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Department of economic planning embarks on its first Voluntary National Review process | 14 January 2020

Although it’s one of the less talked about department under the portfolio of Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the department of economic planning plays an important role in devising the country’s economic developments to ensure continued growth.

In this regard, the department of economic planning in the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, is today kicking off the process to develop and present Seychelles’ first Voluntary National Review (VNR).

As part of this process, the department of economic planning is as of today organising the first out of a series of sensitisation and consultative sessions.

The VNR is an open process and encompasses a wide range of stakeholders including the government, the private sector, civil society organisations, academia, youth, parliament, faith and religious organisations among others.

It is a process by which countries take stock of and assess progress – and shortcomings – in implementation of the goals and targets.

On Monday, July 13, 2020, fifty (50) countries will be presenting their VNR to the UN’s High Level Political Forum, and Seychelles will be among the 27 first time presenters.

On the local front, the first group to participate in the sensitisation sessions will be the public relations and communication officers and who will later be followed by chief executives, director generals, director, senior policy analysts in the government as well as the civil society.

According to director general in the department of economic planning, Jennifer Jasmin, the sessions are meant to inform the relevant stakeholders of their roles – or more specifically that of their ministries, departments or organisations – in regards to the implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2019-2023 and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

It is to be noted that the United Nations’ (UN) SDGs were domesticated, to become more relevant to the local context, in the NDS 2019-2023 which was launched in August last year along with Vision 2033.

The NDS has six thematic pillars: good governance, people at the centre of development, social cohesion, innovative economy, economic transformation and, environmental sustainability and resilience.

“Since the NDS has now been launched, the next step is to translate it into government programmes and policies. Some of this has already been done, while some have not,” Ms Jasmin explained.

“Following these sessions, the respective ministries will have to bring more awareness about the SDGs that they have to implement,” she clarified.

Seychelles has recently finalised a baseline report that will help the country establish its current status when it comes to attaining the SDGs. The baseline report will help put together the Voluntary National Review (VNR) which is intended to be submitted later this year.

The baseline country assessment prioritised the targets and indicators based on country specificity and data availability.

Consideration was given to the attainment of these targets based on official statistics produced by the National Bureau of Statistics as well as sector reports, from national policies and strategies.

Seychelles was able to report on 55% of the relevant targets and 47% of the indicators.

 

Elsie Pointe

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