Spotlight on Seychelles
Pirates were known to hide within these islands, so it is believed that there are millions of dollars worth of buried treasure to be discovered throughout the island nation.
The Republic of Seychelles is the archipelago of 115 islands near northeast of Madagascar 1,269 miles east of Kenya. At 455 sqkm, Seychelles is considered Considered one of the smallest African state with the capital of Victoria on the main island of Mahe. Home to one of the oldest living animal, the giant tortoise, Seychelles also houses over 200 plant species with 80 of them can only be found on the islands. Look up coco de mer, jellyfish trees, bois de fer. The coco de mer (sea coconut) is on two islands and creates a fruit that is one of the largest and heaviest recorded. It has been used as a medicine, aphrodisiac and various remedies over the decades. The coco de mer is the national symbol of the country. The island did not have an indigenous population so the French planters, African slaves and South Indians that settled there in 1770 make made up the demographic of the islands The population, now at about 100,000 citizens, is a predominantly Creole ethnic group made up of a Roman Catholic and Protestant assembly. Over 75% of the population lives on Mahe and the rest are mainly spread over two other islands. Seychelles is also matriarchal society, where women are the leaders of the households with more economic responsibilities while the men primarily play a role with their earning ability by doing more manual labor.
The islands have never been inhabited before the colonial times but in the 18th century the French and British fought for control of the islands. The Seychelles was named after Jean Moreau de SECHELLES, the finance minister of France in 1756. Great Britain eventually gained control and ruled for decades. Slavery was abolished by the British in 1835 and at the turn of the century, the islands were a place were prisoners from Egypt, Zanzibar and Palestine were exiled to. The nation gained independence in 1976 and formed the socialist People’s United Party under President France-Albert Rene. A new constitution was created in 1993 and France-Albert Rene was reelected. The islands are split into 25 districts are now part of a mixed political system with elements of English and French law. There are eight recognized political parties and the presidential seat is won by popular vote and can be served for a maximum of two five year terms. The presidential republic is has been lead by President Danny Faure since October 2016. He rules as the chief of state and head of government.
STATE OF AFFAIRS
Since independence, the Seychelles main source of wealth stemmed from the tourism and fishing industries. Due to the economic dependence on tourism, fishing and beverage making it susceptible to natural disasters, low tourism, and climate change. The agriculture sector on the island produces coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla and sweet potatoes. The country’s GDP is now $2.75 billion but the public debt is over 50% with over $2.5 billion. The Seychelles recently converted a third of its waters to a marine haven as an effort to lower occurrences of overfishing, piracy and as a preservation effort. As a way to gain debt forgiveness, the area which is twice the size of Great Britain will have fishing, mining or drilling prohibited.
CALL TO ACTION
Despite the advancements in education and health care, the socioeconomic disparities are present due to the large financial gap between the upper and lower classes. About 35% of the population lives below the poverty line. There is government corruption through lack of fair trials and acceptances of bribes in addition to there being restriction of free speech. Seychelles ranked 43 out of 178 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index. You can get involved by reaching out to representatives at the United Nations to create effective programs for the dilemmas plaguing the country.
For more information as to how you can aid those in Seychelles visit: