Seychelles and the World Bank plan capacity building for Knowledge-based Economy
Mon, 26 May 2014
President James Michel met with the World Bank’s Vice President for the Africa Region, Mr. Makhtar Diop this morning at State House. Mr. Diop and his delegation are in Seychelles on a working visit to further deepen the strong relationship that exists between the two partners as well as discuss support for future developments in Seychelles.
The President welcomed Mr. Diop on his first visit to Seychelles and emphasised the need to support the small island developing states (SIDS) which are more vulnerable to changes in the world economy as well as climate change.
“Seychelles and the World Bank have very good relations, which have enabled us to have very successful economic reforms and I know that the collaboration will continue especially in consolidating further cooperation in the Seychelles’ capacity building and development. I believe that it is important to build a solid foundation for the future, but being a small island developing state we are vulnerable to different factors such as shocks in the world economy, piracy, and climate change. We call on the support of the World Bank in helping Seychelles to ensure that we build on our foundations and ensure we build resilience to external shocks,” said President Michel.
During their meeting President Michel and Mr. Diop discussed the strategies that Seychelles can implement to improve capacity building in various areas such as fisheries, education, tourism, renewable energy among others. They spoke about the ways Seychelles can strengthen its path towards establishing a knowledge-based economy focusing specifically on science and technology. President Michel also called on the support of the World Bank in the promotion of the Blue Economy concept.
Speaking to the national press after the meeting, Mr. Diop said that he was impressed to learn about the President’s vision for Seychelles, which is critical for the long term development of the country, particularly in the investment in quality education. He has also expressed the World Bank’s engagement in further cooperation with Seychelles and future involvement of one of its private sector branches, the International Finance Corporation, with the aims to increase partnership in investment in Seychelles.
“Seychelles has done a lot by reaching universal education, it has very good social protection and health programmes and the President insisted that his objectives now are to work with us to improve the quality of education. The World Bank has been working with Seychelles in various areas such as improving the efficiency of public services, to prepare budget supports and right now we are preparing another budget support which will be addressing disaster and risk management. As you know, being an island and with the risk of climate change, a country is prone to some of those kinds of shocks. We are also looking at the energy sector which is an important element of strategy for Seychelles,” said Mr Diop.
Mr. Makhtar Diop and his delegation will also hold meetings with the Vice President Danny Faure, the Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Mr Pierre Laporte and with Members of the National Assembly.
• The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Mr Pierre Laporte, the Secretary General of the Office of the Executive Office of the President, Mrs. Lise Bastienne, World Bank Country Director Designate for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros and Seychelles, Mr Mark R. Lundell, Special Assistant to the Vice President Africa Region, Ms. Judith Laufman, Chief Press Secretary in the Office of the President, Ms. Srdjana Janosevic and Senior Communication Specialist at the World Bank, Rafael Saute.