GMIS Connect in Pretoria, South Africa | 12 December 2019
VP Meriton highlights Seychelles’ advancement into the 4th Industrial Revolution
“Our success in this age of Digital Transformation depends greatly of the engagement of all communities to address issues of concerns of our everyday life rather than just for the economic development. Digital Transformation should, for instance, find solutions in the face of climate change, of which its adversities are real. As we accept and recognise that our region is greatly lagging behind in innovation, this summit comes timely as a platform to engage ourselves in reversing this trend that has been enduring for too long.”
Vice-President Vincent Meriton made this statement during the GMIS Connect Southern Africa panel discussion alongside other ministers of Industry in the SADC region where they were invited to discuss industrial policies that are anchoring their respective countries.
He listed Seychelles’ strategic frameworks in support of Seychelles industrial transformation namely; the Inclusive Industrial Competitiveness Policy, the National Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Policy and Strategy and the Blue Economy Roadmap.
He referred to financial schemes and grants available to the private sector backing industrial transformation such as the Seed Capital Grant Scheme, SME Scheme, Blue Investment Fund, SEYCCAT grant, Agriculture Development Fund, Fisheries Development Fund, PV Rebate Scheme all being resources devoted by the Seychelles Government to provide an inclusive and an enabling environment for Industries to grow to become important actors of the economy.
On another note, he was also proud to announce that UNDP declared Seychelles, the first African country to have acceded to the Very High Human Development Index (VHHDI) group. Starting from an aggregate agrarian economy and as a small country exporting only cinnamon, vanilla, patchouli and copra, Seychelles has persevered in the face of adversity and has made great head way by opening many opportunities in the tertiary and tourism sector.
In his concluding remarks, Vice-President Meriton acknowledged that “investment in research and development represents 0.4% of GDP in Seychelles and there are improvements to be made to achieve the African Union Commission’s target of 1%. The right mix of people, technology, governance structure and infrastructure is required to embark on the 4IR revolution and avail of opportunities that globalisation offers. We must focus on high value products and educating the youth in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as well as, Entrepreneurship values to develop an industrial base that can be compatible not only to the region, but beyond the region to the world”.
The Vice-President was accompanied by the high commissioner of the Republic of Seychelles in Pretoria, Marie-Antoinette Rose-Quatre; a representative from the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sanjay Naidoo; Stephanie Larue from the Department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development and Jessica D’Unienville from the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Press release from the department of Foreign Affairs