Africa :: 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. Socialist 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 re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term; he was reelected in May 2011.

Geography ::Seychelles

People and Society ::Seychelles

Government ::Seychelles

    conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
    conventional short form: Seychelles
    local long form: Republic of Seychelles
    local short form: Seychelles
    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 (National Day), 18 June (1993)
    18 June 1993
    mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); Vice President Danny FAURE (since 1 July 2010)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 19-21 May 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 55.5%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 41.4%, Philippe BOULLE 1.7%, Ralph VOLCERE 1.5%; note - this was the second election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004
    unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; members to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 29 September - 1 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); note - the National Assembly was dissolved in July 2011 resulting in early elections
    election results: percent of vote by party - PL 88.6%, PDM 10.9%, independents 0.6%; seats by party - PL 31, vacant - 3; note - the ruling SPPF changed its name to People's Party (Party Lepep) in June 2009; the SNP and NDP boycotted the 2011 elections
    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 5 pusine 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 Committee, 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, and child custody and maintenance
    Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]
    New Democratic Party or NDP
    People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE]
    Popular Democratic Movement or PDM
    Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)
    Roman Catholic Church
    other: trade unions
    chief of mission: Ambassador Marie-Louise Cecile POTTER
    chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
    FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
    the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the 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
    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 July 2008 the government defaulted on a Euro amortizing note worth roughly US$80 million, leading to a downgrading of Seychelles credit rating. In an effort to obtain loans to service its debt, Seychelles in November 2008 signed a standby arrangement with the IMF that mandated floating the exchange rate, removing foreign exchange controls, cutting government spending, and tightening monetary policy. In response to Seychelles' successful implementation of these policies, the IMF upgraded Seychelles to a three-year extended fund facility (EFF) of $31 million in December 2009. In 2008, GDP fell more than 1% due to declining tourism and the initial effects of liberalization, but the economy recovered in 2010-11 after the reforms took hold and tourism increased. Growth slowed again in 2012 with flagging tourism from Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Seychelles is attempting to implement further structural reforms, including overhauling the tax system, reorganizing of state enterprises, and deregulating the finance and communications sectors.
    $2.355 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    $2.292 billion (2011 est.)
    $2.182 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $1.031 billion (2012 est.)
    2.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    5% (2011 est.)
    5.6% (2010 est.)
    $25,600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    $25,200 (2011 est.)
    $24,300 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    18.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    11.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    8.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 99.1%
    government consumption: 13.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 37.2%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 41.1%
    imports of goods and services: -101.2%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2%
    industry: 18.7%
    services: 79.3% (2012 est.)
    coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), copra, bananas; poultry; tuna
    fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
    4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    39,560 (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    agriculture: 3%
    industry: 23%
    services: 74% (2006)
    2% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    lowest 10%: 4.7%
    highest 10%: 15.4% (2007)
    revenues: $438.3 million
    expenditures: $415.4 million (2012 est.)
    42.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    2.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    61.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    74.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    7.1% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    2.6% (2011 est.)
    11.17% (31 December 2010 est.)
    12.19% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    11.19% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $301.5 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $302.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $553.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $598.9 million (31 December 2010 est.)
    $408.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $422.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    -$179.8 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    -$211.1 million (2011 est.)
    $493.3 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    $478 million (2011 est.)
    canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
    France 27.8%, UK 17.7%, Japan 15.3%, Italy 10.7% (2012)
    $889.6 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    $879.6 million (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals, other manufactured goods
    Saudi Arabia 23.2%, Spain 11.9%, France 5.8% (2012)
    $318.7 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    $290.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.776 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $1.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar -
    13.704 (2012 est.)
    12.381 (2011 est.)
    12.068 (2010 est.)
    13.61 (2009)
    8 (2008)

Energy ::Seychelles

Communications ::Seychelles

    27,900 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    126,600 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    general assessment: effective system
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 170 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) (2011)
    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; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2007)
    247 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    32,000 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 180

Transportation ::Seychelles

Military ::Seychelles

Transnational Issues ::Seychelles

    Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)
    current situation: Seychelles is a source and destination country for Seychellois children and foreign women subjected to sex trafficking; Seychellois girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are forced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, private homes, and on the streets by peers, family members, and pimps; foreign tourists, sailors, and migrant workers contribute to the demand for commercial sex acts in Seychelles; some of the large population of foreign migrant workers reportedly experience the underpayment of wages and substandard housing
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Seychelles does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has failed to report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenses; the government also has not identified or provided protective services to any trafficking victims and punished victims for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, although it has acknowledged the need for specialized training of officials in recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking offenses, it did not provide any such training during the reporting period (2013)