Efforts to launch Seychelles-UAE friendship association gather pace


A group photograph of those who were present at the meeting

What was the purpose of the Eden Island meeting?

Mr Mancham: A journey of a thousand miles must start with a single step. We live in a world where things do not just happen – they must be made to happen. After conceiving the idea that the creation of a Seychelles-Abu Dhabi-UAE Friendship Association was an idea whose time had come, I took the initiative of inviting some people to meet with me to discuss.

But you only had 20 people?

Mr Mancham: That was the maximum which could be accommodated in the boardroom. Besides if your intention is to find an early cohesion to start serious discussion you do not assemble a crowd.

According to press report, seven persons enthusiastically volunteered to create the committee to draft a constitution for the association.

Mr Mancham: Correct. I asked who could spare the time for the task and there was general interest. We chose the first seven persons who raised up their hands.

Who were they?

Mr Mancham: Raymond St Ange (executive director of Seychelles Hospitality Tourism Association), Christopher Lespoir (pilot with Air Seychelles and also manager crew resource management programme of Air Seychelles), Jean-Paul Maurel (director of Premium Realty), Alexander Mancham (deputy editor of VIOAS magazine), Paul Chow (director of FIFCO Co. Ltd), Lise Church (Seychelles consular representative in Seattle, USA) and Lt. Colonel Michael Rosette (deputy Chief of Staff of the SPDF).

Within which time framework are they expected to produce a draft?

Mr Mancham: The draft should be ready for a meeting which we have scheduled for March 7.

What role do you see yourself playing within the association?

Mr Mancham: Ideally I should have no active role within the association. I think we should come up with a committee made up of individuals elected because they are able, wise and dedicated and prepared to put aside partisan politics in order to make the association a success.

Maybe you could become Patron of the association?

Mr Mancham: If this is on offer, I will certainly consider it. After all, this is what President James Michel has proposed in a letter to me.

Whilst your initiative has enjoyed widespread support, there also have been some criticisms.

Mr Mancham: In a democratic environment, this is to be expected but let me quote an Arab proverb in response to this criticism – “The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.”

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