President Danny Faure delivers his first State-of-the-nation address | 15 February 2017
New ministry to help boost family values
President Danny Faure yesterday delivered his first State-of-the-nation address, putting emphasis on bringing back family values, dealing with social ills and addressing housing problems among a host of other measures.
Announcing the creation of a new Ministry of Family Affairs which will come into function on March 15, 2017, President Faure stated that to understand the state of our nation it is important to understand the state of our families, our communities, our society and our democracy.
He said many of our families today are facing multiple social problems directly linked to housing issues and social ills and there is an urgent need to go towards the family unit to address our challenges.
“We need to return to good moral and spiritual values early so that our children have a much stronger foundation. Our young parents out there need all our support to instill these good values in our children,” he said.
He added that there is a need to value the work of religious organisations and see it as something which complements the role and guidance of parents.
With regard to educational institutions, he said they too should join in and open up to create the space for learning and appreciating spirituality and morality. President Faure noted that the different social ills coupled with drug abuse and increasing alcohol consumption in our society today are destroying our families and wreaking havoc in our society, a fact that we can no longer hide or denied.
President Faure has called on the National Assembly to have a frank debate on the issue of alcohol and make recommendations to government.
“The time has come to depoliticize this problem. Our young generation need to grow up in an environment where alcohol is not in abundance and where drugs are not a temptation,” he pointed out.
In line with that President Faure said a new strategy will be adopted and it will reflect acceptance that addiction is a public concern and call for greater collaboration and coordination, increased capacity for rehabilitation and treatment, a much bigger role for prevention programmes, an increase in resources dedicated to prevention and rehabilitation and strengthening our regional partnership in the fight against drugs.
Also in line with the above President Faure said the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA ) will as from March 1, 2017 be reformed and transformed to reflect this new strategy.
President Faure said if we truly want a Seychelles where the workforce is healthy and productive, it is essential that we work together in this battle against social ills eroding the foundation of our families and society.
President Faure commended those families who have managed to overcome social hurdles and are striving to keep their children intact.
“They ought to be an inspiration to our young parents and upcoming young families,” he said.
President Faure said the creation of the Ministry of Family Affairs follows discussion with civil society groups and the Interfaith Council.
“It is social and economic conditions that are not addressed on time and in a systematic fashion that brings a fraction of our population to live in a state that we call poverty,” President Faure stressed.
“We have programmes and tools available to us today to reverse these social and economic conditions and programmes reflecting a social protection system based on four pillars - universal primary healthcare, universal education, an agency for social protection and a universal pension,” President Faure stressed, noting that we also have all the required information on each and everyone of our citizens from birth.
“What we need to do now is to coordinate our actions to ensure that our policies and strategies are coherent,” he said.
With regard to the housing problem, President Faure said despite having done a lot it remains a major problem.
He said families need to be assisted based on their genuine needs and stressed that each family ought to contribute in line with their means, a rule he said we should adhere to and never break.
“We have limited resources and consequently government must ensure that people contribute appropriately in order for more families to be assisted,” he said.
President Faure has also announced different policies and mechanisms to address the housing problems and help different groups in society based on their means.