Official visit of AU chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma-AU chief plants coco de mer seed at biodiversity centre


Guests look on as Dr Dlamini-Zuma covers the coco de mer seed with humus

The second VIP to plant a sapling at the arboretum, Dr Dlamini-Zuma was accompanied by the ministers for Environment and Energy, Foreign Affairs, and Land Use and Housing – Rolph Payet, Jean-Paul Adam and Christian Lionnet respectively.

Also present were Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, environment and energy principal secretary Wills Agricole, National Botanical Garden Foundation chief executive Raymond Brioche and other guests.

After the big seed was put into the hole and Dr Dlamini-Zuma, looking at ease with a spade, had covered it with humus, she was given detailed descriptions of the coco de mer by Messrs Adam, Payet and Loustau-Lalanne.

“I feel very honoured,” she said after planting the coco de mer seed.
“It’s not only an honour but it shows that Seychelles is preparing for the future and making sure that what we have today future generations also see,” she added.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne, former environment official Georges Troian and President James Michel were instrumental in setting up the biodiversity centre at Barbarons.
President Michel himself planted a first coco de mer in the arboretum when he officially opened the park on June 8, 2012.

Mauritian Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam was the first VIP to plant a sapling at the arboretum on June 17, 2012. The first leaf of the tree has started to come out and the tree will be nurtured and allowed to grow.

The first woman to hold the post of AU chairperson and was elected into office on July 15, 2012 after winning a tightly contested vote at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to head the 54-member organisation, Dr Dlamini-Zuma arrived here on Thursday morning and immediately called on President Michel at State House and addressed an extraordinary session of the National Assembly.

On Friday, she attended the opening of the Persévérance primary school and on Saturday the official opening of the Anse Royale hospital.

A renowned anti-apartheid activist, Dr Dlamini-Zuma held the offices of health minister, foreign minister and interior minister of South Africa before being elected AU chairperson.
She succeeded Jean Ping of Gabon who had served in the AU post since 2008.