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Africa :: SEYCHELLES
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SEYCHELLES
  • Introduction :: SEYCHELLES

  • A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Single-party rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was reelected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James Alix MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011 and again in December 2015. In October 2016, James MICHEL resigned and handed over the presidency to his Vice-President Danny FAURE.
  • Geography :: SEYCHELLES

  • archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
    4 35 S, 55 40 E
    Africa
    total: 455 sq km
    land: 455 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 199
    2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
    0 km
    491 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
    Mahe Group is volcanic with a narrow coastal strip and rocky, hilly interior; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
    mean elevation: NA
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
    fish, coconuts (copra), cinnamon trees
    agricultural land: 6.5%
    arable land 2.2%; permanent crops 4.3%; permanent pasture 0%
    forest: 88.5%
    other: 5% (2011 est.)
    3 sq km (2012)
    more than three-quarters of the population lives on the main island of Mahe; Praslin contains less than 10%; a smaller percent on La Digue and the outer islands
    lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts
    water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    smallest African country; the constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155 islands: 42 granitic and 113 coralline; by far the largest island is Mahe, which is home to about 90% of the population and the site of the capital city of Victoria
  • People and Society :: SEYCHELLES

  • 93,920 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
    adjective: Seychellois
    mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
    Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)
    Roman Catholic 76.2%, Protestant 10.6% (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6), other Christian 2.4%, Hindu 2.4%, Muslim 1.6%, other non-Christian 1.1%, unspecified 4.8%, none 0.9% (2010 est.)
    Seychelles has no indigenous population and was first permanently settled by a small group of French planters, African slaves, and South Indians in 1770. Seychelles’ modern population is composed of the descendants of French and later British settlers, Africans, and Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern traders and is concentrated on three of its 155 islands – the vast majority on Mahe and lesser numbers on Praslin and La Digue. Seychelles’ population grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century, largely due to natural increase, but the pace has slowed because of fertility decline. The total fertility rate dropped sharply from 4.0 children per woman in 1980 to 1.9 in 2015, mainly as a result of a family planning program, free education and health care, and increased female labor force participation. Life expectancy has increased steadily, but women on average live 9 years longer than men, a difference that is higher than that typical of developed countries.
    The combination of reduced fertility and increased longevity has resulted in an aging population, which will put pressure on the government’s provision of pensions and health care. Seychelles’ sustained investment in social welfare services, such as free primary health care and education up to the post-secondary level, have enabled the country to achieve a high human development index score – among the highest in Africa. Despite some of its health and education indicators being nearly on par with Western countries, Seychelles has a high level of income inequality.
    An increasing number of migrant workers – mainly young men – have been coming to Seychelles in recent years to work in the construction and tourism industries. As of 2011, foreign workers made up nearly a quarter of the workforce. Indians are the largest non-Seychellois population – representing half of the country’s foreigners – followed by Malagasy.
    0-14 years: 19.88% (male 9,578/female 9,089)
    15-24 years: 13.24% (male 6,536/female 5,898)
    25-54 years: 49.36% (male 24,585/female 21,775)
    55-64 years: 9.88% (male 4,758/female 4,522)
    65 years and over: 7.64% (male 2,868/female 4,311) (2017 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 42.8
    youth dependency ratio: 31
    elderly dependency ratio: 11.7
    potential support ratio: 8.5 (2015 est.)
    total: 34.9 years
    male: 34.4 years
    female: 35.5 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    0.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    13.7 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    more than three-quarters of the population lives on the main island of Mahe; Praslin contains less than 10%; a smaller percent on La Digue and the outer islands
    urban population: 54.5% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 1.02% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    VICTORIA (capital) 26,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    total: 10.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    total population: 74.7 years
    male: 70.2 years
    female: 79.4 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    1.85 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    3.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    0.98 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    3.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 95.7% of population
    rural: 95.7% of population
    total: 95.7% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.3% of population
    rural: 4.3% of population
    total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 98.4% of population
    rural: 98.4% of population
    total: 98.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 1.6% of population
    rural: 1.6% of population
    total: 1.6% of population (2015 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    26.9% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    3.6% (2012)
    3.6% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91.8%
    male: 91.4%
    female: 92.3% (2012 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 15 years (2015)
    total: 14%
    male: 12.1%
    female: 16.2% (2015 est.)
  • Government :: SEYCHELLES

  • conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
    conventional short form: Seychelles
    local long form: Republic of Seychelles
    local short form: Seychelles
    etymology: named by French Captain Corneille Nicholas MORPHEY after Jean Moreau de SECHELLES, the finance minister of France, in 1756
    presidential republic
    name: Victoria
    geographic coordinates: 4 37 S, 55 27 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    25 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Royale, Au Cap, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand Anse Mahe, Grand Anse Praslin, Inner Islands, La Riviere Anglaise, Les Mamalles, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Roche Caiman, Saint Louis, Takamaka
    29 June 1976 (from the UK)
    Constitution Day, 18 June (1993); Independence Day (National Day), 29 June (1976)
    history: previous 1970, 1979; latest drafted May 1993, approved by referendum 18 June 1993, effective 23 June 1993
    amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the National Assembly; passage of amendments affecting the country’s sovereignty, symbols and languages, the supremacy of the constitution, fundamental rights and freedoms, amendment procedures, and dissolution of the Assembly also requires approval by at least 60% of voters in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
    mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Seychelles
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Danny FAURE (since 16 October 2016); Vice President Vincent MERITON (since 28 October 2016); note - James Alix MICHEL resigned the presidency effective 16 October 2016; the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Danny FAURE (since 16 October 2016); Vice President Vincent MERITON (since 28 October 2016); note - James Alix MICHEL resigned the presidency effective 16 October 2016
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 1 additional term); election last held on 3-5 December 2015 with runoff on 16-18 December 2015 (next to be held in December 2020)
    election results: President James Alix MICHEL reelected president; percent of vote in second round - James Alix MICHEL (PL) 50.2%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN (SNP) 49.8%
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (up to 35 seats - the Assembly elected in September 2016 has 33 members; 25 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and up to 10 members elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 8-10 September 2016 (next to be held in 2021); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
    election results: percent of vote by party - LDS 49.6%, PL 49.2%, other 1.2%; seats by party - LDS 19, PL 14
    highest court(s): Seychelles Court of Appeal (consists of the court president and 4 justices); Supreme Court of Seychelles (consists of the chief justice and 9 puisne judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 3 Supreme Court judges)
    judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, a 3-member body, with 1 member appointed by the president of the republic, 1 by the opposition leader in the National Assembly, and 1 by the other 2 appointees; judges appointed until retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: Magistrates' Courts of Seychelles; Family Tribunal for issues such as domestic violence, child custody, and maintenance; Employment Tribunal for labor-related disputes
    Lafors Demokratik Seselwa or LSD (Martin AGLAE)
    People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [James Alix MICHEL] (formerly SPPF)
    Seselwa (Seychelles) United Party or SUP [Robert ERNESTA] (formerly the New Democratic Party or NDP)
    Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
    Seychelles Party for Social Justice and Democracy or SPSD
    Seychelles Patriotic Movement or SPM [Regis FRANCOURT]
    Seychelloise Alliance (Lalyans Seselwa) [Patrick PILLAY]
    Seychellois Democratic Alliance (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa) or LDS [Roger MANCIENNE] (includes SNP, Seychelloise Alliance, SPSD, SUP)
    ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, C, CD, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald Jean JUMEAU (since 8 September 2017)
    chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
    FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
    consulate(s) general: New York
    the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the US Ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles
    five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment
    coco de mer (sea coconut); national colors: blue, yellow, red, white, green
    name: "Koste Seselwa" (Seychellois Unite)
    lyrics/music: David Francois Marc ANDRE and George Charles Robert PAYET
    note: adopted 1996
  • Economy :: SEYCHELLES

  • Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle-income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing.
    In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing.
    In 2008, having depleted its foreign exchange reserves, Seychelles defaulted on interest payments due on a $230 million Eurobond, requested assistance from the IMF, and immediately enacted a number of significant structural reforms, including liberalization of the exchange rate, reform of the public sector to include layoffs, and the sale of some state assets. In December 2013, the IMF declared that Seychelles had successfully transitioned to a market-based economy with full employment and a fiscal surplus. Effective 1 January 2017, Seychelles will no longer be eligible for trade benefits under the US African Growth and Opportunities Act after having gained developed country status. Seychelles grew at 4.9% in 2016 because of a strong tourist sector and low commodity prices; its fiscal surplus reached 3% of GDP. The Seychellois Government met the IMF’s performance criteria for 2016 but recognizes a need to make additional progress to combat high poverty levels, estimated at 39% in 2013.
    $2.596 billion (2016 est.)
    $2.486 billion (2015 est.)
    $2.351 billion (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 189
    $1.405 billion (2016 est.)
    4.4% (2016 est.)
    5.7% (2015 est.)
    6.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    $27,600 (2016 est.)
    $26,700 (2015 est.)
    $25,800 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 68
    13.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    15% of GDP (2015 est.)
    14.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    household consumption: 53.9%
    government consumption: 25.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 39.5%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 63.4%
    imports of goods and services: -82% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 2.6%
    industry: 13.9%
    services: 83.5% (2016 est.)
    coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), copra, bananas; tuna
    fishing, tourism, beverages
    2.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    39,560 (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    agriculture: 3%
    industry: 23%
    services: 74% (2006)
    3% (2014 est.)
    3.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    39.3% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 4.7%
    highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)
    revenues: $487.3 million
    expenditures: $457.3 million (2016 est.)
    34.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    2.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    59.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    63.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    calendar year
    -1% (2016 est.)
    4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    11.17% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
    12.36% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $546.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $492.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    $613.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $564.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    $515.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $491.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    $NA
    -$242 million (2016 est.)
    -$256 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $422.3 million (2016 est.)
    $449.4 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products (reexports)
    UAE 28.8%, France 21%, UK 14.7%, Italy 9.2%, Spain 8.8% (2016)
    $873.7 million (2016 est.)
    $922.4 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods
    UAE 21.6%, France 9.9%, South Africa 8.4%, Mauritius 7.8%, Spain 7.2%, India 4.9%, China 4.8%, UK 4.7% (2016)
    $590.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    $536.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    $2.552 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $2.758 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -
    13.34 (2016 est.)
    13.31 (2015 est.)
    13.31 (2014 est.)
    12.75 (2013 est.)
    13.7 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: SEYCHELLES

  • population without electricity: 2,795
    electrification - total population: 97%
    electrification - urban areas: 97%
    electrification - rural areas: 97% (2012)
    400 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    300 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    100,000 kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    6,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    5,956 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
  • Communications :: SEYCHELLES

  • total subscriptions: 20,836
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    total: 151,857
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 163 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    general assessment: effective system
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is approximately 185 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
    international: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2016)
    the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available through 2 providers; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; there is 1 privately operated radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2016)
    .sc
    total: 52,664
    percent of population: 56.5% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
  • Transportation :: SEYCHELLES

  • number of registered air carriers: 1
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 3
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 497,496
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 19,234,992 mt-km (2015)
    S7 (2016)
    14 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    total: 7
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m: 1 (2017)
    total: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m: 5 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    total: 526 km
    paved: 514 km
    unpaved: 12 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    total: 9
    by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1
    foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    major seaport(s): Victoria
  • Military and Security :: SEYCHELLES

  • 1.29% of GDP (2016)
    1.21% of GDP (2015)
    2.17% of GDP (2014)
    0.98% of GDP (2013)
    0.87% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Seychelles People's Defense Forces (SPDF): Army (includes infantry, Special Forces (Tazar)), Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing) (2015)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: SEYCHELLES

  • Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)