commanding a vast proportion of the country's wealth.[12]

Seychellois culture and society is an eclectic mix of French, British, and African influences, with more recent infusions of Chinese and Indian elements. The country is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[13] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place on 15 March 1503, recorded by Thom Lopes aboard "Rui Mendes de Brito, part of the 4th Portuguese India Armada commanded by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama. Da Gama's ships passed close to an elevated island, probably Silhouette Island and the following day Desroches Island. The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the "Ascension" under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were said to be occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance.[14]

The British frigate "Orpheus" commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mah on 16 May 1794, during the War of the First Coalition. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, the French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 and it became a republic at the same time. It has been a member of Commonwealth.[15] In the 1970s Seychelles was "the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set".[16] In 1977, a coup d'tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[17] Ren discouraged overdependence on tourism and declared that he wanted "to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois".[16]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d'tat attempt.[16] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[16] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[18] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air piracy.[19]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[20]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[21][22]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[23]

Seychelles' previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d'tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[24][25][26] Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was reelected in 2006 and again in 2011.[24][25][26] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel's term.[27]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People's Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) now called United Seychelles (US), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[28]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union (AU), the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth. From 1979 to 1981, the United States was involved in the failed 1981 coup attempt.[29] Under the Obama administration, the US began running drone operations out of Seychelles.[30] In the Spring of 2013, members of the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa mentored troops in Seychelles, along with a variety of other African nations.[30]

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Somali Sea segment of the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The Constitution of Seychelles lists 155 named islands and a further 7 reclaimed islands have been created subsequent to the publication of the Constitution. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves. Seychelles largest island Mahe is located at a distance of 835mi (1,344km), from Mogadishu, Somalia's capital over the Somali Sea.[31]

A group of 44 islands (42 granitic and 2 coralline) occupy the shallow waters of the Seychelles Bank and are collectively referred to as the inner islands. They have a total area of 244km2, accounting for 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 42 granitic islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride Island, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin Island, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, le aux Vaches Marines, L'Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L'Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L'Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics on the edge of the Seychelles Bank: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D'Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph, le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

In addition to these 155 islands as per the Constitution of Seychelles there are 7 reclaimed islands: Ile Perseverance, Ile Aurore, Romainville, Eden Island, Eve, Ile du Port and Ile Soleil.

South Island, African Banks has been eroded by the sea. At St Joseph Atoll, Banc de Sable and Pelican Island have also eroded, while Grand Carcassaye and Petit Carcassaye have merged to form one island. There are also several unnamed islands at Aldabra, St Joseph Atoll and Cosmoledo. Pti Astove, though named, failed to make it into the Constitution for unknown reasons.

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[32] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[33]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[33]

Left: Seychelles paradise-flycatcher; right: bird flocks on Bird Island Seychelles

Seychelles is among the world's leading countries to protect lands for threatened species, allocating 42% of its territory for conservation.[36] Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because the shape of its "double" coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world's heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright's gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[37]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world's largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[38]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations,[citation needed] Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[39] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government's Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation's climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[40] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[41]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan ("big whites") of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[42]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois descend from people who immigrated, of which the largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese origin. The median age of the Seychellois is 32 years.[43]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is a French-based creole language. Seychellois Creole is the most widely spoken native language and de facto the national language of the country. Nowadays, Seychellois Creole is often laced with English words and phrases.[44] About 91% of the population are native speakers of Seychelles Creole, 5.1% of English and 0.7% of French.[44] Most business and official meetings are conducted in English and nearly all official websites are in English. National Assembly business is conducted in Creole, but laws are passed and published in English.

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).[45]

Hinduism is the second largest religion, with more than 2.4% of the population.[43] The Hindu following in Seychelles has seen an increase in the community with the organization of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam and the consecration of the Navasakti Vinayagar Temple.A reported 6% of the population of Seychelles are ethnic Indians, but only 2.4% are Hindus.[46]

Islam is followed by another 1.6% of the population. Other faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population, while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[43]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[47][48]The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah used by the Air Force Satellite Control Network was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[49]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[50]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[51]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others). In March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption Island to be developed by India.[52]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

For such a small country, Seychelles has a vibrant art scene that encompasses painters, sculptors, writers and poets, artisans of many types, musicians and dancers.

The Seychelles has a diverse and upcoming group of artists who draw inspiration from the Islands around them.

A National Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1994 on the occasion of the official opening of the National Cultural Centre which housed the National Library and the National Archives with other offices of the Ministry of Culture.

The Minister of Culture then said that an exhibition which featured the works of artists, painters and sculptors was a testimony to the development of art in Seychelles as a creative form of expression and gave a view of the state of contemporary art in Seychelles.

Contemporary Seychelles artists trained in universities the world over since the independence of the country in 1976, particularly, have been free to express themselves in a variety of styles.

Painters have traditionally taken inspiration from the richness of Seychelles natural beauty to produce a wide range of works using mediums ranging from water-colours to oils, acrylics, collages, metals, aluminium, wood, fabrics, gouache, varnishes, recycled materials, pastels, charcoal, embossing, etching, and giclee prints. Local sculptors produce fine works in wood, stone, bronze and cartonnage.

Recently published hardback books provide unique overviews of both contemporary art in Seychelles as well as exploring aspects of the history and development of visual art.

Music and dance have always played a prominent role in Seychelles culture and in all types of local festivities. Rooted in African, Malagasy and European cultures, music is played to the accompaniment of drums such as the Tambour and Tam-Tam and simple string instruments. The violin and guitar are relatively recent foreign imports which play a prominent role in today's music.

The lively Sega dance with its elegant hip-swaying and shuffling of the feet is still popular as is the traditional Moutya, a mysterious, dance dating back to the days of slavery when it was often used as an outlet for strong emotions and as a way of expressing discontent.

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[53][54] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[53] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine.[54][55]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[56] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[56]

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed last decade.[59] The country's national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent's largest countries such as Egypt.

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[60][61] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[60] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[61] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[60]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys' and girls' secondary schools with religious brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect, requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the independent school. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations, and offers qualifications from the University of London.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People's Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: an Infantry Unit and Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has played and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over two SDB Mk5 patrol vessels built by GRSE, the INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli, to the Seychelles Coast Guard, which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[62] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of strategic assets by India.[63] In 2018, Seychelles signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[64][65]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States' rate by 15%.[66] However, the country's actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[67]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy primarily committed by Somali pirates.[68] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $7million $12million a year to the international community: "The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security." These are factors affecting local fishing one of the country's main national resources which had a 46% loss in 20082009.[68] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[68]




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Seychelles - Wikipedia

Seychelles Travel Advisory Updates

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic that brought tourism and travel to a standstill, Seychelles is focused on resuming operations within the new normal context.

Seychelles has so far, recorded a very low number of cases and there has been no community transmission, deaths nor any infection amongst health care workers. With travellers' wellbeing and that of the local population at heart, Seychelles has put in place protocols to ensure safe travel and stay for its visitors. While visitors enjoy their stay, it is essential that they remain conscious of these safety measures to keep Seychelles safe.

As of 1st August 2020, Seychelles International Airport is open for scheduled commercial flights and only passengers fromPermitted Countrieswill be allowed. Permitted countries have been divided into 2 categories.

Permitted countries considered low and medium risk have been listed as Category 1.

In an effort to provide more confidence to tourism partners in key source market countries, the authorities in Seychelles have decided to provide Special Status to a group of 7 countries. These are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the United Arab Emirates. Under normal circumstances whenever the number of cases go beyond a particular threshold, visitors from these countries would not have been allowed to travel to the islands. As of 1st October 2020, whenever this happens to any of these 7 countries, they will move from permitted countries Category 1 to permitted countries Category 2. This will allow visitors from these countries to travel to the islands but with a separate set of measures which have been outlined in this advisory.

Consideration for entry in Seychelles may also be given to visitors who are not on the permitted list of countries but they must be arriving by private jets. However, they will be limited to staying at certified island resorts only. All pre-travel applications for authorisation of entry in the country by visitors from countries not on the permitted list and are arriving by private jets must be submitted to the Public Health Authority on the following email address: pha@health.gov.sc for approval.

Visitors are requested to adhere to all stated procedures in this advisory and ensure that all requirements are met prior to arrival, failing which, may result in restriction of entry.

A separate advisory for returning Seychellois residents and GOP holders is available on the website of the Department of Health at http://www.health.gov.sc/

The content of this advisory may be revised periodically based on the guidance of the Public Health Authority.

If you have any of these symptoms

Do not go to the hospital or doctor

Isolate yourself at home and

Last Updated: 19Oct 2020

Frequently wash andsanitise your hands

Clean surfaces andobjects regularly

Cover your face with a tissue and dispose immediately

Avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms

Avoid busy or crowded places

Last updated: 19Oct 2020

As of August 1st, 2020 the Seychelles International Airport will be welcoming commercial flights on conditions set by the Public Health Authority.

For more information, please visit the websites belowwww.scaa.scwww.seychellesairports.sc


Visitors must submit their negative PCR test results, flight and accommodation details before departure. Health travel authorization is required. Visitors must submit their application for approval through the designated platform at this link: -https://seychelles.govtas.com/. This can only be done after they have received their PCR test results.

Visitors must comply with all airline protocols throughout their journey.

Visitors transiting through countries not on the permitted list of countries in category 1 will be allowed entry into Seychelles only if they do not exit the airport during transit.

Visitors from countries who are not on the permitted list of countries who have stayed for at least 14 days or more in a country from the category 1 list of permitted countries and have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure will also be authorised entry in Seychelles. However, they must provide proof of their stay in the Category 1 permitted country.

Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. Refer to the list of certified accommodation category 1. The list of certified liveaboards is available on our websitewww.tourism.gov.scCOVID 19 folder.

Disembarkation Procedures

Airport Arrival

The authorities at Seychelles International Airport have established measures for safe movement at the airport as follows:-

Disembarkation should be done in an orderly manner based on inflight seating arrangements.

Face masks should be kept on until exit from the terminal.

A distance of at least one metre should be maintained between all persons at all times.

Hand sanitisers are available throughout the terminal.

When collecting luggage, visitors must ensure that a distance of at least one metre from other persons is maintained. The area around the conveyor belt has been demarcated to guide visitors.

Visitors may make use of trolleys that have been disinfected and located at clearly demarcated areas.

All visitors will undergo temperature checks and health screening.

Any visitor who disembarks with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and be subjected to further assessment.

Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.


Airport Transfers

Transfer of visitors from the airport to the place of accommodation will be done by authorized transport and visitors must at all times follow instructions provided by the operators.

Visitors will not be authorised to use public buses

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.

Visitors with connecting domestic flights to other islands should remain on the airport premises until the departure of their flight. In the case where the connecting flight is on the following day, accommodation must be booked for the overnight stay in an authorized establishment.

Stay at Accommodation Establishments or Liveaboards

Visitors may only stay in establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. Upon arrival in Seychelles, visitors must stay in not more than two accommodations/liveaboards for the first 7 days.

Visitors wishing to take part in recreational activities such as tours, excursions, sightseeing etc. are required to use licensed tourism service providers that have been certified by the Public Health Authority.

Visitors are required to wear face masks in public areas.

Symptomatic Cases

Visitors who develop symptoms of a possible respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) will be referred to the health services for prompt attention. In the event that a visitor is found to be infected with COVID-19, the Public Health Authority requires that the person is isolated from the population and other visitors until recovery from the infection. Seychelles has extensive and modern health care services and visitors can expect quality care in the event of illness.

Emergency Procedures

For any further enquiries please email info@tourism.gov.sc

Travel Advisory Updates

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive the latest Seychelles Travel Advisory updates in your mailbox.

Booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in Seychelles must be presented at the Immigration counter for verification. Visitors without such a booking will be directed to another establishment that is certified.

Visitors are not permitted to stay at private residences.

To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, all persons at tourism establishments are monitored daily for signs of illness by the Health and Safety Officer or designated person.

All tourism establishments have set up measures to increase vigilance, enhance hygiene and social and physical distancing. Visitors are required to adhere to all guidelines and should keep interaction with other visitors not in their travel group to a minimum.

PCR Testing in Seychelles for Departing Visitors

PCR testing is not required to depart Seychelles. However, your airline or final destination may require it. PCR test facilities are available on the 3 main islands namely Mahe, Praslin and La Digue to visitors prior to departure. Visitors requiring the test should contact the Public Health Authority well in advance on the email address covid19test@health.gov.sc or telephone +248 4388410 to make the necessary arrangements. The PCR test currently costs SCR2, 500.00. Children below the age of 12 years and persons of 65 years and above are exempted from the fee. All PCR tests administered in Seychelles are accredited by the Ministry of Health.

List Of Countries From Which Visitors Are Permitted as of 19thOctober 2020

Health Travel Authorization FAQs

The Health Travel Authorisation (HTA), an app available on both Android and iOS devices, will created to facilitate the submission of documents required to enter the country.

Travellers to Seychelles will be required to possess an approved Health Travel Authorisation, which will function in tandem with the submission of the PCR test results for visitors before travel.

The application is going live on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, will be fully effective as of Friday, September 18, 2020.

*Most recent changes: Australia, Liechtenstein and Republic of Korea added.

*Slovakia, Slovenia and United Arab Emiratesremoved.

Entry by sea

Visitors may apply for entry by sea, the application form is available on the Department of Health website and should be submitted topha@health.gov.sc

Approval is conditional on risks at ports visited in the past 30 days prior to application, and the vessel spending at least 21 days at sea from the last port of call before entry into Seychelles

Disembarkation of any crew or passenger will be authorized after review of daily temperature and health checks recorded over the last 14 days prior to arrival. The records should be submitted to Port Health office (newport@health.gov.sc) or (garry.course@health.gov.sc)

Upon check in, all travellers coming to Seychelles must show their approved test results to their respective airline companies for verification.

Pre - Travel Procedures

Visitors, including infants and children, must have a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate from an accredited laboratory. The test must be taken maximum of 72 hours before departure.

Visitors must ensure that they have valid travel insurance with full medical coverage, including Covid19 related medical care, for the duration of their stay in Seychelles.

Some visitors may be selected, on the basis of the health checks and review of documents, for additional testing on entry.

Visitors must use authorised and certified transportation. All visitors must observe rules for physical distancing, avoiding close physical contact such as handshakes, and wear a facemask throughout the journey to the establishments.


A PCR test for COVID-19 must be done not more than 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

After arrival into Seychelles, the visitor must stay in a designated establishment and may not leave the premises for 5 days.

A repeat PCR test will be performed on the 5th day. If the test result is negative, the visitors will be free to continue with their planned holiday and follow terms and conditions outlined as per the Category 1 permitted countries.

If the test result is positive, they will be required to stay in a designated hotel until cleared by the Public Health Authority.

Additional health safety measures that will permit visitors from the category 2 permitted countries to travel and stay in Seychelles are described in the sections below. In summary these measures are:

Pre - Travel Procedures

Visitors must adhere to strict public health measures (hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, wearing of facemasks during travel and transit).

Visitors must have correct documents (Public Health Authority permits, printed PCR test results) for verification at ports of entry and transit.

During Travel

A negative PCR test certificate from an accredited or Government certified laboratory within 48 hours prior to departure to Seychelles must be submitted.

All visitors from the Category 2 Permitted Countries must ensure that their accommodation is authorised to receive visitors. Refer to List of Authorised Accommodation Category-2.

Visitors must have a valid travel insurance with full medical coverage, including COVID-19 related medical care, for the duration of their entire stay in Seychelles.

Health Travel Authorization is also required. Visitors must submit their application for approval through the designated platform at this link https://seychelles.govtas.com/. This can only be done after they have received their PCR test results.

Ports of Transit and Entry

Disembarkation Procedures

Airport Arrival

Visitors will go through the health desk manned by public health officials, for temperature screening, checks on symptoms, and review of test certificates and travel documents, if necessary.

Some visitors may be selected, on the basis of the health checks and review of documents, for additional testing on entry.

Visitors will also be registered and provided with details of follow up by health department officials

Visitors will be informed by the health officer of the health safety measures they have to follow and will be briefed on all terms and conditions to stay at their accommodation.

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.

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Seychelles Travel Advisory Updates

Trade the US Election ‘Game of the Throne’ Volatility – FX Empire

Seychelles, 19 October 2020 For the many people, the US Election has turned into a saga not unlike a presidential Game of Thrones.To give everyone the best support to trade the volatility caused by the Presidential and Senate elections, global investment gateway, Squared Financial, has launched an innovative deposit bonus campaign.

Ahead of the US election, on the 3rdNovember 2020, SquaredFinancial is giving investors an additional deposit bonus to boost their trading.The exclusively offer is available for new clients who register between the 19thof October and the 6thof November 2020.

SquaredFinancials deposit bonus campaign gives traders the specialist tools they need to interpret how different election outcomes could impact global financial markets.Squareds highly regarded analysis team will provide exclusive election insights, including:

Manie Van Rooyen, Chief Executive of SquaredFinancial Seychelles, said: This campaign forms part of our wider strategy of adopting a client-centric approach.It reflects our ongoing efforts to respond to the needs of traders through innovative technology, insightful educational resources and proactive customer support.

The SquaredFinancial US Election campaign will allow qualifying traders to get up to a 25% deposit bonus in addition to the exclusive information and insights.The level of deposit bonus will be linked to levels of trading and offers a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the election volatility.

SquaredFinancial has offices in London, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Geneva and Cyprus, allowing it to provide global solutions for a rapidly changing investment market.With a focus on new generation traders and investors who want an easy access, sophisticated, global gateway, providing flexible trading of a full range of financial assets and products.

For more information about SquaredFinancial US Election Campaign please go to:https://campaigns.squaredfinancial.com/game-of-the-throneor follow@sq_financial.

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Wedding Bells in the Seychelles Islands Read more Skip – eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News

The flames of romance are still ablaze in the enchanting Seychelles Islands, where some 97 couples have walked down the aisle since August 1, 2020, and many others seeking the perfect occasion to tie the knot as tourism restarts in the destination.

Following the reopening of their International Airport, the destination has started to see its wedding market come back to life.

Whilst stranded in the tropical paradise, two couples, according to Registrar for Marriage from the Seychelles Department of Immigration and Civil Status, got married in June. Moreover, with the reopening of the airport, 7 weddings took place on Praslin and 90 destination weddings took place Mah, Silhouette and Enchanted Island since August. Couples from all corners of the world still have their hearts set on Seychelles as their wedding location with many enquiries being made daily.

With romance ever-present in the air, the local authorities and trade are ensuring that no stone is left unturned when it comes to safety. Wedding service specialists and the related service providers of the islands are currently operating under new safety frameworks required under the new normal.

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The destinations pristine beaches, with its pearly white sand and turquoise waters, have proven to be a very popular location for weddings. Keeping this in mind, procedures have been put into place to ensure lovers can still have an intimate service whilst being kept safe. Minimum contact is to be made between wedding organisers and their clients through measures such as social distancing, use of disposable biodegradable items wherever applicable, no sharing of items and constant use of disinfectant and sanitation processes.

Additionally, the islands also have a reputation for their stunningly lavish hotels, which are also prominent wedding locations. Although room weddings are not permitted, for the time being, the various certified hotels have various open areas, equally as exquisite as the ballrooms, available for couples to choose from. Clients will have to abide by the hotels health and safety regulations, which are reinforced by the Public Health Authority and the Department of Tourism. Similar to beach weddings, measures such as social distancing, sanitisation processes and proper disposal of used items have been put in place to ensure the safety of clients during their ceremony.

The encouraging numbers of weddings in the destination proves that it remains one of the most distinguished wedding destinations, still captivating the hearts of lovers across the globe.

With the world shrouded in chaos and uncertainty, the need to celebrate love and romance has deepened. What location could be ideal to start your lives together than the islands rumoured to be home to the Garden of Eden, where all life began.

More news about Seychelles Islands


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President Faure meets with the Red Cross Society of Seychelles – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

02 September 2020 | State House

President Danny Faure received a delegation from the Red Cross Society of Seychelles at State House this afternoon. The delegation included the President of the Society, Mr Kisnan Tamatave and the Secretary General, Mrs Marie-May Bastienne.

During the meeting the delegation briefed the President on the implementation of the various Red Cross core programmes and projects as well as new activities in line with supporting the country through the COVID-19 pandemic. As a society heavily reliant on volunteers and humanitarian contributions, the Red Cross Society with the support of Government, has over the years managed to implement a number of key projects to support the community, especially during times of emergency and disasters.

President Faure conveyed the country's sincere appreciation to the Red Cross Society of Seychelles for their commitment and continuous support, especially during the ongoing Public Health Emergency where coming together and working in common purpose is key to ensure our community and country remains safe. "Today I would like congratulate the Red Cross Society of Seychelles for your achievements and successful implementation of key community projects despite the challenges. It is this kind of determination and commitment that we encourage other organisations to adopt and our future generations to learn from," said President Faure.

Some of the Societys recent projects include First Aid and Emergency Response training, distribution of a special Hygiene Kit for Students receiving Dedicated Funds in Schools, provision of supplies for temporary shelters in the community, responding with on-site volunteers during the restriction of movement period and collaboration with the Department of Health for various types of support as required.In addition to sharing their accomplishments, the Society also shared ongoing challenges and possible solutions.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) of which the Seychelles chapter forms part is the worlds largest humanitarian and development network, with millions of volunteers in 190 member National Societies. The Seychelles Red Cross Society is focused on four core areas: promoting humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care.

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President Faure meets with the Red Cross Society of Seychelles - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

President Appoints new Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Fishing Authority – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

31 August 2020 | Fisheries

The Office of the President has today announced the appointment of MrNichol John Elizabeth as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Fishing Authority, with effect from 1st September 2020, and in accordance with the recommendations of the Board of the SFA.

Mr Elizabeth has a Bachelor's degree in Food Science, and a Master's Degree in Industrial Food Processing. He has since worked in senior positions in the Indian Ocean Tuna Company, Heinz and MWBrands, and was most recently the General Manager of MWBrands in Seychelles.

The President said that it was important for the SFA to be under sound management at a time when the fisheries sector was becoming increasingly vital to the national economy.

The post of CEO of the SFA had been vacant since the departure of Mr Ronny Renaud in 2019. Since February 2020, The Chairman of the SFA, Mr Cyril Bonnelame has been doubling up as the interim CEO pending recruitment formalities.


President Appoints new Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Fishing Authority - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Region cautiously reopens its doors – The Southern Times

Southern African countries are cautiously relaxing lockdown regulations and reopening borders after months of lockdown.

For nearly half the year, the only airplanes flying into the region were those mostly carrying returning residents and medical consumables.

With most SADC countries reliant on tourism for revenue, the lockdowns have been keenly felt across economies.

According to a recent SADC report, Sectors that have severely been impacted by COVID-19 include the tourism and leisure, aviation and maritime, automotive, construction and real estate, manufacturing, financial services, education and the oil industry.

South Africas Tourism Business Council says not less than US$4 billion has been lost; and Zimbabwes Tourism Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu puts the countrys losses at around US$1 billion.

Zimbabwe, according to its Environment,

With growing realisation that the new coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, authorities are trying to find the delicate balance between stimulating economic activity while also saving lives.

This has seen several countries in the region making tentative steps to facilitate as much normal economic activity as possible in decidedly abnormal times.

The early bird

Namibias comparatively early move to reopen its airspace is already paying dividends.

Major carriers Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa and Ethiopian Airlines could all land in Windhoek in coming weeks.

Namibias President Hage Geingob this week said the country had to maximise on its traditional peak tourism period of September to January.

His Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, said: This is the beginning of a long process in finding a solution to the financial problems that have been experienced by the important sector.

The Namibian Airports Company is busy making sure that the airports are up to standard. So far we expect to see Qatar, Ethiopian and Lufthansa arriving in the country in the next two weeks after we opened up the ports of entry.

Government has also been involved with several intervention including the unveiling of financial resources to players in the tourism industry to assist them to keep their lights on and also pay salaries to their employees during the difficult period.

The reopening to international travel, Minister Shifeta said, would be done in co-ordination with health, immigration and security authorities.

We are working closely with health officials and when the tourists arrive they will be screened through a process.

One of the key processes is the presentation of COVID-19 free certificates obtained from their home country within 72 hours of travelling.

We will also see to it that the tourists will check into hotels and lodges that have been approved by the government to meet the safety guidelines where they will be retested again in a few days before being allowed to move freely in the country, he said.

In a good year, Namibia receives more than two million visitors while the industry employs tens of thousands of people.

Fortune favours the bold

Tanzania, which has been the least bothered country in the world inasmuch as COVID-19 is concerned, reopened its borders in July.

Tanzania National Parks Assistant Conservation Commissioner (Business Development) Ms Beatrice Kessy said the country had received more than 30,000 visitors since reopening.

Seychelles is another country which has taken the bold move to quickly reopen its borders to tourists.

The Indian Ocean archipelago could not afford to continue blocking out international travelers when 67 percent of GDP comes from tourism.

Recently, Seychelles Public Health Commissioner Jude Gedeon laid out the rules tourists have to abide by.

Visitors are permitted to stay in not more than two approved establishments for the first seven days. When they change accommodation, we must be able to track where they are going to stay next, he said.

While Zimbabwe has not been so bold as to completely fling open its borders, it has been pushing domestic tourism while exploring the possibility of accepting international visitors.

The country has removed quarantine requirements for returning citizens and permanent residents provided they are willing to have a PCR test. If they test negative they can proceed, if otherwise, they are places in isolation.

The country`s biggest tourist attraction, the Victoria Falls Rainforest, was recently reopened, an indication that international tourists may not be far off.

South Africa has remained closed though it too has been on an aggressive domestic tourism drive.

Reporting by Leroy Dzenga in Harare and Tiri Masawi in Windhoek

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Region cautiously reopens its doors - The Southern Times

FJ Book Club: A haunting debut thriller brimming with excess – Fashion Journal

This week were reading The Girl in the Mirror.

Hello dearest friends and welcome to the Fashion Journal Book Club! Weve created this club as a way for us all to switch off from the current news cycle and connect with other, real human beings about something we all love, books.

Every fortnight, well announce a new title as the book well all be reading, as selected by your FJ editors.

Next on the bill is a debut by emerging novellist Rose Carlyle. Titled The Girl in the Mirror, its a thriller with the same chilling suspense as The Girl on the TrainandBefore I Go to Sleep, making it a no brainer for our next meet.

The story follows two identical twin sisters, Summer and Iris. While both are strikingly similar on the outside, there is a darkness in Iris, who has long been envious of her sisters open-hearted nature, seemingly endless good luck and perfect husband. One day, Iris is called to Thailand to help sail her familys yacht to the Seychelles, where she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It marks a chance for Iris to seize the idyllic life shes always wanted, but the question remains: how far she will go to get it?

Set on the lush landscape of the Seychelles, the backdrop is glamorous and brimming with excess. Yet, its a haunting and intoxicating story of wealth, jealousy, subterfuge and greed.

To join the next FJ Book Club meet, fill out your details below and find yourself a copy ofThe Girl in the Mirror here. Weve scheduled a Zoom session for Thursday September 10 at 6.30pm AEST, when well gather to discuss our thoughts.

FJ Book Club will continue every fortnight, with new title announcements dropping every other Monday.

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FJ Book Club: A haunting debut thriller brimming with excess - Fashion Journal

President Faure visits Agency for Social Protection – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

06 August 2020 | Social Affairs

President Danny Faure visited the Agency for Social Protection (ASP) offices located at Ocean Gate House this morning, continuing his series of visits to key services. During his visit, President Faure was accompanied by the Chairperson of the Board of ASP, Secretary of State Amb. Marie-Pierre Lloyd, the CEO of ASP, Mr Marcus Simeon and Deputy CEO of ASP Mrs Roma Edmond. The President took the time to interact with the staff and obtain a first-hand understanding of their daily operations.

The President visited various sections including Accounts, Home Care and Benefits, Data Processing, Administration and Human Resource, Customer Service Centre and Operations (Social Security) section. The President also made a stop at the Vetting Unit (Unemployment) and Approval Unit which manages supplementary assistance, medical benefits and part-rental payments.

As one of the key frontline agencies that has been serving the people both prior to and post COVID-19, the visit this morning was an opportunity for the President to meet the staff and convey his sincere appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

Social protection is the key to our values as a nation and you all play a key role in ensuring social protection services are accessible to our people. Today I would like to reiterate the value of the work that you all are doing. I know that it gets challenging at times and you work under tremendous pressure, but despite that you continue working together for the benefit of the country and for this we say thank you," said President Faure.

The President also met members of the public accessing some of the services whilst he was visiting the various sections and units within the ASP. He met with the ASP Management team for a debriefing at the end of the meeting to discuss their ongoing challenges and solutions moving forward.

With 86 staff, the Agency of Social Protection (ASP) delivers on activities to promote active participation of citizens in society through the provision of income support and other services. It serves a diverse group of customers including families, people in employment, unemployed people, people with disabilities, carers, and the elderly.

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President Faure visits Agency for Social Protection - News - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Seychelles Telecommunications Market Share,Trends, and Growth Opportunities to 2025-Analysis of Seychelles Mobile, Fixed Telephone and Broadband…

The report on Seychelles Telecommunications is a comprehensive collection of all the market related information required for analyzing and understanding the Seychelles Telecommunications market. It gives an in depth view of the market on the basis of manufacturers, capacity, production, price, revenue, cost, gross, sales volume, sales revenue, consumption, growth rate, import, export, supply, future strategies, and the technological developments taking place in the market.

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The global Seychelles Telecommunications market outlook report covers key market drivers, restraints, and opportunities which determine the dynamics of the market. The market has been analyzed using tools such as SWOT (Strength, weakness, opportunities, and threat) and Porters Five Forces Model.

The global Seychelles Telecommunications market covers the products available in the Seychelles Telecommunications and their performance in terms of their production value, market share, revenue generation, growth rate, and regional analysis of each product.

The end-user application is of utmost importance when production is being considered, a product needs to be user-friendly else production will go in negative and yield no revenue.

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The Seychelles Telecommunications global market outlook report mainly targets end-user application and their consumption and the growth for the period mentioned above.

The Seychelles Telecommunications global market outlook report is geographically segmented on the basis of regions to provide the customer with detailed vision on the regional Seychelles Telecommunications performance in terms of production, consumption, revenue, market share, and growth rate.

The Seychelles Telecommunications global market outlook report covers major players in the Seychelles Telecommunications market for the customer to understand the competition they will have to face. The report also includes the detailed company profile of all the important players examined in the Seychelles Telecommunications global market outlook report along with their latest development of products in the Seychelles Telecommunications market and their market performance over the years and the market share.

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Seychelles Telecommunications Market Share,Trends, and Growth Opportunities to 2025-Analysis of Seychelles Mobile, Fixed Telephone and Broadband...

Anantara to debut in the Seychelles with rebrand of iconic Maia Luxury Resort & Spa – Travel Daily News International

BANGKOK - Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas announces it will debut in the Seychelles this September with the upcoming rebrand of the iconic Maia Luxury Resort & Spa, one of the countrys most exclusive and stylish properties. Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will represent the luxury brands launch in the archipelago, complementing its existing collection of world-class Indian Ocean resorts in the Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

Located on Mahe, the largest of the Seychelles islands and just a short drive from the international airport, the resort can be found on the south west coast amongst 30 acres of forest garden, nestled between the islands unique granite rocks and Anse Louis Beach. The award-winning resort offers 30 secluded private villas, each with a dedicated villa host available 24-hours a day for the duration of the stay. Inviting guests to do nothing or do everything, residents can enjoy undivided attention and uninterrupted privacy.

Designed by Bill Bensley and Lek Bunnag, two of the worlds most highly respected luxury resort and hotel architects, the resort is regarded as one of Bensleys favourite projects, with architecture and gardens designed to blend seamlessly with the tropical island landscape. Asian architectural influences abound and are reflected in the distinctive thatching, carved natural stone, precious woods and delicate metal work.

The propertys Beyond All Inclusive concept offers unlimited dining, relaxation and exploration, combined with wellness and adventure. Residents can choose from an extensive menu of daily meals as well as personalised off-menu preferences, premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, daily yoga and qigong, unlimited exploration scuba diving and non-motorised watersports, and 24/7 dedicated villa host service.

Set around a peninsula overlooking white sands or perched between greenery and granite, each of the 250 sqm private villas is positioned to afford breathtaking views and unrivalled privacy. Villas situated atop the hill offer sweeping vistas over the coastline and turquoise ocean, whilst those dotted along the peninsula are tucked away in lush tropical gardens and with direct access to Anse Louis Beach. A selection of villas is ideal for families or groups, linked through garden walkways.

With high thread count linens and maxi-sized Hermes Bath Collection amenities as standard, each of the exclusive villas offers a large bedroom, a bathroom with glass walled rainforest shower, dual vanity and outdoor sunken bathtub with a view, Smart TV with villa surround sound, personalised mini bar, private infinity pool and a secluded outdoor gazebo with dining area and oversized day bed.

Anantara Spa will be home to three luxurious open-air treatment rooms dedicated to rejuvenation and restoration. Located in the resorts lush fragranced gardens, the spa sanctuary offers tailor-made Balinese massages and a range of beauty and facial treatments from the award-winning Omorovicza product house. With yoga and qiyong already available to guests, a wide range of new activities will be offered with a dedicated wellness focus.

Beyond All Inclusive invites guests to choose whether they eat in villa, on the beach, in the garden or under the stars, where they can enjoy the finest a la carte dining experiences with menus that arent restricted by time frames. International cuisines including Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and Creole tempt guests in the restaurant and pool bar or indulge in food and wine pairing at the stylish all-glass Wine Boutique.

Additional resort facilities include a main resort swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre with TechnoGym Excite equipment, paddle boarding, snorkelling and kayaking. For guests wishing to venture further afield, hiking in the forest and national parks or island tours can be arranged, or bespoke private visits by boat or helicopter to explore the Seychelles islands of La Digue and Praslin.

The addition of the iconic Maia Luxury Resort & Spa to the Anantara portfolio, will mark the brands debut in the beautiful Seychelles islands and will represent an elevated level of luxury for discerning travellers in this corner of paradise. Without question Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will become one of Anantaras flagship properties and joins our existing portfolio of stunning Indian Ocean resorts, commented Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels and Minor International, parent company of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas.

Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas will be the brands first property in the Seychelles and the seventh in the Indian Ocean, joining the two resorts in Sri Lanka, one in Mauritius and three in the Maldives.

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Anantara to debut in the Seychelles with rebrand of iconic Maia Luxury Resort & Spa - Travel Daily News International

President Faure thanks the Leader of Government Business in the sixth National Assembly – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

06 August 2020 | State House

The President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Danny Faure, received the outgoing Leader of Government Business and Member of the National Assembly for Cascade in the Seychelles National Assembly, Honourable Charles De Commarmond, at State House this afternoon. Hon. De Commarmond is the longest-serving Parliamentarian in office in the National Assembly of Seychelles and is taking his retirement.

The President, on behalf of the Government and the people of Seychelles, congratulated Honourable De Commarmond on his achievements and expressed his sincere appreciation for his hard work and devotion over 33 years as a Member of the National Assembly. President Faure also thanked him for his contributions and working tirelessly to defend the fundamental principles of the party and for serving the people of Cascade. Honourable Decommarond shared his experiences and plans for retirement, and was presented with a token of appreciation by the President.

Speaking to the media after his meeting with the President, Hon. De Commarmond said that he thanked the President for the responsibility entrusted to him over the years. He said that he is satisfied with the work he has done and that he will continue his work at the political level as a party member. He also said he is ready to share his experiences with his successor.

He has been elected and re-elected as a Member of the National Assembly by a large majority in 1993 (SPPF), in 1998 (SPPF), in 2002 (SPPF), in 2007 (SPPF), in 2011 (PL) and 2016 (PL) representing the District of Cascade.

In 1984 to 1985, he completed a political course in Magdeburg, Germany and in 1989 completed his graduate studies at the Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. From 1991 to 1993 he was the District Council Chairperson for Cascade District. In 1993 with the reintroduction of Multiparty Democracy and the Birth of 3rd Republic, Hon. Charles de Commarmond was elected Member of National Assembly for the Cascade District.

In May 2015, towards the end of the 5th Assembly, he was elevated to the position of Leader of Government Business (LGB) in the National Assembly, a position which he was entrusted from September 2016 to date.

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President Faure thanks the Leader of Government Business in the sixth National Assembly - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

President Faure proclaims the dissolution of the National Assembly – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

06 August 2020 |

President Faure signed a Proclamation this afternoon to declare the dissolution of the sixth National Assembly, which will stand dissolved tomorrow following the publication of the Proclamation today 6 August 2020.

This is in line with Article 110(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles which provides that the President may, by Proclamation published in the Gazette, dissolve the National Assembly for any reason which the President considers it to be in the national interest.

Conscious that the existing COVID-19 pandemic necessitates the need for a National Assembly that has a common vision with the President elected in 2020 in order to immediately implement legislative measures, plans and policies to revive the economy and to tackle socio-economic and environmental challenges; and considerate of the fact that COVID-19 will impact the cost of elections in a multitude of ways if Seychelles holds Presidential Elections and National Assembly Elections at separate intervals, the President gave the Speaker of the National Assembly 7 days notice of the intention to dissolve the National Assembly on 30 July 2020.

This afternoon, the President proclaimed that the National Assembly shall stand dissolved tomorrow following the publication of the Proclamation today.


President Faure proclaims the dissolution of the National Assembly - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Under the Radar Beaches from the Seychelles to Saint-Tropez – Luxury Travel Magazine

For the travelers who are looking for the next beach destination, here are a few ideas for the best under-the-radar beaches from the Seychelles to Saint-Tropez where discerning beach-goers can beat the crowds and relax on the most unique beaches in the world.

Fregate Island Private | The Seychelles |Anse Victorin

In the middle of the Indian Ocean isFregate Island Private, is home to seven beaches including the only privatizable beach in the Indian Ocean. The islands crowning glory is Anse Victorin, which has been voted the most beautiful beach in the world. Guests of Fregate can enjoy Anse Victorins shallow, clear waters which are great for snorkeling and swimming. The plush sand beach is usually deserted, making guests feel like they are the only ones in the world.

Saint-Tropez | Les Salins Beach

The French Riveras legendary town of Saint-Tropez is famous for their glamorous playground of rolling countryside sandy beaches.Once a humble fishing village, Saint-Tropez is now widely known as one of the most high profile coastal retreats in the world. While Saint-Tropez is known for its pulsing and lively packed beaches, there are some undiscovered retreats that offer the same stunning seaside experience without the crowds. A walk along Les Salins road to the edge the peninsula, then through a small path with shade leads to the peaceful Les Salins beach. Les Salins beach is a stunning space and known as one of the beaches with the finest and white sand of the region. For those looking for an escape from crowds, Les Salins is an unspoiled and quiet retreat for a relaxing day at the beach.

For another hidden treasure, travelers should look toHtel Lou Pinet, a luxury hideaway in Saint-Tropez. Embodying the bohemian charm of Saint-Tropez, it has been strategically located between Place des Lices and peninsulas most sought-after beaches an exclusive address dating back to the 1960s before fever took hold of the little village. Far from the crowds, but still near everything, Htel Lou Pinet strikes a perfect balance for the ultimate Saint-Tropez vacation and was designed for those looking for an equilibrium between the thrill of partying and peaceful refuge. Especially created by French architect, interior decorator and designer Charles Zana, the space echoes the vintage Saint-Tropez spirit of the 60s and 70s. The hotel features 26 guestrooms and 8 suites each bathed in natural light with private gardens, spa in partnership with Tata Harper, two bars, it's very own BeefBar restaurant butcher shop, and the largest pool in Saint-Tropez tucked away in a secret garden. Guests can enjoy the carefully curated lush and secret Mediterranean garden, which includes a lavender field and herb garden along with large outdoor art installations. The garden serves as a majestic backdrop to the hotels grand emerald green swimming pool, spacious terrace and the hotels three houses, a true hidden gem in Saint-Tropez.

Galapagos Islands |Bahia Gardner

Bahia Gardner on Espanola Island in the remote Galapagos Islands is considered one of the best beaches in the world thanks to its abundantanimal life, pristine white sand and turquoise water. If travelers are looking to get up close and personal with sealions and birds, this is the place to go. TheM/V Evolutionand M/Y GraceoperatedbyQuasar Expeditionsoffer seven-night itineraries around the islands with a day at Bahia Gardner for guests to explore and lounge on the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying the wildlife around them.

Malaysia |Emerald Bay Beach

Set off the west coast of Malaysia on its own 300-acre private island exclusive to guests, the five-starPangkor Laut Resortis an exotic haven located amidst pristine ancient rainforests and beaches. The islands Emerald Bay Beach is located on the opposite side of the resort in a quaint, secluded area, accessible only to guests of the resort. An under-the-radar oasis, guests can relax on the white sand, take a dip in the turquoise waters of the Straits of Malacca and enjoy a private meal or cocktails at the charming Chapman's Bar.

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President Faure attends ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Auditor General – Office of the President of the Republic of…

31 July 2020 | Legal Affairs

The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, attended a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Auditor General held this morning at the International Conference Centre Seychelles (ICCS).

In his opening address, the Auditor-General, Mr Gamini Herath, said that since a new Auditor General Act came into force in 2010, his office has made a significant milestone in the long history of Seychelles national audit service, which has existed in different forms under all systems of governments over the past 250 years.

Under the new law, the office was established as a body corporate with wide-ranging powers and safeguards for greater independence. In drafting the new law, we drew on the experiences of leading national audit service providers from across the world and we came up with the best practice at the time, said Mr Herath.

The Auditor-General thanked everyone locally and internationally for their support and gave a presentation which showed the positive impact the new law has had on the ranking of Seychelles National Audit Service within the international community. The ceremony was also highlighted by a report and photo exhibition to commemorate the day, and President Faure was given a visual tour of the work the Office of the Auditor General has done over the years.

Also present at the ceremony this morning was the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Nicholas Prea, Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Mr Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the Attorney General, Mr Frank Ally, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Justice Bernardin Renaud, CEO of the Public Enterprise Monitoring Commission, Mr George Tirant, staff at the Office of the Auditor General, and other dignitaries.

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President Faure attends ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Auditor General - Office of the President of the Republic of...

Cabinet Business – Wednesday 29 July 2020 – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

29 July 2020 | Cabinet Business

President Danny Faure chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet today, Wednesday 29th July at which a number of legal and policy memoranda were considered.

Cabinet approved proposed amendments to the Elections Act (Cap 262) in line with the 2017 Electoral Commissions recommendations for Electoral Reforms.

Cabinet approved amendments to the Political Parties (Registration and Regulation) Act (Cap 173) in line with the 2017 Electoral Commissions recommendations for Electoral Reforms.

Cabinet also approved amendments to the Beach Control Act, 1971 and the Beach Control Regulation 1978 pertaining to the administration of the inshore waters of the Seychelles.

Approval was also conveyed to enact the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (Inshore Waters) Regulations 2020 which will undertake the tasks of regulating the inshore waters of the Seychelles.

Cabinet approved for the reopening of the amended Seed Capital Grant Scheme.

Cabinet approved for the implementation of the Seychelles Teacher Management and Development Policy in all public non-university educational institutions in Seychelles.

Cabinet was presented with the Tertiary Education Sector Indicator Report 2019.

Cabinet was briefed on implementation of capital projects by Ministries, Departments and Agencies as at June 2020.

Cabinet was also updated on the implementation of flood mitigation projects on La Digue.


Cabinet Business - Wednesday 29 July 2020 - News - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

The economic substance exemption: escaping the claws of the Cayman tax – Lexology

With about 800 codes, a Belgian income tax return is not for the faint-hearted. When the Cayman tax is involved, even more attention is needed. Read all about it here and avoid the Cayman tax pitfalls in your income tax planning.This week, we analyse the anatomy of foreign entities with economic substance!

Snacks that stick in the caymans throat

Earlier in this documentary we already figured out some of the caymans favourite food. This week, we learn that the cayman must not get too greedy, as some of the snacks might stick in its throat.

As with some of the caymans snacks, foreign entities that are in fact targeted under the Cayman tax can nevertheless escape some of its obligations.

Before continuing the dissection of the preys of this predator in the following episodes, we first analyse the anatomy of these adverse animals.

Analysing the anatomy of adverse animals

Targeted foreign entities can avoid certain obligations under the Cayman tax when the following two conditions are cumulatively met:

A foreign entity will only have sufficient economic substance for Cayman tax purposes when its income is mainly derived from one or more actual economic activities. The management of the wealth of the founder(s) is an excluded activity.

Also, the entity must have premises, employees and equipment at its availability that are proportionate to its actual economic activities.

Whether or not a targeted entity meets the requirements must be assessed on an annual basis.

Privileges of ponderous preys

In principle, the Cayman tax consists of a reporting obligation, a transparency measure (look-through-tax) and a tax on (deemed) distributions.

Belgian residents who are the founders of foreign entities that meet the economic substance requirements can however benefit from a light-version of the Cayman tax.

In the light-version of the Cayman tax the look-through-tax is not applicable, meaning that the founder is not taxable on the income received by the targeted entity.

Moreover, the founder cannot be taxed on a deemed distribution when the targeted entitys assets, shares or economic rights are contributed or when the targeted entity is transferred to a state with which Belgium does not have an agreement on the exchange of information in tax matters.

Such Belgian residents must however still comply with the reporting obligation. In addition to the regular reporting obligations, the appropriate box must be ticked in the income tax return to confirm that the reported entity qualifies for the economic substance exemption.

Also, the tax on distributions must still be considered when such an entity makes an actual distribution.

Book a hotel in the Seychelles

When Julia travelled to the Seychelles for the first time, she fell head over heels in love with the islands. Completely smitten with the deep blue waters and white sandy beaches, Julia decided to stay and started working in a hotel.

While enjoying the island life, Julia worked her way up and took over the flourishing hotel with infinity pool when the former owners retired. Julia owns the hotel via a company in the Seychelles and employs a couple of dozen employees.

Many years later, Julia became homesick. She found a manager who could run the hotel for her and moved back to Belgium.

As the corporate income tax paid in the Seychelles by Julias company amounts to less than 15% of the (fictitious) Belgian taxable basis, the company is targeted by the Cayman tax.

However, since Belgium concluded a double tax treaty with the Seychelles and the conditions for the economic substance exemption are met, Julia will not have to report the profits of the hotel in her annual income tax return as the look-through-tax is not applicable.

Evidently, Julia must still report the existence of the company in her annual income tax return and must check the box to confirm that the company meets the economic substance exemption requirements.

The winner does not take it all

Although the cayman is king of the quagmire, caution is required with certain co-inhabitants as the cayman cannot bite off more than it can chew.

As with such adverse animals, foreign entities with sufficient economic substance float on more friendly waters as the look-through-tax and the tax on deemed distributions will not be applicable.

Be prepared for next week, when we go on a hunt for hybrids!

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The economic substance exemption: escaping the claws of the Cayman tax - Lexology

Expedition removes 25 tons of waste from remote Aldabra Atoll – UNESCO.org

Marine debris accumulates on the beaches of even the most remote and pristine UNESCO marine World Heritage sites, including Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). Through action, education and research, the Seychelles Island Foundation removed 25 tons of waste, including 60,000 plastic flipflops.

Aldabra Atoll was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982 as one of the largest raised coral atolls in the world, home to the largest giant tortoise population. Its population of endangered green turtles has increased 500% to 800% in recent decades. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, the atoll has remained largely untouched by humans for the majority of its existence.

However vast quantities of plastic litter have been accumulating on Aldabras coast and this has dramatically accelerated in recent years. This litter is having devastating impacts on the otherwise near-pristine ecosystems, including by clogging up key turtle nesting beaches.

In response, the Seychelles Island Foundation and the Queen's College, Oxford, set up the Aldabra Clean-Up Project. They raised the necessary resources to collect waste and bring it from the remote atoll to the main island of the Seychelles. A team of 12 young volunteers collected 25 metric tons of waste, including 60,000 individual flip-flops and discarded fishing gear.

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The project allowed to raise global awareness on the issue of marine debris and plastic pollution. The President of the Seychelles and patron of the Seychelles Island Foundation distributed pictures of Aldabra Atolls beaches covered with marine litter during a 2018 G7 meeting. Some of the collected waste was recycled or reused by conservation groups, artists and schools. Scientists also hope to learn more by investigating the degraded plastic, while engineers will test the marine litter on certain circular economy applications. The Aldabra Clean-Up Project demonstrates how UNESCO marine World Heritage sites can challenge all of us to think differently about waste management and how our society is organized.

The project was recently highlighted during an online meeting organized by the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa. The case study also inspired other marine World Heritage managers during their first workshop to discuss impacts of marine litter and exchange best practices on marine litter monitoring, clean-up campaigns and awareness-raising. A 2018 report indicated marine litter to be present in almost all of the 50 marine World Heritage sites. On Aldabra Atoll alone, an estimated 500 metric tons of marine plastic pollution remains.

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Expedition removes 25 tons of waste from remote Aldabra Atoll - UNESCO.org