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National Assembly

Assembly approves Cinea’s budget | 28 November 2019

The National Assembly yesterday approved the R28,799,000 budget allocation for the Creative Industries and National Events Agency, under the department of culture, by 20 votes.

Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, the minister responsible for the portfolio, appeared alongside principal secretary in the department of culture Cecile Kalebi, advisor for culture Emmanuel D’Offay and chief executive of the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (Cinea) Galen Bresson to address the assembly’s concerns and queries pertaining to the allocated budget, most of which were focused on the new music stadium and the agency’s efforts to promote art, culture and the Seychellois heritage.

It was noted that no funds have been allocated to the renovation and revamping of the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) in the 2020 budget, while an assessment is carried out to determine what works need to be undertaken and to plan the major renovation.

The assembly was also interested in the budgets allocated to different national events including the 35th Festival Kreol to be held next year and Fet Afrik among others.

CEO Bresson noted that R21 million is appropriated to events of which R5 million will fund the Festival Kreol, R90,000 towards Eco-Friendly, R65,000 for India and China days, R105,000 towards activities in commemoration of La Fête de la Francophonie, a further R157,000 towards the La Digue Creative Day, and a total of R831,000 to finance activities for the Venice Biennale, the Creative Day on Mahé and Fet Afrik combined. The Creative Day on Praslin has been allocated R154,000.

Aside from the state of the ICCS, and the music stadium project, members were also interested in a R2 million allocation under heading Expo 2020 which Mr Bresson noted will finance the participation of the Seychellois delegation in the Dubai Expo 2020. The entity has been preparing for the event over the past year, he said.

In response to questions about a R1,000,058 reduction in travel expenses as compared to last year’s budget, CEO Bresson explained that in the past, much of the budget was allocated towards car hires, although the agency expects to receive their own vehicle by February. The budget was also used to finance travels between Seychelles and Dubai over the past year, in preparation for the expo.

The assembly voiced numerous other concerns over the way the agency has been managed in the past, noting that the local entertainment industry has remained stagnant over recent years. However, both CEO Bresson and special advisor D’Offay assured the assembly of their plans and visions to develop the local industry through various initiatives. Mr Bresson particularly emphasised the need for new and novel ideas, for instance to introduce a film festival locally, to generate more revenue from the industry and to get more youths involved in the industry through collaboration with relevant ministries and institutions.

 

Laura Pillay

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