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Remarks by President Michel - ISLAND NATION IN A GLOBAL SEA: THE MAKING OF THE NEW SEYCHELLES Book Launch, 14 April 2014

Mon, 14 April 2014

Dear Friends,

Ten years.  April 2004 to April 2014.  Time has passed quickly since I first became President.   Yet so much has happened, so much has changed.   

There have been many challenges along the way.  But we never flinched: 

o    The making of the New Seychelles;
o    The reform our economic system, setting it on strong foundations; 
o    Successfully confronting the global financial crisis;
o    Taking the lead in turning back the Somali pirates;
o    Building a strong entrepreneurial base;
o    Sustaining democracy and the rule of law;
o    Intensifying our fight against social scourges;
o    Transforming our national carrier into a profitable venture and one of the best airlines in the region;
o    Enhancing the leadership potential of our youth and honing their management skills through the Seychelles Young Leaders’ Programme;
o    Advocating the cause of small island states, which is now a firm fixture of the international agenda. 

We have had to make sacrifices in these difficult years, but we have never broken the promises we made to our people:

o    We continued to invest in social infrastructure;
o    We continued to invest in our schools;
o    We launched our own university; 
o    We improved further the nation’s healthcare;
o    We continued to preserve our Creole heritage;
o    We continued to empower our people;
o    We continued to create more jobs and opportunities
o    We continued to take care of our senior citizens, our children and the more vulnerable members of society.

Meanwhile, more tourists than ever before have visited our beautiful islands, to enjoy the exceptional environment, the harmony amongst our people and the vitality of our culture – the Seychelles Brand.

And all the while, the world around us has been changing. But we have kept pace.  We have adapted well to globalisation.  We have taken our place on the international stage.  When the United Nations designated 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States we were ready to raise the banner. We espoused the theme wholeheartedly.

These past ten years tell an extraordinary story, one in which we have all played a part.

That is why I decided to write this book, so that the march along this historic road could be documented. In doing so, I have drawn on a selection of my speeches and these are included in the volume as well as the narrative.

Yes, in part this is a story of my own presidency.  But it is, no less, a story of the part played by all Seychellois. It tells of how far we have come in embracing and confronting the challenges of globalisation, of how far we have come along the road to the New Seychelles.

These are the reasons why I have called my book, Island Nation in a Global Sea: The Making of the New Seychelles.

It is about Seychelles in the modern world, an island nation with an international reputation.  It is about the transition of our nation to a knowledge-based economy.  It is about the responsible use of the ocean’s resources. It is about responsible and transparent government. It is about the reinforcement of our democratic institutions. It is about national unity and harmony.

I look back to the last ten years but also forward to the future.  The story continues to unfold. And I have no doubt that you will continue to be part of it.

Dear friends and colleagues,

On a final note … A number of people have contributed to the realisation of this project. They are here amongst us this evening. I want to express my sincere gratitude to them all for their collaboration, their boundless energy and their unremitting support. Thank you very much.

I thank you all for being with me for the launch of my book.  I hope it will be of interest to Seychellois and international readers alike.  It is, after all, a story of our times.

As Mr George's has just said, new times.

Thank you.

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