Address by President Danny Faure on the Occasion of Two Years in Office
16 October 2018 |
Dear Seychellois brothers and sisters,
On the 16th of October, 2016, I took the Oath of Office.
I declared and affirmed that I would always be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Constitution of Seychelles, and that I would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Seychelles.
I promised that I would faithfully and diligently perform my duties and discharge my responsibilities as the President of Seychelles, that I would always be loyal to the Republic of Seychelles, that I would uphold the Constitution and the laws of Seychelles, and that I would dedicate myself to the service and betterment of the people of Seychelles, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
I took the Oath of Office at a time where Seychelles was divided. It was a time where politics had divided families, divided friends, and divided workplaces.
Faced with this situation, as the fourth President of the Republic of Seychelles, I took a decision.
I refused to choose the path of confrontation; the path of partisan politics, the path of division. My decision was to choose a path of dialogue; to communicate directly with the opposition, to consult all actors and partners in society. I chose a path of working together, a path of national unity, and a path of true reconciliation. A path where I place Seychelles above everything else.
On the 16th of October 2016, when I addressed you for the first time as the President of the Republic, I presented you with the principles and values that I believe in. I also shared my vision for our people – a Seychelles where each one of us has a place. An inclusive society where everyone – irrespective of our political opinions or religious beliefs, irrespective of whether we come from the private sector, the public sector or from civil society – we all work together with integrity, responsibility, compassion, peace, and respect for one another, to continue to create and share the wealth of our country.
For us to be able to achieve this Vision, I asked all citizens to come together and join me to overcome our differences. In the last two years, I have remained faithful to my declarations of the 16th October 2016. I have followed an approach of consultation on all that concerns the wellbeing of Seychelles and Seychellois. I did not hesitate to review decisions when it was necessary to do so. We have worked hard to bring Seychellois together; to have a common vision for Seychelles.
Today, I feel reassured by the way our citizens have responded to the call for us to work together for our country. Today, there is a more stable situation in our country. A situation where families that were divided because of politics have made peace, where there is unity and harmony in workplaces and in communities. I see a people, despite our differences, coming together for a single purpose: Seychelles, our country.
To me, this is the result of working together and the shared conviction that the path of reconciliation, the path of national unity, the path of dialogue is the best path for our small country. Every Seychellois has played a role to maintain this stability, this tranquillity and harmony that our country enjoys. This stability has ensured that we continue to welcome visitors to Seychelles, our economy continues to grow, and that we continue to make progress; succeeding both locally and internationally.
Sometimes in life there is the temptation to go back to the path of confrontation; but we need the maturity to put Seychelles, which is bigger than us all, before everything. My experience is that the politics of confrontation, partisan politics, may bring short term gains but not long term gains for our Nation.
Brothers and sisters,
In the last two years, much has been done to open spaces for increased participation in the governance and steering of our country. I continue to increase the participation of the private sector on the governing boards of institutions. We can now see at the head of many Boards, individuals from the private sector or civil society. This has led us to a place where the private sector and the civil society have a better understanding and appreciation of the challenges that Government faces. This new way of composing the Boards has also created an opportunity for individuals to share their expertise and to reinforce the performance and governance of institutions.
When I spoke about development in 2016, I talked about the fundamental principles that would ensure successful growth such as equal opportunities, social justice, and fair redistribution of the country’s wealth. Since then, many policies have been reviewed in order to espouse the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability as we continue to accelerate our development.
We are in a new stage where the execution of work has to be done in line with the new framework. We must continue.
Seychellois sisters and brothers, our vibrant democracy continues to evolve. In the last two years, we have worked together to put in place frameworks that will guarantee the existence of strong institutions, because I believe that strong institutions practise good governance and defend and protect the rights of citizens and ensure the country’s progress.
We continue to implement policies and procedures to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the functioning of Government. I have practised a leadership of non-interference in institutions so that all institutions have the space to do their work in line with the law that governs them. Such a practice has allowed institutions to comfortably take decisions as they should and to be held accountable for those decisions. This new way of working has necessitated a change in the way we think.
It is important that all Seychellois recognise the direction that our country is taking and that we all know how to participate in the development of the country without fear. To facilitate this, Government introduced a law on Access to Information. We also created the space for the media to play a more active role in informing citizens. We have reinforced our communication with citizens, so that members of the public may participate in the decision making process on issues that affect their lives.
We are witnessing a situation in our country where our citizens are living with all of their freedoms. With a sense of responsibility, respect and tolerance for the opinions of others, we can continue to make positive contributions to improve the quality of life in our country and become an example for the world.
Seychellois sisters and brothers, we all know the expression, “No one is a prophet in his own land”. It happens often that focussed on our problems, we forget to acknowledge and celebrate our accomplishments. Seychelles has accomplished a lot and much has been recognised on the international scene. In September 2018, the United Nations Human Development Index, placed Seychelles in the 62nd position out of 189 countries. We are the first country in Africa. The Human Development Index measures the achievements of a country in three dimensions, that of health, education and the standard of living.
At the end of its mission in Seychelles on the 2nd of October this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported very positive results for Seychelles. IMF described our macroeconomic performance as strong, and our economy, despite a difficult world economic environment, on the right path with a positive prediction for 2019.
Another recognition of our achievements occurred recently on the 12th of October when the World Bank placed Seychelles as 43rd out of 157 countries on the Human Capital Index. Again, we are first in Africa and first in the region. The Human Capital Index looks at whether a country is making available the conditions that will allow its families to flourish. By looking at health, education and adult survival rates, the Index assesses the likelihood of a child born in that country will live to realise all its potential. The World Bank has informed us that our country is the one that has made the most significant progress in the last five years in Human Capital Development.
Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, our achievements have not happened by chance. The accomplishments of our country are thanks to the dedication, hard work and participation of every Seychellois – from the young person who takes their education and their future seriously, to the conscientious and committed employee who works tirelessly, to the parent that raises their child with care and good habits, to the senior citizen who gives guidance and prays for the country. Each one of us have played an important role to create this environment of peace, stability, compassion and tranquillity where progress has been able to flourish. Together, let us resist any efforts to disturb our tranquillity, our national unity, our peace. Let us come together, always together, to move Seychelles forward.
Seychellois Brothers and Sisters, the country is in good hands, the country is on the right path. Let us continue to work together with love, peace and in unity, with the conviction that our country is more important than our differences.
Tonight I wish to renew my commitment to work for all Seychellois and to work even harder, for our Seychelles that is greater than us all.
Thank you and good evening.