Minister St Ange meets Namur governor Mathen, visits hotel school


Minister St Ange and Ambassador Fock-Tave during the hotel school visit in Namur

He was accompanied by Seychelles ambassador to Belgium, Vivianne Fock-Tave, and Philippe De Baets, the country’s honorary consul general in Brussels.

Issues discussed include cultural exchanges between Belgium, more precisely Namur, and Seychelles, Belgium’s involvement in the 2013 ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ with a delegation of ‘eschassiers de Namur’ (walking on stilts), hotel school cooperation among many other points.

Governor Mathen thanked Minister St Ange for making time to visit the Hotel School of Namur and for accepting to work with authorities of the province of Namur to develop a memorandum of understanding to pave the way for a long-term relationship between Belgium and Seychelles.

Minister St Ange presented governor Mathen with a copy of the Seychelles coffee table book ‘Seychelles, Enters the World of Carnival’ and the Seychelles Tourism Board’s new USB key in the form of the islands’ unique coco-de-mer.

“The friendly ties that exist between Belgium and Seychelles will be further enhanced by this courtesy call on the governor of the province of Namur. The meeting was cordial and Mr Mathen spared no effort to show his desire to further strengthen the existing relations between Seychelles and the province of Namur. We used the opportunity of the visit to the Palais du Gouverneur and of the meeting to formally invite governor Mathen to visit Seychelles and to lead a working delegation here,” said Minister St Ange.

Philippe Bultot, Namur’s elected representative in charge of the education; Monfils, Belgium Minister of State; Jean-Marc Van Espen, Namu’s provincial elected representative responsible for tourism, environment, technical services and agriculture; and Christian Hebrant, Namur’s governor’s office chef de cabinet, were all part of the official Belgian delegation at the talks.

While in Namur, Minister St Ange visited the Namur Hotel School and was received by Mr Bultot. Ambassador Fock-Tave and Mr De Baets were also present.

Minister St Ange and his delegation were given an exposé on the hotel school of the province of Namur and the two delegations discussed the possibility for cooperation between the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and the Namur Hotel School.

The discussions were seen as fruitful and the two delegations agreed to pursue discussions through the office of the Seychelles ambassador based in Brussels for a memorandum of understanding to be signed, covering exchanges and attachments of students between the STA and the Namur Hotel School, and cultural exchanges between the province and Seychelles.

After a round-table meeting the Seychelles delegation was given a tour of the hotel school before being hosted to a lunch at the school’s training dining room (Restaurant D’Application).

Minister St Ange said the visit was not only interesting, but it helped identify areas of cooperation between Seychelles and Belgium.

STA principal Flavien Joubert will soon travel to Namur to prepare the working documents for the signing of the MoU between Seychelles and the province of Namur.

The Namur Hotel School is a highly rated hotel school with big emphasis on the practical side of hotel management. Students have to compulsorily rotate between restaurant service, kitchen, butchery, and management studies.

“One area of discussion covered the posting of Belgian hotel management training students in Seychelles for their practical period. This will open the way for the STA to be able to also send its students to Belgium for attachment periods. This visit will help us open up new possibilities for our tourism industry students,” said Minister St Ange.