IPU ranks Seychelles’ National Assembly 5th for gender balance

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles' statistics at 5:28 pm by Robert Klien

The global Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) established in 1889 has highlighted Seychelles’ National Assembly’s gender balance, putting it in a 5th position worldwide.

According to the IPU, Seychelles has 14 women MNAs out of a total 32, representing 43.8% of the law makers.

The 1st position is taken by Rwanda with 56.3% or 45 out of 80 parliamentarians being women. It is followed by Andorra (50.0% or 14 out of 28), Cuba (45.2% or 265 out of 586), Sweden (44.7% or 156 out of 349). Finland comes after Seychelles with 42.5% or 85 out of 200. The United Kingdom is ranked 53rd (22.3% women), France 69th (18.9%), Mauritius 70th (18.8%) and USA 78th (16.8%).

A statement from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development & Sports said: “Seychelles shot up to fifth position in January 2012 following a 20% increase since last year’s elections. This is a testament to the strides Seychellois women are making in politics and decision-making.” Also, it was added that “What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that Seychelles achieved this impressive result without a quota system, which is used by many countries to reserve seats for women.


Seychelles and Mauritius to jointly manage Indian Ocean shelf

Posted in International relations at 3:49 pm by Robert Klien

On March 6, 2012, Seychelles and Mauritius signed an agreement to jointly manage a continental shelf in the Indian Ocean spanning 396 000 square km in what was described as a pathbreaking accord.

The pact came after the 2 jurisdictions obtained conjoint rights on the Mascarene Islands continental shelf in March 2011.

The above-mentioned treaty was signed during a visit by Seychelles President James Michel.

Joshua Brien, a Commonwealth official specialising in maritime frontiers, commented: “It’s a world first in that it’s the first time that two island nations have reached an agreement on managing the continental shelf without calling a referee”.

The agreement outlines the exploration and management of the seabed to pool out petrol and gas reserves and mineral deposits as well as living organisms.

A second treaty that was signed by the two parties regarded the management of marine resources.

Both documents were signed by Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam in the presence of Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Ransford Smith.


IMF expects Seychelles growth sharply down in 2012

Posted in Business and Economy, International Organisations, Seychelles' statistics at 3:50 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles’ economy is expected to grow by 2.8% this year, from an estimated 4.9% in 2011, hurt by a slowdown in tourism due to the debt crisis in its main source market, the euro zone, the IMF said.

The International Monetary Fund, which had previously put the Indian Ocean archipelago’s GDP growth forecast for this year at 4% , said it also expected inflation to fall in 2012.

The IMF said in a statement that in 2012, gross domestic product growth is projected to slow down mainly due to the worsening environment in Europe, which is Seychelles’ main tourism market.

The Fund stated that with appropriate macroeconomic policies, Seychelles’ inflation was expected to slow to 5% by the end of this year from 5.5% at the end of 2011.

The year-on-year inflation rate stood at 5.8% in February from 5.6% in the previous month.


Seychelles names Central Bank governor as Finance Minister

Posted in International Organisations, Seychelles government at 3:52 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles’ president appointed the Indian Ocean archipelago’s central bank governor, Pierre Laporte, to the position of the country’s finance minister replacing Danny Faure during a cabinet reshuffle.

Laporte has previously worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He takes the position at the finance ministry in a country that depends heavily on tourism, which accounts for 25.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), and its fishing industry. Speaking after his appointment, Laporte said that the economy was expected to fare far worse than had been predicted.

On February 7, 2012, the International Monetary Fund revised down its growth forecast for the Seychelles’ economy in 2012 to 4% from 4.7%, citing a slowdown in tourism due to the euro zone debt crisis. GDP is expected to have grown 5% in 2011 after expanding 6.7% in 2010.

Laporte was named as central bank governor in November 2008.


Seychelles inflation rate rises to 5.8% in February

Posted in Business and Economy, Seychelles' statistics at 3:28 pm by Robert Klien

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the year-on-year inflation rate in Seychelles rose to 5.6% in January. New figures have been recently published by the NBS. In February, the year-on-year inflation rate rose to 5.8% from 5.6% a month earlier, after the consumer price index (CPI) climbed 0.4% during the month.

The Bureau said that while fish prices fell 0.4% in February from January, other food prices rose 0.5% with increases for items such as milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, sugar, jam, honey and sweets. Health and transport costs drove the non-food category up 0.4% in February from a month earlier.

The year-on-year inflation rate in Seychelles surged as high as 63.3% after the jurisdiction removed currency controls as part of an IMF rescue package in 2008.

The rate has been relatively subdued since October 2009, when it stood at 25.6%, although the rise in February was the 6th in a row.


Seychelles’ President becomes world tourism ambassador

Posted in Seychelles government, Tourism industry at 3:53 pm by Robert Klien

President James Michel became a world ambassador for tourism. This was announced on March during the official opening of the Carnaval International de Victoria after he accepted the ‘Global leaders for tourism campaign open letter’.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary general Taleb Rifai presented the letter to Mr Michel as well as the président du Conseil Regional de l’île de La Réunion, Didier Robert.

It should be mentioned that it is the 1st time that such a letter is presented to heads of state and government. By accepting this letter, Mr Michel automatically became world ambassadors for tourism.
The letter will also be presented to all heads of state across the world.

Mr Rifai revealed that this year Seychelles will host the Africa Route event in July.


Tough global problems bring Seychelles and UK closer

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 3:54 pm by Robert Klien

When addressing many global issues, Seychelles and the United Kingdom have been working together. The two jurisdictions addressed those problems in which either country has played remarkable and leadership roles.

The fight against climate change is a good example. However, more recently, the bilateral and multinational counter-piracy efforts have been in sharp focus.

The visit last week by Seychelles’ President James Michel to the United Kingdom has locally been seen as a major highlight of our links.

British high commissioner Matthew Forbes said: “I was delighted that President Michel was able to visit London as a guest of government together with ministers Joel Morgan and Jean-Paul Adam” He added: “This was a historic visit, the first ever at guest of government level since independence.”

Mr Forbes noted that the President held very successful meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague and also met leaders from around the world at the London Conference on Somalia. Another highlight was the audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

He said that Seychelles is regarded as a key leader in the area of anti-piratism, which was apparent at the London Conference.