The Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel met with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in the margins of the 25th African Union Summit, Johannesburg, South Africa. The President was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, Diplomatic Adviser in the President’s Office, Ambassador Callixte D’Offay, Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Claude Morel, and Ambassador to the African Union, Mr. Joseph Nourrice.
The President thanked Dr Zuma for meeting the Seychelles’ delegation and commended her for her leadership shown throughout her tenure. He also expressed his gratitude to her for supporting the oceanic agenda, the Blue Economy concept and the importance given to the small island developing states issues.
“I would like to congratulate you for your dynamic leadership which you are spearheading during your tenure as Chair of the African Union Commission and I would like to express our appreciation for the hard work and dedication you have shown. I would like to also express my appreciation for the supporting the Blue Economy concept and its importance given in Africa’s Agenda 2063. A dossier that Seychelles has been championing on the international scene,” said President Michel.
Mr. Michel noted that this year’s theme; “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”, is the key to future and further see what we can achieve.
The President and Dr Zuma further discussed the Blue Economy concept and agreed that more should be done to sensitize Africa about its potential.
“The Blue Economy holds a lot of promise and potential for the development of the African continent. But to achieve its success we must ensure that there’s peace and security in Africa, so as to be able to harness its potential. We are setting up an Institute on the Blue Economy which will be part of the University of Seychelles, where both local and international scientists can carry out research and we would also welcome our fellow researchers from Africa,” said the President.
Dr Zuma noted that the Blue Economy is very interesting and that she is going to try and have a Summit in Africa so to raise the awareness on the concept. Something that she said Seychelles and other countries would appreciate.
Finally, President Michel thanked Dr Zuma for the award on ‘Gender Parity Achievements’ that Seychelles received during the Summit. An award which shows that Seychelles has been actively promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls in different sectors such as in government, health, education, the legislature, the business sector and others.
The President noted that Seychelles has not only attained but has in fact gone beyond the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets by 2015 in its constant quest for people centred development.