On the occasion of the Seychelles’ National Day on 18th June, celebrating 21 years since the adoption of the constitution of the Third Republic, President James Michel has spoken of the importance of national unity in his vision for a better future for the country, in an address at Stad Linite, where the National Day parade took place this afternoon.

The President of Cabo Verde Dr. Jorge Carlos Fonseca was guest of honour at the celebration.

President Michel said that this year is the last year that Seychelles celebrates 18th June as the National Day, as the government has undertaken procedures to celebrate 29th June, the anniversary of Seychelles’ independence in 1976, as the national day as of 2015.

“It is a date that is unanimously accepted among Seychellois. It is a unifying date. A date that rallies us around the symbols that represent our wealth, happiness and well-being of the people that we are. It is about national unity, patriotism, solidarity, fraternity, love and respect for our fellow Seychellois.It is quite right that we commemorate this indisputable date in our history with the importance that it deserves. That we accord it greater political, social, moral, institutional and cultural recognition. No one will ever contest this decision. It is the people themselves who have decided. We are doing it for all Seychellois. For our children. For posterity. For national unity,” said the President in his address.

He added that national unity is the  only way to reach’ the new frontier’ and called on all Seychellois to join him in this endeavor, for the New Seychelles and for the children of Seychelles.

“Our biggest asset is our national unity. Nobody – I repeat nobody – will convince me of the contrary. Nobody will make me change my mind. Nothing is more important to me than this.  And I will continue to dedicate my life, my energy, my work toward the promotion and strengthening of national unity.”

Mr. Michel announced that he would create a high level forum, which he will chair,  which would include certain individuals – irrespective of their political affiliations – who have distinguished themselves by their knowledge, their experience, their goodwill and service to the nation.

“The role of this forum will be to deliberate on all issues which directly impact the national interest, and to make concrete proposals which government will consider seriously. Its members will be entirely free to debate any issue that concerns the future of Seychelles in any domain – national unity, inclusivity, political, economic, social, moral, cultural, etc. Consultations are the key to national unity. Consultations assist government in making good decisions.”

President Michel spoke about several initiatives that will be undertaken by the government.

Blue Economy

President Michel said that an important aspect of Seychelles’ sustainable development policy is the judicious management and exploitation of the blue economy, as a major contributor to its wider economy in the future.  He added that several projects to enable Seychellois to participate in the blue economy are in progress.

Housing subsidies

The President said that government must intensify efforts to help families have access to their own homes. There are several measures the government is going to announce in the near future to contribute toward this objective. This includes an increase in the Housing Loan Scheme, from SR500,000 to SR750,000; increase in Second Housing Loan, from SR300,000 to SR400,000; an increase in Housing Extension Scheme; and a review of the criteria for the Home Savings Scheme. The measures will become effective from 1st July.

Furthermore, the Self-Financing Scheme will be activated between now and September with the starting of construction of houses at Ile Perseverance for people who have taken a loan under this Scheme.

Harmonizing laws for modern legislation

The President said Seychelles must become more productive, to deepen its knowledge. And become more creative and innovative, in order to attract more investment, local as well as foreign.

“Be smarter in the way we do business. Be smarter in our relations, and in the way we interact with the rest of the world….. We also need to harmonise our laws in line with our Constitution, modernise our legislation in conformity with best international practices, whilst taking into account our specificities, our culture and our traditions.”

New Providence Microenterprise Centre

The President said the countries needs to have more small businesses, more medium enterprises, so that the economy continues to grow.

“They are one of the pillars of our economy and motors of our development.  This is one of the sectors where public-private sector partnership can flourish, and we need to encourage it. My Government accords it great importance and we will continue to support its development and expansion.

The opening of the Providence Microenterprise Centre in September will represent a significant step in this direction. Depending on demand and necessity, we will consider the creation of similar centres in regions in the future.”

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