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Paradise found: incredible and rare encounters to enjoy in the Seychelles – The National

The noise is deafening. As the propellers spin and the pilots ready the plane for take-off, I lament my decision not to bring noise-cancelling headphones on this trip. The drone from the tiny 16-seater plane grows louder as we begin to move along the runway. A few seconds later, we are soaring high above Seychelless lush mountainscapes.

Whether the noise dissipates or whether I am simply too enthralled by the scene below to notice anymore, Im not quite sure, but a few minutes into the short flight to Praslin Island, I am completely engrossed in the grandeur below. As the plane soars over glassy waters, I watch the surface break every so often over the swell of an emerald-tinged island. The sun glints off the rippling shallows and waves crash against yellow bays, turning white as snow before rushing up coastlines and disappearing again beneath palm-fringed perimeters.

In the distance is the second largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. Flying over a cluster of thatched roofs, the pilots expertly navigate through the peaks and angles of Praslins tree-strewn landscape and we land a few moments later.

We head to Constance Lemuria, the spot we will call home for the next few days. Set on 101 hectares of land, the five-star resort has nature at its heart. Home to idyllic beaches, including one of the most picturesque in the country, Anse Georgette, it is a little slice of natural paradise.

I set out to explore and, wandering among the mammoth granite rocks strewn across the resort, its difficult not to feel as though Im on the set of a Jurassic Park movie. Im not surprised when I find out that a few million years ago, prehistoric creatures were thought to inhabit this area. Today, it is home to some of those dinosaurs descendants.

Aldabra giant tortoises are endemic to the Seychelles and, at Constance Lemuria, they roam freely, stopping to nap in the shade of a palm tree or meandering ever so slowly along leaf-strewn riverbanks. The tortoises are special, Markus Ultsch-Unrath, head of health, safety and environment project manager at Constance Hotels & Resorts, says. They are only found in the Seychelles and people say they originally came from the Aldabra atoll.

Aldabra is the biodiversity jewel in the Seychelles gleaming crown. Rivalling the Galapagos Islands in ecological importance, it is not only where the giant tortoises came from, its also home to manta rays, nurse sharks, lemon sharks, spinner dolphins and dugongs, among others.

Even before the islands were populated, there were tortoises here, says Ultsch-Unrath. What this means is that no one really knows how old some of the animals are. What we do know is that there are an estimated 100,000 left in the world. On Praslin, Leonardo is the eldest, at more than 100 years old and, at the hotels sister resort, Constance Ephelia on Mahe Island, that title goes to Dusty, who was born in 1909.

As I watch the tortoises walk idly across the grass, I cant help but think that the chilled-out island life of the Seychelles seems like a good fit for these creatures. Tortoises take life very easy, Ultsch-Unrath adds.

Making my way across the resort, I arrive at a thatched eco-hut a few metres from one of the resorts beachfronts. There, Robert Matombe, resident turtle manager, tells me about the resorts other VIPs. Every season, we have a lot of sea turtles coming to our beach to nest, he says. We have hawksbill and green turtles and the nesting period runs for about five months.

During this time, its Matombes job to ensure there is no light or noise pollution at the bays. He also monitors the turtle nests and helps guide hatchlings into the ocean. Its no small job, given that every season one female hawksbill turtle lays up to 200 eggs at a time. But hes not complaining. Compared to the turtles, he has it easy.

Its tough work, he explains. After mating, the female comes ashore to dig a hole about 50 centimetres deep in the sand. She puts about 200 of the eggs in there and uses her flippers to carefully camouflage the spot.

Most of the eggs will hatch, but how many hatchlings will make it to the ocean? And then how many will make it to maturity?

Strolling through the valley is much like walking through something from a fairy tale.

Even with help from the Constance Lemuria team, only 10 turtles on average will make it to maturity, which they reach at about 30 years old. Its because theyre surrounded by enemies, says Matombe. As well as predators, theyve got human threats such as fishing nets, fishing lines, plastic pollution and matchsticks. Plastic bags are the worst because they look like jellyfish, which is a sea turtles favourite food.

Vowing to do more to eradicate plastic bags from my life, I head off to discover another fascinating facet of life on Praslin, in the islands Unesco World Heritage site, the Vallee de Mai National Park. This area is one of only two spots on the planet where the coco de mer plant grows. Known for the voluptuous shape of its seeds, which are the largest in the plant kingdom, the coco de mer is a protected species with a remarkable nut.

Amid hundreds of trees, huge fronds shield me from the tropical rain as tour guide Angela prepares to explain more about the coco de mer. As we stop where a seed has ripened, at her suggestion, I pick it up and it takes all of my strength to do so. Apparently, the seeds can weigh up to a 32 kilograms each.

Strolling through the valley is much like walking through something from a fairy tale. As the light streams through shades of green, thick trunks, huge stems and spreading fronds bluntly obstruct my view.

Angela regales me with legends about the coco de mer. She says that some people believed it grew beneath the waves of the ocean; others thought its seeds were so huge because they were formerly dispersed by dinosaurs. One man, upon seeing the shape of the nut and the nearby four connecting rivers, proclaimed that Praslin must be the Garden of Eden.

True or not, on this island kingdom where rare creatures have a home and the seeds are worthy of giants, Praslin is definitely a paradise found.

Updated: October 19, 2019 04:07 PM

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Paradise found: incredible and rare encounters to enjoy in the Seychelles - The National

Madhuri Dixit Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Seychelles with Forever Soulmate Shriram Nene – News18

It has been two decades since Bollywood actress and Dhak-Dhak girl Madhuri Dixit got married to Dr Shriram Nene. Madhuri, who tied the knot with Dr Nene on October 17, 1999, celebrated her 20th anniversary on Thursday. The couple celebrated their special day in the most romantic way possible in Seychelles. Madhuri shared a slew of adorable pictures and captioned them, "Happy anniversary @drneneofficial (heart emoji) Here's to many more years of being in love & celebrating life! (sic)."

In one of the pictures shared by Madhuri, the actress is seen kissing her husband as they pose for the picture in a swimming pool. She captioned the picture, "Soulmates forever @drneneofficial #20Years"

Dr Nene also took to the photo-sharing app and posted a collection of pictures from their vacation. He captioned the pictures, "Have spent 20 years together living the dream. Have raised kids, brought down the house with laughter together, and built things for everyone. Looking forward to a lifetime with my soulmate, @madhuridixitnene and making the world a better place to live."

Madhuri Dixit and Dr Shriram Nene are parents to two sons - Arin and Ryan.

The 52-year-old actress was last seen in Kalank and has donned the cap of a producer for an upcoming Marathi film titled Panchak, which is co-produced by her husband.

Madhuri Dixit also judged the second season of dance reality show Dance Deewane 2.

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Peter Adesina: banging in goals and loving it in Seychelles. – The Nation Newspaper

Seychelles are 198 on current FIFA ranking and while some may argue it is the last place to consider playing professional football, former City of David ace Peter Adesina is not bothered about that.

For the former Calabar Rovers player scoring goals and enjoying his game is the most important thing.

The 28-year old midfielder who plies his trade with Seychellois champions, Cote dOr, has netted 12 goals still counting but is not one to make noise about it.

I played in Nigeria for a long time notably in the second-tier (Nigerian National League) with City of David (COD) Club and Calabar Rovers. After a short stint in Benin, I was due to return to Nigeria until this opportunity to play in these beautiful islands came, and I grabbed the chance with both hands, he reflected.

Adesina recalls he needed some time to adapt with the climate especially upon arrival in 2017, but he managed to overcome. helping Cote dOr to runner-up spot in the Seychellois top flight.

The following season, the club based in Praslin, the second biggest Island in Seychelles, moved a step further winning the national title championship, with the Nigerian netting 12 goals in all competitions.

He had to fight for his place as one of the four foreigners at the club for the three slots per club according to the regulations of the Seychelles Premier League. Others foreigners in the club are Ugandas Tonny Kizito and Jonah Randriamisaina of Madagscar. It is apparent that Adesina is enjoying his sujourn in Seychelles and appreciates the support he is getting from all and sundry.

It has been a privilege to get the chance to showcase my talent and Im grateful for the club management and coaches as well as the other partners and the whole community of Praslin where the team is based for all the support. I will always strive to give my best for the club, Adesina promised in a chat with CAFonline.

Cote dOr will take on Anse Reunion in continuation of the Seychelles First Division league on October 31

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Peter Adesina: banging in goals and loving it in Seychelles. - The Nation Newspaper

Intelvision to deploy 5G network in Seychelles next year with Huawei – Telecompaper

Intelvision, a television and internet services provider in the Seychelles, plans to deploy a 5G network in 2020, the Seychelles news agency reported. Intelvision will roll out 4.5G and then 5G in the inner islands group in June, helped by Huawei. Intelvision founder Mukesh Valabjhi said the company is aiming for a 95 percent coverage of the Seychelles, with Mahe, Praslin, La Digue and all the inner islands on 4.5G. The 4G network in operation currently covers 50 percent of the island group.

Intelvision will launch 5G in the capital Victoria, north of the main island of Mahe, and at the Seychelles International Airport at Pointe Laure.

Valabhji said that voice networks in the Seychelles still use 2G networks, because 50 percent of the population do not own a smartphone. According to Valabhji, the company holds a 65 percent share of the residential internet users' market in the island group.

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Intelvision to deploy 5G network in Seychelles next year with Huawei - Telecompaper

President Faure meets Prince William at Buckingham Palace – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

22 October 2019 | Commonwealth

London, United Kingdom: The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, met with His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, at Buckingham Palace this morning.

President Faure was able to share with Prince William the great progress that Seychelles has made in ocean governance and marine protection. The Duke of Cambridge was particularly keen to hear more about the Nekton expedition and ongoing research by the scientists, following the exploration that took place in Seychelles in March this year and the Presidents message to citizens of the world.

Prince William shared with the President his passion for environmental protection, and his personal connection to Seychelles given his previous visits.He commended Seychelles for its global leadership in climate action.

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President Faure meets Prince William at Buckingham Palace - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

President Faure speaks on building Blue Economy partnerships at Russia-Africa Forum – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

24 October 2019 | Foreign Affairs

Sochi, Russia: President Danny Faure made a statement at the first historic Russia-Africa Summit today.

Speaking on the importance of Russia-Africa relations, President Faure said, The future Russia-Africa relationship should be defined by our joint cooperation to achieve the goals of both Agenda 2063 and the Global Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.

Addressing President Vladimir Putin, co-chair President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, and other African Heads of State and Government, President Faure continued, The next frontier for Africas development is the Blue Economy. We count on the Russian Federation to build new partnerships as we harness the opportunities of the Blue Economy.

As we concentrate our efforts in building our partnership for the benefit of our people, we must be mindful that climate change remains the number one global threat to our existence, said the President.

Key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries were also addressed at the summit. On the subject of trade, President Faure emphasised on the need for win-win trade relations between Russia and Africa to tackle the various obstacles to economic development on the continent.

Seychelles continues to be a leading voice in the urgent need for climate action and sustainable development across the continent. President Faure said today, we count on the Russian Federation to accompany us in these defining moments to truly combat climate change. Seychelles will continue to raise its voice in all fora for climate action, ocean protection and the blue economy.

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President Faure speaks on building Blue Economy partnerships at Russia-Africa Forum - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Mozambique Receives US$35 Million Grants of Additional Financing for Social Protection [EN/PT] – Mozambique – ReliefWeb

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2019 The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* grant of US$35 million equivalent from the institutions Crises Response Window as additional financing to scale up the Government of Mozambiques safety net programs in response to the devastating effects of the cyclones Idai and Kenneth on peoples livelihoods in affected communities. This financing is accompanied by a US$10 million grant from a Multidonor Trust Fund supported by the Department for International Development, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

The recent natural disaster events have resulted in tremendous human suffering in rural and urban communities throughout Mozambique, noted Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. This project will help the extremely poor households affected by these natural hazards by providing temporary income support while continuing the efforts of putting in place the building blocks of a social safety net system in the country.

Climate-related shocks disproportionally affect the most vulnerable, and the two cyclones have destroyed their precarious dwellings and decimated the livelihoods of the poorest families in Mozambique. The existing Social Protection Project supports the implementation of key social assistance programs that are now scaled up in the affected areas. These extreme events pose serious threats to poverty reduction efforts and emphasize the need to strengthen social protection systems to rapidly respond to support consumption smoothing among vulnerable families, noted Edmundo Murrugarra, World Bank Senior Social Protection Economist and responsible for the Project.

This aditional financing aims at scaling up the projects activities in the cyclones and flood affected areas by expanding direct cash transfers activities to vulnerable households as well as support post-emergency public works to facilitate reconstruction activities in the affected areas. Thus, 115,000 additional households will be supported in 15 districts of Sofala, Manica and Cabo Delgado provinces. Through its postemergency public works activities, the project supports beneficiaries through the provision of timely, predictable and temporary source of income to avoid negative coping strategies. The post-emergency public works as a catalyzer for rapid local recovery of public assets through the implementation of activities focused on removal of debris, rehabilitation of streets and roads, cleaning of drainage canals, rehabilitation of social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals/health units, and rehabilitation of sanitary infrastructure.

These funds are part of the World Banks broader package which comprises a set of operations totaling about US$700 million in IDA resources to support cyclone response in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.This operation is consistent with the World Bank Groups twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, and its in line with the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2017-2021 for Mozambique.

Media contacts:In Maputo: Rafael Saute, (+258) 21482300, rsaute@worldbank.orgFor more information about the World Banks work in Mozambique visit:www.worldbank.org/en/country/MozambiqueFor more information about IDA, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/idaFriend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldbankafricaFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WorldBankAfricaWatch our videos on YouTube: http://www.worldbank.org/africa/youtubeListen to our Podcasts on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/worldbank/sets/world-bank-africa

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Mozambique Receives US$35 Million Grants of Additional Financing for Social Protection [EN/PT] - Mozambique - ReliefWeb

Madhuri Dixit shares pictures from her vacation in Seychelles with her husband and kids – Times of India

Bollywood's 'Dhak Dhak girl', Madhuri Dixit has taken some time off from her work to enjoy her vacation with her husband Sriram Nene and her two sons Arin and Rayaan. The actress is currently in Seychelles and has been sharing the pictures from her vacation diaries.Now, she took to her Instagram story to share some pictures of herself pausing to enjoy the small moments in life. In the photos, she can be seen posing with a turtle, the caption of which read, "Meet my new friend!"And in another picture, she was all smiles with her husband with a caption, "Vacation mode activated".Check out the posts here: Meanwhile, on the work front, the actress was last seen in 'Kalank' starring Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha and Kunal Kemmu. Helmed by Abhishek Varman, the period film was backed by Karan Johar.

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Madhuri Dixit shares pictures from her vacation in Seychelles with her husband and kids - Times of India

Four Seasons at the Seychelles: A force of nature – Spear’s WMS

The islands of the Seychelles deserve all the heavenly clichs, says Arun Kakar, and Four Seasons has used the surroundings skilfully

Spanning an archipelago of 115 islands, the Republic of Seychelles has become associated with hyperbolic phrases such as paradise and heaven on earth. These phrases have become redundant with overuse, but as soon as one arrives on these islands one could be forgiven for venturing into hyperbole when trying to describe them.

Most international flights land on the main island of Mah, in the capital city of Victoria. Our first destination, Desroches, is 35 minutes away by seaplane. Most of its population of 300 are associated with its only resort, run by Four Seasons.

Desroches is one of the most staggering locations I have encountered. It covers a mere 933 acres, with five pristine beaches covering nine miles of coastline. And what beaches they are: safe, clean, and blissfully isolated. With just 71 properties along the coast, the only soul one might come across is a scurrying crab, or even a turtle.

These awe-inspiring intrinsic qualities of the island are understood perfectly by Four Seasons, which has turned the island into an ultimate luxury destination. The villa Im staying in has its own pool, private entrance to the beach and all the etceteras that one can expect. Its exposed wood interiors and rustic luxury sensibilities across the island make it very easy to feel at home here. You navigate Desroches island by bike (although one can opt for a golf buggy), and while exploring a rainforest path you might have to steer around the odd giant tortoise.

The two indoor/outdoor restaurants serve food at a level that baffles when you consider the remoteness and size of the island. The Lighthouse serves Japanese food with all the panache of an upmarket London eatery under the darkened lights of an outdoor seating paddock. The more chilled-out Claudine is a cool, airy beachside eatery with an impressive Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Theres plenty to do, but within minutes of receiving the keys one finds its difficult not to relax and simply let the island take you in its arms. But before long Im jetted back to Mah, where another Four Seasons resort awaits. The resort is tucked away on the south-west of the island, its villas and tree houses dotted along a mountain front overlooking its private beach.

Buggy is the primary mode of travel here, and it is a livelier affair. There are more restaurants, and they are busier but no less excellent, and its hilltop spa and yoga area are among the highlights.

As well as the many international fine dining options, the island is perhaps most famous for Creole cuisine, which blends together French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, Haitian and German influence. A creamy octopus curry at a local restaurant was a surprising treat.

Its not a surprise that many visitors stay in the Seychelles for months on end. Its a life one could easily become used to.

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Four Seasons at the Seychelles: A force of nature - Spear's WMS

President Faure to visit the United Kingdom and strengthen Russia-Africa relations – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

16 October 2019 | Foreign Affairs

The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, will be proceeding on a working visit to the United Kingdom on Thursday 17 October. Following the Nekton Deep Ocean Expedition that took place in Seychelles earlier this year, marking the first time the deep ocean was explored in this region, President Faure has been invited to chair the first preparatory meeting for the first Indian Ocean Oceans Summit. The three-year Nekton survey is contributing to a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean planned for late 2022.

As part of his visit, the President will be presented with the findings of the Nekton expedition at the Royal Geographical Society in London. He has also been invited to deliver a lecture at the prestigious University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, centred on Seychelles leadership in the Blue Economy and ocean governance at one of the leading universities in the world. He will also meet with Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, at Marlborough House.

Following the United Kingdom, the President will travel to Sochi for the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit. This is the first event of this level in the history of Russian-African relations, with the heads of all states of the African continent invited, as well as leaders of major sub-regional associations and organisations. The President will return to Seychelles on Sunday 27 October 2019, following the summit that will focus on the current state and prospects of Russia's relations with African countries and to the expansion of the political, economic, technical and cultural cooperation.

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President Faure to visit the United Kingdom and strengthen Russia-Africa relations - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Informing nutrition interventions in Southern Africa – Democratic Republic of the Congo – ReliefWeb

The State of Nutrition in the SADC Region Malnutrition is one of the most significant challenges of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). According to the 2018 SADC State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability Report, 20 million children under age five in the region are stunted. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia all have high stunting rates of 40 percent and above. In Madagascar, the national global acute malnutrition rate stands at eight percent. The prevalence of overweight in Botswana, Seychelles and South Africa is 10 percent and higher, indicating an emerging problem in the region.

The Global, Regional and National commitments on nutrition

In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 20162025 the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition. The Decade aims to catalyze policy commitments that result in measurable action to address all forms of malnutrition.

SADC Member States have also committed to meeting the nutrition targets in the Agenda for Sustainable Development by 2030 - in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages).

The SADC Protocol on Health and the SADC Health Policy Framework 2000 commit to improving the nutritional status of the population in the region and addressing the SADCs long-term goals of eliminating poverty.

The SADCs Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (2015 2025) also provides a roadmap for addressing food and nutrition insecurity and poverty especially among the most vulnerable populations.

According to the 2017 Global Nutrition report, for every USD 1 invested in nutrition, there is a USD 16 return. Converting the global, regional and national commitments mentioned above into reductions in malnutrition requires political commitment, better policies, increased investment, evidence-based decision-making and cooperation across sectors from a range of stakeholders

The critical contribution of the RVAA Programme

The RVAA Programme coordinates and supports SADC Members States through National Vulnerability Assessment Committees (NVACs) to undertake annual vulnerability assessments and analysis. Such analysis is a critical input to both emergency response and development programming, and used by both governments and partners.

To gain a deeper understanding of the causes of chronic vulnerability in the region and to inform longer-term programming, the RVAA Programme has integrated nutrition into vulnerability assessments and analysis. NVACs now generate information on nutrition, food consumption, water and sanitation, and child morbidity. The RVAA Programme complements national analysis by facilitating a comparative regional nutrition outlook. A Technical Working (TWG) on Integrating Nutrition, HIV and Gender, established in 2013, provides guidance on the integration of nutrition into vulnerability assessments and analysis. It aims to:

Build the capacities of SADC Member States to generate, analyze and use nutrition information to inform decision-making processes;

Provide a clear understanding of causal factors that are important to monitor and act upon in ensuring food and nutrition security; and

Support the formulation of evidence-based policies and programmes (short, medium and long term) in response to identified gaps.

The TWG group spearheaded the development of SADC Guidance on Integration of Nutrition, HIV, and Gender in Vulnerability Assessments and Analysis for NVACs in 2015. The document provides reviews of approaches, methodologies, and tools for integrating nutrition into the vulnerability assessments and analysis, adaptable to specific country contexts.

The RVAA Programme advocates for the development and implementation of policies and scaling up efforts to address malnutrition in the region.

Examples

In 2018, the Zimbabwe National Nutrition Survey assessed district level nutrition status among children under five years of age.

The Eswatini Vulnerability Assessment Committee has integrated elements of nutrition into their annual rural vulnerability assessment and analysis using variables such as anthropometric measurements.

The Botswana Vulnerability Assessment Committee integrated nutrition indicators into their 2016 Urban Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (UVAA).

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Informing nutrition interventions in Southern Africa - Democratic Republic of the Congo - ReliefWeb

Neil on Africa: The Seychelles is paradise on Earth – IOL

If you want to soak up the sun on a budget, Seychelles is a good destination. Photo: Clinton Moodley/African News Agency (ANA)CAPE TOWN Known for its beauty, the archipelago of 115 islands that includes lush mountains, arresting granite boulders, white sand palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear turquoise ocean waters, the Seychelles has made its name as paradise on Earth.

With its tropical climate and tantalising attractions, the Seychelles has become a magnet for tourists and honeymooners who desire pristine surroundings, privacy and proximity to the best of luxuries and amenities.

Its no wonder that the UKs Prince William and Catherine chose the Seychelles for their honeymoon in 2011, and David and Victoria Beckham escaped to the Seychelles for their 10-day Indian Ocean break on their 10th wedding anniversary.

Not only do the islands have breathtaking landscapes, but theyre also home to some of the most luxurious and secluded hotels.

The Seychelles is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa with a population of 96 762, which is the smallest population of any sovereign African state.

The Seychelles is made up of a chain of islands, with others dotted far off the chain. There are two sets of islands: the inner granite islands and the outer coral islands. There are 45 inner granite islands, while the rest are outer coral islands.

The inner granite islands are the worlds only oceanic granite islands. Mahe is the largest island and the seat of the Seychelles capital city Victoria, the smallest in the world covering 1.5km and can be explored on foot in less than a day.

Though small and eye-catching, the country is the second richest country in Africa (first is Equatorial Guinea) with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $28 712 (R419 983).

Despite its size, the country has managed to turn itself into a prime tourist destination. In 2018 it received 361 844 tourists, 3.5 times its resident population which increased by 3 percent from 2017.

The service industry has transformed the country into a high-income economy with an estimated GDP of $1.59 billion (2018 World Bank), of which 84 percent is generated by the service sector through tourism.

The Seychelles exports vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, fish and guano (a fertiliser made by seabird and bat faeces). Agriculture is not a significant contributor, contributing 2.5 percent to the GDP and the industrial sector 13.5 percent.

On the Neil economic scale, the price of a can of coke is 18.67Rs (R19.92) and a litre of petrol is 19.01Rs (R20.28). Consumer prices and rent are on average 39.7 percent higher in Victoria than in Cape Town.

The Seychelles must ensure transformation aimed at sustained economic growth fuelled by increasing productivity, as the economy is mainly vulnerable to external shocks.

A weakening of tourism entries for instance because of increased competition from newer markets in the Middle East and Asia or a series of price hikes in international food and oil prices could harm the economy.

The leadership of the country has ensured that there is preservation of flora and fauna that can be seen in most parts of the country, which remains nature preserved. Just breathing in the pristine, unpolluted air on Alphonse makes you feel healthier.

It is no surprise to learn that the 2016 Environmental Performance Index found that the Seychelles has the purest air on the planet or that the islands have a world record 50 percent of the total land area under natural conservation. Surely this is paradise.

Neil De Beer is president of the IFA and advises numerous African states on economic development. Find him on http://www.ifa.africa or [emailprotected]

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Celebrations to mark 250 years of Seychelles officially launched | Buzz travel – Buzz.travel | eTurboNews | Travel News

It is in a ceremony at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) in Victoria, on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, that the President of the Republic, Mr. Danny Faure, officially launched the activities commemorating the 250th anniversary of Seychelles.

The launch organised by the national preparatory committee for the 250 years of Seychelles saw the presence of several high Government officials including the Designated Minister, Mrs. Macsuzy Mondon; the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Nicholas Prea; the Leader of the Opposition party Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan and the leader of Government Business Mr. Charles de Commarmond.

In her speech during the ceremony, Mrs. Sherin Francis, chairperson of the committee, mentioned the colourful history of the Seychelles throughout its 250 years of existence and urged all Seychellois to be part of the celebrations.

She further expressed her profound gratitude to all the organisations, including government offices, schools, private sector, artists, private individuals who have responded positively to the various media calls by presenting their projects and ideas to make the celebrations a success.

We are all honoured as Committee Member to be part of this celebration, but mostly it has been very humbling to see how much our Seychelles is a proud nation through the various contribution of their ideas and time. The celebrations remain a way for us to celebrate our beloved country and share with our next generations the real sense of the word patriotism, said Mrs. Francis.

The ceremony conducted in the three national languages of Seychelles opened its curtains on singing presentation from Angels Choir singing the blessing song Ouver ou Leker written by Raymond Clarisse and ended on a light note through a dance performance-dubbed Nou Lorizin-retracing the early days of Seychelles by the youth from the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC).

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JSC disowns Tibatemwa on new job in Seychelles – Daily Monitor

By ANTHONY WESAKA

In a twist of events, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has denied approving Supreme Court judge Lillian Tibatemwa to serve in the Seychelles court.

A source in JSC yesterday said they did not know of Justice Tibatemwas appointment to the Seychelles Court of Appeal until Tuesday.

We have not endorsed Justice Tibatemwa to join the Seychelles court. We just learnt of it through social media yesterday [Tuesday]. So, this is contrary to what I am reading in the papers that JSC, which is her employer, had approved her move, the source said.

We are going to notify the line minister [Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire] about it since it raises legal issues of how a sitting judge without permission gets a job in another country, the source added. On Monday, Justice Tibatemwa took oath before the President of Seychelles, Mr Danny Faure, as she joined their Court of Appeal, the countrys highest court.

Ugandas Judiciarys media unit came out to clarify that she was joining the Seychelles court on part-time basis and would still handle cases back home.

They added that Justice Tibatemwa had discussed the appointment with Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and the JSC. JSC is the statutory body that recruits and disciplines judicial officers.

According to the Seychelles State House website, President Faure appointed Justice Tibatemwa on recommendations made by the Constitutional Appointments Authority pursuant to Article 123 of the Constitution of Seychelles. Other Ugandan judges who have worked in Seychelles are Justice Duncan Gaswaga and Justice Fredrick Egonda Ntende, with the latter having served as the countrys chief justice.

Ugandas former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki also at one time worked as a judge in Swaziland while at the same time serving in Uganda.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

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JSC disowns Tibatemwa on new job in Seychelles - Daily Monitor

5-star Sundowns thrash Seychelles outfit – Sport24

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns all but secured their place in the CAF Champions League group stages after cruising to a 5-0 victory at Seychelles outfit Cote d'Or on Saturday.

It was certainly a case of mission accomplished for Pitso Mosimane's men as they picked up five goals away from home in the first leg of the qualifying first round, with Tiyani Mabunda bagging a brace while Lyle Lakay, Wayne Arendse and Sphelele Mkhulise also getting in on the act.

Sundowns laid down a marker early in the contest as Mabunda popped up in the fifth minute to put the visitors in front with a superb header.

And Downs didn't let up after claiming an early lead, with Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mkhulise both going close to adding to the lead in the opening half-hour.

However, Sundowns were unable to breach the Cote d'Or for a second time in the remaining minutes of the first half as the hosts somehow managed to keep themselves in the contest.

In fact, the visitors had Wayne Arendse to thank for ensuring Cote d'Or didn't draw level nine minutes into the second half as the defender pulled off a vital goal-line clearance to spare Downs' blushes.

That moment proved to be pivotal as Sundowns went on to double their advantage in the 68th minute, with Lakay getting on the end of an inviting cross to head home from inside the area.

And with the that goal on the board, the floodgates opened as a rampant Downs went on to net three more times in the closing stages of the contest.

Just two minutes later, Mkhulise made it three for Downs before Mabunda got his second of the afternoon with a driven shot that left the keeper with no chance.

And Sundowns rubbed further salt in the wounds of the hosts in the 84th minute as Arendse fired a shot into the bottom-right corner.

- Teamtalk Media

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5-star Sundowns thrash Seychelles outfit - Sport24

Air Seychelles Commits to Reducing Carbon Footprint – Aviation Tribune

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Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles has announced that the airline is moving forward with its corporate social responsibility programme to reduce carbon emissions, reinforcing its commitment towards sustainability.

In addition to investing in a series of electric equipment to reduce fuel dependency in its ground operations, the arrival of the new Airbus A320neo aircraft at the start of August, has also played a significant role in the environmental initiatives of the airline.

Having completed 111 flights during its first month of operation across the airlines network between 6 August and 6 September 2019, the new engine option aircraft has on average generated 20% fuel savings per flight.

The improvement in fuel consumption influenced by the lightweight composite structure of the aircraft has also been enabled by the large fuel-saving wingtip known as sharklets.

Powered by the new generation LEAP-1A engine from CFM International, the Airbus A320neo produces approximately 50 percent reduced noise footprint and nitrogen oxides (N0x) compared to the fleet of Airbus A320ceo (current engine option) aircraft. The maximum noise produced by the new aircraft is similar to that of a heavy truck loader passing at a distance of five meters in the city traffic.

Remco Althuis, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles said:

The aviation industry worldwide is under considerable pressure over the issue of carbon emissions and its impact on climate change. As fuel and emissions are two key factors that impact the global environment, at Air Seychelles we remain committed to contributing towards the sustainable development, by conducting business in an economically and responsible manner. To ensure that the airline develops sustainably, we will continue to explore ways to implement ecological measures across the business, to improve and safeguard the environment where the airline operates.

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Air Seychelles Commits to Reducing Carbon Footprint - Aviation Tribune

Good Company: Ker & Downey Africas Focus on Sustainable Tourism – Barron’s

Syd Downey and Donald Ker founded safari company Ker & Downey in Kenya in 1946, but their legacy lives on as a highly regarded name in the luxury travel industry.

Ker & Downey has since split into several different companies that all retain the Ker & Downey name, one of which is Ker & Downey Africa, based in Cape Town. Ker & Downey Africa caters to a select group of boutique international travel agents and private clients looking for luxury travel in Africa.

Taking inspiration from the original founders, we still include an element of challenge, connect, and legacy in each of our tailor-made trips, CEO Lee Kelsall, 36, says. He says that adventure is an important part of his companys excursions.

In recent years, Ker & Downey Africa has focused on sustainable tourism. Weve found an increased desire for purposeful travel experiences which contribute to the wellbeing of our planet and its people, Kelsall says.

Whether it means partnering with local NGOs or working to minimize visitors carbon footprints, Ker & Downey takes a holistic approach toward responsible tourism.

THE ITEM

Ker & Downey Africa offers personalized LuxVenture Experience tours that allow visitors to give back to local communities during their high-end travels. Though the tourism company specializes in safari trips, it also offers a wide breadth of other luxe expeditions to Southern and East Africa, Madagascar, Reunion Island, the Seychelles, and Antarctica.

Ker & Downey Africas trips include the South Africa & Seychelles Trip by Private Jet, the Botswana + Zambia Horseback Safari, and the Reunion Island LuxVenture, which involves hiking to the rim of active volcanoes and explorations by helicopter.

Ker & Downey Africa also operates two more specialized travel brands: Grand Africa Safaris, a destination management company specializing in luxury travel to East Africa, and Jumbari Family Safaris, which serves Ker & Downey Africas most eco-conscious clients traveling to Africa with their families.

PRICE

As with most bespoke services, the prices of Ker & Downeys curated LuxVenture Trips span a wide range. While some group trips such as the Benin Safari are priced starting at around US$3,000 per person, prices for more exclusive trips jump to US$20,000 to US$25,000 per person. Ker & Downey Africa advertises its South Africa to Antarctica Expedition as starting at US$45,772 per person on its website. After consultations with a LuxVenture Expert, trips are tailored to the clients needs and interests.

DESCRIPTION

Ker & Downey Africa weaves together arts and culture, adventure, and social responsibility in its tours.

The South Africa & Seychelles Trip by Private Jet, for example, takes travelers to the worlds largest contemporary African art museum, the ZEITZ MOCAA before they are whisked off to private accommodations in Kruger National Park for big-game safaris and a cooking class with a purpose at the Singita Community Culinary School, a community partnership program that serves local youth. Clients cook traditional dishes alongside students and chefs, and 1% of their trips cost is donated to the schools expansion and development of the local community.

Kelsall says, We create opportunities for our clients to truly engage with the people, culture, and spirit of each destination that they visit and make a positive impact through conservation and community upliftment.

After cooking school, clients take a private jet to a private island in the Seychelles, where they can discover local coral reefs, practice yoga, and learn about the local conversation program for the islands giant Aldabra tortoise.

WHATS THE GOOD?

Ker & Downey Africas approach to social responsibility is multi-pronged, focusing on investing in local communities, preserving Africas wildlife and promoting eco-conscious practices. Ker & Downey Africa, and especially its sister company, Jumbari Family Safaris, encourage their clients to leave a smaller carbon footprint by supporting environmentally and socially conscious products and services, like solar-powered eco-lodges and electric vehicles.

Ker & Downey Africa offers a selection of Conservation Trips, including a Gorilla Trek, where clients explore the deep Congo forest alongside conversationalists. Meanwhile, Jumbari Family Safaris follows a strict selection process when vetting sustainable lodges.

Leaving a positive legacy in Africa is the foundation of everything that we do, Kelsall says. Being based in South Africa, we believe that it is our responsibility to preserve Africas wildlife and to empower local communities that call the continent their home.

Ker & Downey Africas Legacy Program includes several partnerships and collaborations with local organizations like the Project Brave Foundation, African Parks, and Harambee. Project Brave focuses on uplifting underserved women and children living on the streets of South Africa through education and development, psychological and medical support, food, and toiletry packs and shelter.

During the 13-day Art Safari in South Africa, guests get to meet the founders of Project Brave and 1% of their booking value is donated to the non-profit organization. Ker & Downey Africa also donates an additional $100 to Project Brave for each guest on the tour.

The company is also an official Conservation Travel Partner to African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization aimed at rehabilitating and managing national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.

Harambee, based in Cape Town, helps to connect young, unemployed members of the local community with career opportunities. Ker & Downey partners with Harambee and has an internship program with candidates from the organization.

WHATS NEXT

Kelsall says that Ker & Downey Africa plans to grow its brand in the U.S. and other global markets. We are also always on the lookout for new opportunities in the luxury travel space and actively seek out innovative brands and ideas to invest in or collaborate with, so watch this space for new developments, he says.

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Good Company: Ker & Downey Africas Focus on Sustainable Tourism - Barron's

Launching of celebrations to commemorate 250 years since first settlement in Seychelles – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

18 September 2019 | Culture

President Danny Faure attended the official launching ceremony of celebrations to commemorate 250 years since the first settlement in Seychelles at the International Conference Centre this evening.

As announced byPresident Faure on 27 August 2018, the celebrations of the 250th anniversary of the first settlement in Seychelles will be held on August 2020. A national preparatory committee chaired by the CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board, MrsSherinFrancis, was established to spearhead the planning and organisation of the events.

The committee has been meeting regularly and engaging with the population including government, district authorities, schools, and private sector to design a year of unique activities to bring people together and commemorate this important milestone in the history of Seychelles.

In her address, Mrs Francis requested the full support and commitment of everyone.Together we can remain the nation of peace, a bright example that lives in harmony and embraces its cultural diversity. This is what makes us proud to be Seychellois and this is why each and every one should feel part of these celebrations, said Mrs Francis.

She also announced some of the different activities confirmed for the celebration, saying, Today, I am pleased to announce that all of the districts and communities areonboard, and several exciting initiatives are set to take place. TheDepartment of Local Government and the Department of Culture will be organising various activities, but most importantly, will be launching a National Costume Competition. Over the years, there has been debate on whether we should have a National Costume. Finally, after 250 years, weshallhave one. From the private sector, Mr RobertGrandcourt, would like to erect a monument onPraslinin honour of all those lost at sea. Schools will be participating in a history fair.

In closing, she described how the celebrations marked an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and history of Seychelles and for all citizens to participate.

President Faure wasgivena commemorative plaque of the occasion and officiallylaunched the 250 years celebrations.The ceremony also featured a video retracing Seychelles history through old pictures.

To note, donation boxes will be placed in schools, hotels and other places to raise funds for the 250 years celebrations. The public is encouraged to donate any amount they wish.

Also present for the official opening was the Designated Minister, Mrs Macsuzy Mondon, Speaker of the National Assembly, Nicholas Prea, Leader of Opposition, Hon. Wavel Ramkalawan, the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, Hon. Charles Decommarmond, Cabinet Ministers, Honourable Members of the National Assembly, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other distinguished guests.

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Launching of celebrations to commemorate 250 years since first settlement in Seychelles - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Ranked: The Top Ten Best Beaches In The World – Forbes

Soft white sand, impossibly blue bath-warm waters, a smattering of palm fronds for shade and an ice cold cocktail in hand the perfect beach experience. Its about as close as we get to the picture postcard image of a relaxing vacation, and luckily for us, the world is overflowing with them.

Anse Source D'Argent Beach in the Seychelles also known as paradise.

But where to go? Which to visit? Are you looking to zone out with a good book and only the sound of lapping waves for company? Or are you all about the action and want to swim, surf or parasail?

Looking at a range of factors from visitor ratings, average air and water temperatures and average number of sunny days to proximity to restaurants, hotels, bars and nightlife, Alpha Travel Insurance has ranked a comprehensive top ten of the worlds best beaches.

Grace Bay in the Turks & Caicos what more could you ask of a beach?

The top two ranking beaches can both be found around the Caribbean, with Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands taking the top spot, scoring 96 out of 100, closely followed by Pink Sands Beach on Harbor Island in the Bahamas with 91. While both scored full marks in visitor ratings, Pink Sands can only muster an average 223 days of sunshine a year compared to Grace Bays 319.

Third spot went to Anse Source DArgent on La Digue Island in the gorgeous Seychelles (and my personal favorite), which scored well for weather, restaurants and activities.

With more sunshine and warmer waters than any other beach, Maya Bay is undoubtedly one of the world's best.

Sunshine and high temperatures obviously play a big factor in any beachs appeal. Topping the hot list with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) was Playa Norte on Mexicos Isla Mujeres. Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi in Thailand came out number one for sunshine with an average 352 days of sunbathing on offer annually. That extended sunshine also gives it an almost unbelievable average water temperature of 28.9C (84.02F).

So perfect it's almost unreal, Railay Beach in Thailand.

If action is more your bag, theres plenty to cater to every taste. Staying in Thailand, Railay Beach rated best for activities with 11 different options to choose from at an average 4.9 rating from 5. If 11 just isnt enough for you, back at Maya Bay youll find a mind-boggling 61 different things to do. Highest rated beaches for visitor activities include Varadero Beach, Cuba; Anse Source DArgent, La Digue Island, Seychelles and Hidden Beach, El Nido, Philippines all top rating with 5 out of 5.

For some, the best beach is the one nearest the bar. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic has plenty to choose from.

Once the sun sets and the party starts, nightlife kicks in as a contributing factor. Overall winner Grace Bay takes top spot with full marks for its nightlife visitor ratings. For sheer choice, head to Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic which has a riotous 19 major bars and nightclubs nearby. For proximity to great restaurants but fewer crowds, Malmok Beach in Noord, Aruba scored highly.

Heres the full top ten:

The Top Ten Best Beaches by index ranking.

Want to see how the rankings were worked out? You can read the methodology here

And because it would be rude not to, heres one more perfect slice of sand to sign off with

Hidden beach, a popular hideaway that's hard to find but not too hard.

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Ranked: The Top Ten Best Beaches In The World - Forbes

Cabinet Business – Wednesday 18th September 2019 – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

19 September 2019 | Cabinet Business

President Danny Faure chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday 18th September, at which a number of policy memoranda were considered.

Cabinet approved for the accession of Seychelles to the Harmonised System Convention which established the Harmonised System nomenclature for the classification of goods. Accession to the Harmonised System Convention will allow Seychelles to benefit from technical assistance and membership on the Harmonised System Committee.

Cabinet also approved for the removal of excise tax on cabins for trucks under heading 87.03 of the Harmonised System.

Cabinet approved for Seychelles to become a member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) through accession to the Harare Protocol.

Cabinet approved for the provision of an exempt order for registered fishermen and farmers not to pay business tax. This approval will serve to maintain the current practice where individuals who are farmers or fishermen do not pay tax.

Cabinet also undertook discussions on the 2019 mid-year budget review as well as further proposals for the 2020 budget.

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Cabinet Business - Wednesday 18th September 2019 - News - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles


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