President Faure visits La Digue and Praslin following key announcements of SONA
Sun, 19 February 2017
The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, visited La Digue and Praslin yesterday to follow up on key announcements made during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on 14th February pertaining to the two islands.
In his SONA, President Faure announced the decision by the government to offer 49% of the shares in L'Union Estate to the residents of La Digue. Following this decision, a meeting was held on La Digue in the presence of President Faure, the Minister for Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, Dr Peter Larose, Member of the National Assembly for La Digue, Hon. Noline Sophola, Chief Executive Officer of L’Union Estate Company Limited, Mr Keddy Nibourette, Chairperson of L’Union Estate Limited and District Administrator for La Digue, Ms Barbara Barallon, and the management and staff of L’Union Estate.
In line with the government’s vision for a more equal distribution of wealth and greater participation of the La Digue community in local business opportunities, the process to buy shares is expected to commence this year. The meeting was an opportunity for management and staff to seek clarifications on the process and obtain greater understanding of how they stand to benefit.
During the visit to La Digue, the President also took some time to walk along the La Passe road towards the La Passe Jetty and got the opportunity to personally interact and meet residents of La Digue as well some of the many tourists of different nationalities on vacation on the island.
Following the departure from La Digue, President Faure and his delegation arrived on Praslin in the afternoon where he visited two key locations, the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai.
In the SONA the President announced that as from the 1st of March this year, the exportation of the Coco de Mer kernel as a raw material will be banned. “The government wishes to create value addition industries associated with the Coco De Mer, and the taxes generated by the industry will go directly to the Praslin Development Fund. The National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation will take the leading role in the promotion of this new industry,” announced President Faure.
At Fond Ferdinand the President was joined by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr Didier Dogley, Member of National Assembly for Grand Anse Praslin, Hon. Wavel Woodcock, and Member of National Assembly for Baie Ste Anne Hon. Churchill Gill, where they obtained a guided tour of the reserve by the Chairperson of Praslin Consultative Committee, Mr Michel Gardet, followed by a meeting to further discuss the way forward for the reserve.
President Faure also had the honour to plant his first Coco de Mer tree at Fond Ferdinand on Praslin, along with Minister Dogley and both MNAs Hon. Woodcock and Hon. Gill.
At Vallée de Mai, the delegation received a guided tour by the Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Island Foundation, Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, along with the Site Manager of Vallée de Mai, Mr Marc-Jean Baptiste. Also present was environment activist and Chairman of Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles, Mr Victorin Laboudallon.
Before departing Vallée de Mai, President Faure signed the Vallée de Mai guest book stating “We have a World Heritage Site, and the youth of our country will need to learn how to take care and love what God has given us.” He commended the staff for the wonderful job they are doing and emphasised the need to continue with greater efforts to preserve the amazing gems of Seychelles.