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Year 2020 news highlights | 31 December 2020

As we come to the end of 2020, Seychelles NATION presents its readers with a month-by-month summary of some of the local news that have marked this eventful and topsy-turvy year.

 

 

January

 

01.01 : Deux filles voient le jour en ce premier jour de l’année 2020. Le premier bébé est née à 9h06 du matin alors que le deuxième est née à 10h23 par césarienne.

 

02.01: Centenarian Noemie Benoit celebrates her 104th birthday among her family and friends at her residence in Cascade.

 

08.01: Marie Antoinette Barrack, a resident of Cascade, celebrates her 101st birthday in a small gathering among her family members.

 

15.01. Air Seychelles revises its fuel surcharge for travel between Mahé and Praslin. Tickets bought in advance for travel between Mahé and Praslin now cost R600, an increase of R50.

For last minute purchases, one day prior to departure or on the day of travel, the rate of R700 will apply (previously R650). For senior citizens of Seychelles (age 63 and above) the rate will be R440.

 

17.01: Mustafa Bristol clinches the award for best entrepreneur for the year 2019 while Roxanne Bennet and James Dupres receive the awards for best female and young entrepreneurs respectively.

The award ceremony is organised annually by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) to recognise and reward outstanding companies, entrepreneurs, individuals for their hard work, dedication, motivation, desire to make things happen and their significant contributions to the country’s economy.

 

18.01 : Dife i konpletman detri de lakaz ki ti koste obor kanmarad anler Mont Plaisir dan distrik Anse Royale.

 

18.01: Fishing vessels flying the European Union (EU) flag are temporarily not allowed to fish in Seychelles waters until the renewal of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership agreement and protocol between Seychelles and the EU.

The prohibition comes into play after the previous agreement came to an end in November 2019 while its corresponding protocol expired on January 17, 2020.

 

19.01: The President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, arrives in Seychelles for a historic official visit at the invitation of the National Assembly.

It’s the first time in the history of the National Assembly of Seychelles that a President of the IPU makes an official visit, and this particular visit by Hon. Barron is part of an African tour being made during her last year of her three-year mandate.

 

20.01: Nature Seychelles' out-of-the-box career training programme, the Conservation Boot Camp (CBC), is recognised as one of the 10 Top Conservation Training programmes worldwide by Conservation Careers, a leading careers advice centre for conservationists.

 

25.01: Incumbent president and United Seychelles (US) presidential candidate for the upcoming election, Danny Faure, officially launches his party’s campaign.

His slogan for the October 22-24 election is ‘The Future is Faure – 2020 & Beyond’.

 

26.01: Presently the oldest person in Seychelles, Nancy Isabelle Marie celebrates her 111th birthday with a party at her home located in Ma Joie, English River.

 

27.01: The Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning repeals statutory instrument (S.I) 82 of 2019, under the Customs Management Act.

This means that people will no longer have to pay a R100 administrative fee, made payable to the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), which was being imposed on each consignment of goods imported through the post or courier.

 

27.01: MIOT International Hospital, Chennai, India, in association with Euromedical Family Clinic, conducts one of its kind free cancer consultation camps at the latter’s clinic at Eden Plaza.

The adult and paediatric A to Z Cancer Camp is an opportunity for the consultants to see and follow up on old cancer patients they have been treating at MIOT International, people who have concern for cancer and also to detect new cancer cases.

 

 

 

February

 

02.02: Two Seychellois studying in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, are safely transferred to France, with the kind assistance of the French authorities, along with other European nationals.

The students will remain in a confinement centre in France for fourteen days, as part of the health requirements, before travelling to Seychelles.

 

07.02: The Office of the President announces that Notary-at-Law and politician Alexia Amesbury has been elected to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.

 

08.02: Seychelles accedes to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and becomes the 40th member of this continental mechanism.

Vice-President Vincent Meriton signs the accession document at the opening session of the 29th African Peer Review (APR) Forum of Heads of State and Government convening on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

13.02: State House announces the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry further to the complaint of Wavel Ramkalawan, leader of the opposition, regarding the search of his luggage by officers of the Anti-narcotics Bureau (ANB) of the Seychelles Police at the Seychelles International Airport on Saturday February 8.

14.02: Two new Wave Rider inshore patrol boats, Thorpe and African, are officially inducted into the fleet of the Seychelles Coast Guard, the maritime arm of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF).

The boats have been constructed and donated by the government of Sri Lanka.

 

17.02: The Seychelles-Mauritius Joint Commission of the Extended Continental Shelf for the Joint Management Area (JMA) and the Technical Committee of the Joint Commission meet for the first of four meetings to discuss and deliberate on the surveillance, monitoring, and patrol of the JMA and the potential for new research after successful scientific expeditions in 2018 and 2019.

 

17.02: Nicholas Prea resigns as secretary general of the Seychelles National Party (SNP).

Mr Prea says his decision to resign is “purely administrative” and he remains an ordinary member of the SNP. In view that SNP is part of the alliance of the LDS (Linyon Demokratik Seselwa), he says he is thus still a member of LDS and also remains the LDS elected MNA for the district of Bel Ombre.

 

20.02: President Danny Faure delivers his nationwide annual State-of-the-Nation address before the National Assembly.

This marks the first sitting of the National Assembly for 2020 and it is also President Faure’s fourth State-of-the-Nation address since he came to power on October 16, 2016.

 

21.02: Beauty Empowerment Seychelles announces the return of the Miss Seychelles pageant, this time under the name Miss Seychelles National Pageant.

Twelve young Seychellois girls have been selected, out of 30 candidates, to participate in this competition.

 

28.02: A new batch of 24 officers who have successfully completed the young police leaders programme at the police academy receive their certificates.

Lina Lawen clinches the overall best performer in her group. She also wins the best academic performer award while her colleague Clara Esparon is the second best academic performer in the group.

The most disciplined officer in the group is Jean Paul Marie.

 

28.02: Sabrina Dick wins the overall best accolade in this year’s youth worker award.

The title is given to the one who has done the most good for their community in the past year.

The other big winners are Francisca Renaud, who wins the most outstanding activity at district level, and Amanda Maria who wins best mobilisation district regional and national event.

Franca Esparon and Christophe Philoe also win for most improved and most supportive youth workers respectively.

The event is organised by the Seychelles National Youth Council.

 

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The National Council for the Disabled (NCFD) launches its strategic plan.

Through this document, stakeholders are being asked to commit to the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the mainstream for the empowerment of individuals, for the advancement of persons living with disabilities and their families and for the sake of sustainability.

 

 

 

March

 

01.03: A 75-year-old German national dies on Praslin after being hit by a motor cycle.

The rider of the motor bike, an 18-year-old male from Grand Anse Praslin, is admitted in the intensive care unit and his condition has been described as critical. A third person, another 18-year-old male passenger on the motor bike, is admitted on the ward.

 

10.03: Government announces its decision not to allow any cruise ship to dock in Port Victoria until further notice.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Ronny Brutus, explains that in view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) globally, government has seen it fit, in the national interest, to also react quickly and to close the cruise ship season early so as to forestall the introduction of the virus in the country through our port.

 

18.03: In its effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect its citizens, Seychelles extends its travel restrictions to include the European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland as well as the French departments of Reunion and Mayotte.

The travel ban is expected to last for a period of one month after which it will be revised.

 

19.03: In view of the health advisory and changing status related to the Covid-19, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) informs all candidates who have registered for the May/June 2020 Cambridge international examinations that the exams will not be run during that period. As a result, the ministry, following communication with Cambridge International, has withdrawn all registered candidates from the May/June 2020 examinations.

 

19.03: Air Seychelles takes delivery of its new A320neo aircraft registered as ‘S7-PTI’. It has been named Pti Merl Dezil.

 

23.03: A high-level committee for food surveillance security in our country set up in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, holds its first meeting.

The aim is for representatives of various organisations represented on the committee, dealing with the importation of food or other related commodities required for the country, to discuss and harmonise the country’s food security in relation to availability of sufficient stock in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

 

23.03: As more countries shut down their borders and impose preventive measures restricting the movement of people within their frontiers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Seychelles imposes a complete outbound travel ban for all Seychellois for a 30-day period.

Furthermore, inbound travellers from numerous high-risk countries including Europe, the United Kingdom and South Asian states most affected by the deadly virus are also barred from entering the country, in a bid to keep further cases at bay.

 

25.03: No religious funeral services will take place in the church with immediate effect, the Roman Catholic Diocese announces.

This decision has been taken in consultation with the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese and the Public Health Authority of the government of Seychelles.

 

25.03: Humanitarian aid from international donors to help contain and mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the country starts to come in with the arrival of two cargo planes loaded with protective gear and medicine against the virus.

The first plane, a cargo plane from Abu Dhabi, arrives with a special donation of eleven tonnes of medical supplies from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces from the government and people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The eleven tonnes of medical supplies comprise coveralls, isolation gowns, gloves, hand sanitizers, masks and other medical items.

The second plane, an Ethiopian cargo plane, carries a two-tonne consignment to fight the coronavirus in the forms of medical testing kits and medicine. The medical consignment is a gift from Jack Ma Foundation based in China.

 

25.03: Air Seychelles suspends all flights across its regional network due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The decision taken follows intensified travel advisories, national lockdowns and closures at ports of entry within the Indian Ocean, South Africa, India as well as in the Seychelles, in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, the airline has also further revised its domestic schedule to offer only two rotations between Mahé and Praslin daily.

 

31.03: Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne presents an amended budget for 2020 before the house at first and second reading, namely the Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The amended budget 2020 stands at ten billion four hundred and forty seven million one hundred and fifty one thousand five hundred and forty seven rupees (R10,447,151,547).

The amended budget is necessary to meet the exigencies and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic to the financial requirements of the Republic of Seychelles.

 

 

 

April

 

05.04: Seychelles receives a grant of US $800,000 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of primarily the biotechnology sector of the country.

The main purpose of the project is to diversify the Seychelles’ economy, especially through the marine biotechnology sector, by means of creating high value jobs and wealth within the sector.

 

05.04: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) makes available to the Seychelles government Avani Barbarons resort as additional facility in the fight against Covid-19.

The hotel, which is equipped with 124 rooms, one large conference room and a few breakaway rooms, will help the department of health amid the scarcity of resources for its frontliners.

 

09.04: Praslin’s Ile Des Palmes airport closes until next month. This decision follows the announcement by Air Seychelles that it is temporarily suspending its domestic services to the island.

The airport may however open temporarily to accommodate any ad hoc commercial flights from any local operator, emergency diversion and medivac flights subject to one hour prior notice.

 

10.04: Air Seychelles suspends its domestic services temporarily.

The decision has been taken following guidance and intensified measures being implemented by the health authorities, including the importance of maintaining social distancing against the spread of COVID-19.

The airline is expected to resume its schedule of service by May 1, 2020.

 

15.04: Seychelles receives 4 tonnes of essential medicines gifted by the government of India, of which includes hydroxychloroquine tablets (HCQ), a medicine touted to be effective against Covid-19.

 

17.04: Further restrictions on the movement of people from 7pm until 6am come into force until April 29, 2020 as Seychelles moves into the next phase of its early response to avoid the country’s health system being overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

27.04: President Danny Faure announces the gradual lifting of certain measures and restrictions enforced over the past couple of months to control and stop the propagation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Seychelles.

These include lifting of restrictions on movement of people, resumption of religious services, re-opening of schools, among others.

 

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The department of health gets further donations of medical supplies to help reinforce its capacity to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

These latest donations come from Jack Ma Foundation based in China and from the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

 

 

May

 

01.05: Airtel Seychelles makes a generous donation of R1 million to the Ministry of Health towards the fight against Covid-19.

The assistance will allow the ministry to allocate support and resources to health workers who are on the frontline in the battle against this deadly virus.

 

04.05: Since Seychelles has not registered any new case of Covid-19 in spite of several active case finding and tests, several restrictions are lifted

 

08.05: The Chinese embassy donates medical supplies to the department of health to support Seychelles’ efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

This batch of medical supplies includes 20,000 masks, 10,000 gloves, 2,040 medical isolation eye patches, 710 sterilised protective suits and 700 shoe covers.

 

10.05: The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approves Seychelles’ request for emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) equivalent to SDR 22.9 million (about US $31.2 million, or 100 percent of quota) to meet the country’s urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

11.05: After weeks of closure, post-secondary schools, UniSey and day care centres finally re-open their doors and welcome their first batch of students.

The International School Seychelles also opens its doors welcoming its students and putting in place a number of safety precautions on their campus.

 

21.05: Seychelles receives a third round of medical supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation (Alibaba), delivered on a special Ethiopian Airways flight.

This time around, Seychelles receives a medical support package consisting of detection kits, extraction kits, 2 PAP-ventilators, infrared thermometers, 1 infrared thermal detection machine and additional personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

23.05: An intense fire ravages and burns through a residential building in the St Joseph vicinity, Grand Anse Praslin, destroying a two-storey house where 16 individuals lived.

 

23.05: Air Seychelles undertakes a special flight to India and Sri Lanka to repatriate Seychellois nationals stranded in those two countries during the Covid -19 pandemic.

This fully funded government sponsored flight consists of 82 Seychellois nationals in Chennai, India (including 22 patients and 20 attendants) and 14 others in Sri Lanka. Apart from the tickets costing R10,500 per person, the government is also paying for the obligatory Covid-19 tests that all the passengers have to undertake before boarding.

 

26.05: A batch of protective equipment donated by the Chinese government arrives in Seychelles via Ethiopian Airlines.

The donated medical materials include 500 infrared thermometers, which are needed desperately by local schools and institutions, 2,000 medical N95 masks, 10,000 surgical masks, 2,000 disposable protective clothing, 2,000 medical protective goggles, 10,000 disposable sterilised rubber surgical gloves and 10,000 medical isolation shoe covers.

 

27.05: With commercial flights resuming operations on June 1, the government sets out guidelines and strict measures to welcome back tourists and give a well-needed boost to the floundering tourism industry.

The gradual recovery of the tourism industry will be undertaken in two phases – a first phase between June and July and the second phase “from July onwards and will build up gradually”.

 

 

 

June

 

01.06: Chloe Lasplace and Marcus Hertel are the two lucky winners of the Mini Maz Millions lottery, turning into millionaires overnight.

Lasplace from Plaisance, scoops up the R5 million star prize with winning ticket number 07970 while the first prize of R1 million goes to Hertel from Amitié, Praslin with ticket number 00489.

 

06.06: As part of ‘Mission Sagar’, Indian Naval Ship Kesari enters Port Victoria with the second consignment of essential medical supplies, again on a ‘grant basis’.

Themedicines cater to most of the common ailments in Seychelles including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.

05.06: The office of the Electoral Commission set the provisional dates for the 2020 presidential election for October 22, 23 and 24.

 

12.06: As part of its emergency support programme to cushion the economic impact of Covid-19, the government puts in place the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets), a temporary scheme to assist workers who will be made redundant soon.

However unlike schemes such as the Unemployment Relief Scheme (URS), Sets will cater solely to Seychellois who will lose their jobs as from July 1 when employers will regain their legal ability to make their Seychellois workers redundant.

 

12.06 : Joséphine Nicette fête son centième anniversaire entourée de sa famille et en présence de plusieurs personnalités dans une messe spéciale à l’Eglise de Saint Joseph à Anse Royale.

 

15.06: President Danny Faure appoints a commission of inquiry to inquire into certain financial matters raised in a Supreme Court ruling concerning the winding up of the former Plantation Club.

The establishment of such a commission was recommended in the court ruling of the case SCSC 908 of 2019.

 

20.06: The 17th cohort of the Seychelles National Youth Assembly (SNYA), a programme encompassing youth empowerment and youth participation in national development, is inaugurated into the Youth Assembly.

The Speaker is Darius Petrousse representing the Seychelles Business Studies Academy (SBSA).

 

24.06: President Danny Faure chairs the first Commonwealth leaders’ virtual meeting convened by the Commonwealth secretariat at the request of member states.

The virtual meeting of Commonwealth leaders is held to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and develop collaborative strategies in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

27.06: One Seychelles holds its national convention at which it is announced that Alain St Ange will stand as the party’s presidential candidate in the October 22-24 election, with Peter Sinon as his running mate.

The party also introduces its district representatives for Baie Ste Anne and Grand Anse – Bala Dean Padayachy and Yvon Esther respectively.

 

28.06: Francine Luther celebrates her 100th birthday. She believes that the secret to living a long life is to have faith in God and to pray.

 

29.06: Seychellois lawyer, politician and human rights activist, Alexia Amesbury, is sworn in as one of the four new commissioners on the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights during its 28th extraordinary session.

The historical event is made possible through a Zoom tele-conference live streamed on YouTube.

It is the first time in the commission’s history that the extraordinary session is organised virtually, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

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The government of India organizes two Air India flights for repatriation of Indian nationals stranded in Seychelles.

The flights have been scheduled as part of phase III of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, a government of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation from all over the world for return of Indian nationals stranded in different parts of the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

July

 

07.07: A ceremony is organised to finalise the sale and transfer process of 42 condominium units at Ile Persévérance which the government has bought from the Seychelles Pension Fund at a sum of R68.5 million.

The apartments are for the benefit of young graduates from Mahé and from the inner islands.

 

10.07: The Office of the President announces the appointment of the board of the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets). Sets is a non-profit public sector enterprise mandated to facilitate the reskilling and placement in an economic activity of persons made redundant as a result of economic decline following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aubrey Lucas is the chairperson of the board of Sets. The other board members are: Josianne Bristol, Diana Quatre, Xavier Estico, Ansley Constance, Iouana Pillay, Tina Hoareau and Farida Camille.   

Guy Morel is the chief executive of Sets.

 

10.07: A first group of 88 workers who have either lost their jobs or have been made redundant and who took part in a five-day on-boarding programme for job replacement organised by the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme in partnership with The Guy Morel Institute receive their certificates.

The clients were mostly from the tourism sector with the majority coming from the Bayan Tree Hotel which has temporarily closed down.

They were equipped with resilient skills to accept what they are going through, which is the reality of losing their jobs and to get out of the comfort zone they have enjoyed for the many years on the job and to choose another job in a new sector as replacement.

 

13.07: Seychelles receives its third batch of medical equipment to combat the Covid-19 pandemic from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The consignment consists of two Biosafety cabinets, which are vitally important in the handling and processing of infectious samples, such as SARS-COV-2, the causative virus for COVID-19.

Among other equipment received are: a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine, three vortex machines, a microcentrifuge and a scanner for cryotubes, all useful in the PCR process to detect COVID-19.

The donation also consists of primers and probes (PCR test kits) for COVID-19 for two assays, one which is promoted and distributed worldwide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the other from the Hong Kong University.

 

14.07: Local telecom company, Intelvision, donates 50 hand-held infrared thermometers and five ventilators to the department of health to help in the country’s fight against Covid-19.

The batch of medical equipment is the second donation that Intelvision makes in the scope of the pandemic. At the cusp of the pandemic in March, the company donated 3,000 Covid-19 rapid tests kits.

The total cost for all of the equipment donated so far exceeds R5 million.

 

14.07: Alda Philo, one of the oldest women in Seychelles,celebrates her 105th birthday surrounded by friends and family.

This is the second time Mrs Philo has celebrated her birthday during a pandemic, the first time was in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

 

15.07: The Supreme Court of Seychelles receives a stock of medical equipment to help in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

The medical equipment from the Indian high commission and the Indian Association of Seychelles comprise 500 black washable masks, one blood pressure machine, one glucometer and one infrared thermometer.

 

16.07: Prezidan Danny Faure, kandida prezidansyel parti United Seychelles, i anons nominasyon Myse Maurice Loustau-Lalanne konman son kandida Vis Prezidan avek komite ekzekitif son parti pandan en rankont kot Maison du Peuple.

 

16.07 : Le bureau du maire de Victoria reçoit un don de masques et de thermomètres de la ville de Guangzhou de la République Populaire de Chine. Les matériaux reçus seront distribués au département du gouvernement local, à la maison de retraite, au ministère de l'Éducation et du Développement des Ressources Humaines, et à d'autres institutions privées.

 

17.07: The Seychelles Postal Services suspends postal services on La Digue until further notice.

This is because it is moving offices and it will take it some time to equip its temporary new offices.

 

22.07 : Pour aider les mères, les enfants et les jeunes seychellois à faire face à la COVID-19, le gouvernement de la République Populaire de Chine fait don de 18 000 masques médicaux jetables et 120 thermomètres infrarouges à la République des Seychelles.

 

27.07: The Guy Morel Institute and the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme formalise their partnership with the launch of the ongoing ‘on-boarding programme’ for workers made redundant as well as a newly introduced ‘entrepreneurship skilling intervention programme’ for local entrepreneurs and small business owners.

 

28.07: The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) meets virtually for an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers.

The Seychelles delegation as chair of the East African Group of the OACPS also participates in the meeting of the Bureau of the OACPS Council of Ministers, which precedes the session.

 

30.07: President Danny Faure announces his intention to dissolve the sixth National Assembly, stating that the move is to protect national interest.

The aim is to allow for the presidential and legislative elections to be organised simultaneously and thereby cut the costs of holding two separate elections.

The presidential election has been provisionally set for October 22-24 while the parliamentary election was scheduled for 2021.

 

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The department of foreign affairs receives some useful medical supplies from the Indian high commission and the Indian Association of Seychelles.

The medical supplies comprise 300 washable masks, one blood pressure machine, one glucometer and one infrared thermometer.

 

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The Indian Association of Seychelles in collaboration with the Bank of Baroda and the Vijay Group donate medical equipment and other items to the elderly citizens living in different independent homes for seniors on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue as well as those living in the community.

The donation include 10 tricycles and a wheelchair from Vijay Group, while the other items and medical equipment including face masks are from the Indian Association of Seychelles.

 

 

 

August

 

01.08: The Chinese ambassador to Seychelles, Guo Wei, hands over to the Seychelles government the Corgat Estate Redevelopment Phase 3 housing project built through a Chinese grant.

This phase of the project is expected to benefit 13 families.

 

01.08: The United Seychelles (US) party officially endorses Maurice Loustau-Lalanne as the running mate to presidential candidate Danny Faure for the October 22-24 elections.

 

02.08: Seychelles’ main opposition party, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), officially launches its campaign for the 2020 presidential election with a motorcade.

The party also launches its slogan for the election campaign, ‘Sesel pour tou son zanfan’ or ‘Seychelles for all of its children’

04.08: A group of farmers from different associations from Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are invited to Coetivy by the Islands Development Company (IDC) to see first hand the island’s potential for large scale agriculture.

 

04.08: Another orca sighting is recorded on the Aldabra Atoll.

This is only the fourth time since 2001 that orcas have been spotted around Aldabra’s waters.

06.08: Speaker Nicholas Prea officially launches the Media Operations and Broadcasting Unit of the National Assembly, paving the way for the latter to have more control of its own parliamentary broadcasting.

 

06.08: After 33 years as a member of the National Assembly, the leader of government business (LGB), Charles De Comarmond, announces that he is retiring from the National Assembly.

He says that his retirement from National Assembly activities will give him ample time to attend to his personal projects, including in sports and culture.

 

07.08: The 6th National Assembly stands dissolved following President Danny Faure’s proclamation which was read out by Speaker Nicholas Prea in its last session yesterday (06.08).

This is in line with Article 110(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles which provides that the President may, by Proclamation published in the Gazette, dissolve the National Assembly for any reason which the President considers it to be in the national interest.

 

11.08: The embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Seychelles donates a second batch of anti-pandemic materials to the Seychelles Hospital.

The donation include 500 infrared thermometers, 110,000 surgical masks, 12,000 medical N95 masks, 5,000 disposable protective clothing, 5,000 medical protective goggles, 13,000 medical gloves, and 13,000 isolation shoe covers.

 

14.08: President Danny Faure launches a new app titled ‘Koste’ which is inviting users to interact directly with him, as well as providing access to online events, election campaign news, and e-rally registration and so on.

 

19.08: The Seychelles Postal Services (SPS) reopens its office temporarily at the Mills Complex, La Passe La Digue and will provide the normal services.

 

15.08: Margaret Woodfield Pouponneau celebrates her 108th birthday surrounded by her children and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

17.08: En zonm, Cliff Mathiot, i eroikman sov en pti fiy 8-an ki ti’n pri dan lasanm en lakaz ki ti pe pran dife Petit Paris.

Sa pti fiy ti li tousel ler dife ti pran dan sa lakaz kat lasanm ki ti abrit 4 adilt ek 2 zanfan.

 

20.08: The Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), Caroline Abel, is elected as the new vice-chair of the African Financial Inclusion Policy Initiative (AfPI).

Part of the AFI network, AfPI is a platform that allows African leaders of policy-making and regulatory institutions to discuss pertinent financial inclusion issues and promote the implementation of innovative and effective solutions.

 

21.08: Collin and Gina Forte are granted their freedom back after the Court of Appeal delivers a ruling to quash all drug related convictions and sentences imposed on them, on numerous grounds including a “fundamental flaw in the prosecution case” and an err in judgment by the trial judge.

Mr and Mrs Forte were convicted and sentenced in 2017 after being extradited from Kenya the same year, for being wanted by the NDEA since 2015.

They were accused of drug importation into the country.

 

22.08: United Seychelles (US) endorses the nomination of its 26 candidates for the National Assembly election, scheduled to take place from October 22-24.

The party’s new line-up for the legislative election consists of a large number of newcomers, a few from the recently dissolved 6th National Assembly who will be fighting to regain their seats, as well as two veterans of the party who have made their comeback.

 

23.08: Absa Bank (Seychelles) Limited, through the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development(MEHRD), donates 58 infrared thermometers to crèches and day care centres in the country in effort to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The 58 infrared thermometers have a value of slightly over R57,000.

 

24.08: The Electoral Commission Seychelles publishes in the Official Gazette the nomination day dates for the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections to be held on October 22, 23 and 24, 2020.

The nomination date for the presidential election has been set for September 16, 2020 while that for the National Assembly election is on September 18, 2020.

 

26.08: Central Bank of Seychelles Governor, Caroline Abel, is named this year’s Central Bank Governor of the Year by the African Banker Awards Committee.

 

27.08: A ceremony is organised at the Maison Marengo, Domaine de Val de Pres, Au Cap, to kick-start activities planned to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Seychellois nation.

 

27.08 : La Commission de l’Océan indien (COI) remet un lot d’équipements médicaux au département de la Santé.

Ce lot comprend 26 150 surblouses, combinaisons, lunettes et visières de protection, 7 600 masques de protection de haute performance (FFP2 et N95) ainsi que d’autres équipements de protection requis pour la prise en charge des malades du Covid-19.

 

27.08: Father Eric Leon, who was ordained priest of the Catholic Diocese on August 27, 1995, celebrates 25 years of priesthood.

To mark this milestone, a thanksgiving service is organised at the Ste Mary Magdalena’s church at Takamaka where he is currently serving as the parish priest.

 

27.08: Chief secretary for public administration, Jessie Esparon, announces that pensioners who are benefitting from a pension under what is referred to as the colonial pension, or pansyon angle, as well as under the Public Sector Special Pension Act of 2005 are set to receive an increase of R3000.

This follows the cabinet of ministers’ approval for the two categories to be increased to R3000 per month as from September 2020

 

27.08: Carah Loveday is awarded as the overall winner of the Positive Youth Image Award 2019.

The Positive Youth Image award is an ongoing event on the SNYC’s Youth Festival event since 1999, with the aim of celebrating young people who do outstanding work in their communities.

 

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As part of its global support to countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Seychelles donates 1000 Covid-19 test kits to the department of health.

The kits, which will assist in the department of health’s effort in tackling the virus,

are manufactured by CEPHEID, an internationally recognised company specialising in diagnostic tools for testing the novel coronavirus and test results can be obtained rapidly within the hour.

 

 

 

September

 

01.09: The department of health accepts donations from various partners aimed at fighting the spread of Covid-19.

The donations include a PCR machine from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and Cable and Wireless; a ventilator from Gran Kaz and a personal monetary contribution from Ruth Rosette.

 

03.09: The department of Health gets two new ventilators – one from the Joseph Albert Family (JAF) Foundation and the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) and the other from Hunt, Deltel & Co.

 

05.09: Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) holds its annual convention under the theme ‘Transition to the new Seychelles’.

 

07.09: Lalyans Seselwa party leader Patrick Georges Pillay announces that he will take part in the October 22-24 Presidential election.His running mate is Weston Wirtz.

 

14.09: Centenarian Aline Adela celebrates her milestone 100th birthday in the presence of relatives, friends and members of the Pointe Larue community with a special mass at the St John Bosco’s church.

 

16.09: Three presidential nominees are given the go-ahead to run in the October 22-24 election while a fourth presidential hopeful, Patrick Pillay, sees his bid rejected by the Electoral Commission.

The three confirmed candidates are incumbent president Danny Antoine Rollen Faure of United Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan representing Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) and One Seychelles’ Alain St Ange.

 

25.08: Seychelles obtains the ‘wild-polio free’ certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a virtual conference held by the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for Polio Eradication to commemorate eradication of the wild poliovirus in the WHO Africa region.

 

27.09: The Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS) launches its manifesto for the October 22-24 general elections.

Some of the party’s priorities for the next five years, should it be elected to the executive, include efficient service-delivery,working towards a dynamic economy with equal opportunities for everyone and protection of state sovereignty.

 

28.09: Frank and Elodia Payet, Daniel Payet, Norman Medhurst Esslemont, David Joubert, Guy Sinon, William Woodcock, Julien Parcou and Jessie and Carl Collie are honoured for making significant contributions to Seychelles’ tourism industry.

They are the fifth group of tourism pioneers to have their names engraved on ceramic tiles and displayed at the Pioneers Park at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) as testimony to their inspired effort and innovations which have laid the cornerstones of Seychelles’ tourism industry.

 

29.09: Figurehead of the Lalyans Seselwa political party, Patrick Georges Pillay, officially announces Lalyans Seselwa’s endorsement for United Seychelles and its Presidential candidate Danny Faure, for the October 22-24 general elections.

 

29.09: Seychelles formalises an alliance with four small island developing states (Sids) of the World Health Organisation Africa Region in a bid to improve access to better quality goods at a lower cost.

The secretary of state for Health, Ambassador Marie Pierre Lloyd and ministers for health from Mauritius, Comoros, Cabo Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe sign the SIDS Pooled Procurement agreement in a virtual ceremony.

According to Ambassador Lloyd, pooling together procurement will bring the cost of medicines down greatly for the countries, all faced with the challenge of economies of scale.

 

30.09: G. Bouchereau from Anse à la Mouche and Joachim Sullivan from Beau Vallon are the new millionaires following the draw of the Mini Maz Millions lottery.

G. Bouchereau wins the R1.5 million star prize with ticket number 32856 whereas Joachim Sullivan’s ticket number 33896 lands him the first prize of R1 million.

 

 

 

October

 

01.10: Dr Mathilda Twomey presents her letter of resignation to President Danny Faure at State House, officially bringing her five-year term to an end.

Legislations make provisions for a chief justice’s resignation to take effect at the moment they hand in their letter.

 

02.10 : L’Ambassadeur de France aux Seychelles Monsieur Dominique Mas remet aux sapeurs-pompiers seychellois un lot d’équipements de lutte contre les incendies.

Ces équipements sont offerts comme appui du service départemental d’incendie et de secours de la Réunion aux équipes de pompiers seychelloises suite aux incendies dans le centre de traitement des déchets à Providence la semaine dernière.

 

05.11: The International School Seychelles launches a new student leadership and academic programme called ‘Model United Nations’.Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches participants speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. It engages students and allows them to develop deeper understanding into current world issues.

 

06.10: Madanm Fulgencia Malcouzane ki reste Bel Air i selebre son 102enm lanniverser dan en lanmes aksyon de gras prezide par Per David Alcindor e asiste par son bann zanmi, vwazen ek manm fanmir.

 

08.10: The department of health receives further donations of medical supplies to help reinforce its capacity to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.

The latest donation, consisting of top priority medical and laboratory supplies, comes from the City of Shanghai with the collaboration of the office of the Mayor of Victoria.

 

13.10: The St Ange housing estate playground officially opens its gates to the delight of Takamaka’s youngest.

The playground is a government funded project worth around R398,000 which kicked off on December 13, 2019.

Meanwhile, the toys were procured by Chinese firm Quinjing International.

 

13.10: The Seychelles Prison Service (SPS), based at Montagne Posée, beefs up its security with the launch of its first ever drone dubbed the prison’s ‘eyes in the sky’.

The Delta (1) drone, equipped with high definition still and video camera and a flying time of 27 minutes, can effectively be deployed to rapidly arrive on scene, gain immediate aerial insights, hover above unfolding missions and live stream updates directly to command centres for action. It can be operated during both day and night.

 

17.10: The Seychelles Ports Authority acquires a new tug fleet, a brand new 60 Ton Bollard Pull Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tug boat.

The vessel had set sail from Turkey, where it was built, on September 25, 2020. Manned by a Turkish crew, it sailed under the name Bogacay Xli and flew the Turkish flag.

 

17.10: A male inmate at the Montagne Posée prison is found unresponsive and hanging in a holding cell.

The inmate was being held in a special holding cell and not in his usual cell.

An investigation headed by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is underway and an inquest into the inmate’s untimely death will also be opened

 

24.10: For the second time Linyon Demoktratik Seselwa (LDS) secures majority seats in the National Assembly, this time securing two thirds of the parliament.

The party, who now holds power both over the executive and legislative arms of government, wins 20 seats in the National Assembly elections and an additional five nominated seats, bringing the total to 25 seats.

 

24.10: Former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Wavel Ramkalawan, of Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, wins a historic landslide victory in the presidential election to become the fifth president of the Republic of Seychelles, dethroning the well-established ruling United Seychelles (formerly SPUP, SPPF, Parti Lepep) party.

 

26.10: Wavel Ramkalawan is inaugurated into office as the fifth President of the Republic of Seychelles.

The inauguration marks the beginning of his five-year presidential term, after he was elected into office by the Seychellois electorate during general elections held on October 22, 23 and 24.

 

27.10: Ahmed Afif, running mate to President Wavel Ramkalwan during the October 22-24 general elections, is inaugurated into office.

 

27.10: A new work book aimed at educating students on the importance of the Blue economy is launched.

Written by history teacher Nathalie Duval, the book is titled ‘Blue Economy and Me’ and was funded through a R100,000 grant given by SEYCATT under its blue grant.

 

28.10: The seventh National Assembly is sworn in with former opposition, Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, securing its absolute majority seats in the parliament.

 

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Seychellois Jean-Paul Adam is appointed the first president of the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

It is Rwanda President Paul Kagame who has chosen former minister Adam turned United Nations (UN) executive to help authorities in Kigali to polish the country's image as hub of responsible mining production.

 

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Dailus Laurence, the Chief Warden of Cousin Island Special Reserve, wins the prestigious 2020 African Ranger Award promoted by the Alibaba Foundation and the Paradise Foundation.

The award includes prize money of US $10,000.

Dailus is 29 years old and has been working on Cousin since he was 21.

 

 

 

November

 

03.11: President Wavel Ramkalawan unveils his new cabinet which is composed of 13 ministers.

 

07.11: The Seychelles Port Authority’s (SPA) newly acquired tugboat Ste Anne is commissioned.

Ste Anne, fully funded by SPA at a cost of R117,750,000 (€5.125 million), was constructed by ‘SANMAR’, a ship building company based in Turkey.

 

09.11: Justice Rony James Govinden is sworn in as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Seychelles.

He replaces CJ Mathilda Twomey who had been in the position for the last five years.

 

09.11: The secretary of state for the Agency for Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (Apdar), Dr Patrick Herminie, tenders his resignation to the Minister for Health in accordance with the three-month notice clause in his public sector contract, which will end in February 2021.

Dr Herminie has served as the chairperson of Apdar since its establishment in September 2017.

 

26.11: The Ministry of Health receives donations worth R3,207,230 from construction firm Laxmanbhai aimed at responding to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The donations consist of 12 perfusion pumps; one ventilator; 43 hospital beds; 100 infrared thermometers and 2 patient monitors.

 

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Seychelles is chosen, among 170 countries, to host the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020 which will run from November 16 – 23.

The activities are being led by the young team at the department of Entrepreneurship and Industry in collaboration with the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa) and the Seychelles Investment Board (Sib).

The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is the largest and most visible one-week campaign affiliated with entrepreneurship, which occurs annually every November.

 

 

 

December

 

04.12: Historians, contributors, members of the 250th anniversary organising committee and invitees are treated to the first peek of the 250th anniversary documentary titled ‘A History of Seychelles from its origins to the present day’.

The hour-long documentary movie has been produced and directed by James Dupres and his team, to be used as a promotional tool by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) to market Seychelles as a destination.

 

05.12 : Madanm Antonia Antoine, née Dugasse, en zabitan Zimbabwe, Baie Ste Anne, Praslin, i selebre son santyenm lanniverser dan prezans son fanmiy, zanmi, lotorite distrik ek reprezantan Minister Lafanmiy.

 

05.12: Tony Volcère is elected as the new chief executive of the Seychelles Credit Union during the cooperative’s 50th annual general meeting.

 

07.12: 24-year-old Kelly-Mary Anette outshines 10 other girls in the Miss Seychelles National Pageant 2020 to become the country’s new beauty queen.

Shannen Henrie is crowned First Princess while Elsia Françoise, the youngest participant of the bunch, is crowned Second Princess.

 

08.12: Central Bank of Seychelles governor Caroline Abel is named one of the recipients of the Africa’s Woman Leaders Awards.

The Africa’s Woman Leaders Awards is an initiative of the World Women Leadership Congress and Awards as part of its engagement to celebrate and recognise women leaders across different regions globally.

 

08.12 : Son Excellence Mgr Jean-Baptiste Alain Harel, le nouvel Evêque du Diocèse de Port-Victoria, est intronisé lors d’une messe solennelle marquant la fête de l’Immaculée Conception, patronne de la paroisse de Port-Victoria.

 

11.12: Aaron Pool is named the overall winner of the Positive Youth Image Award 2019.

During the ceremony a total of 51 youths are awarded in four different categories – secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, youths at district level and youths from affiliated groups.

They are all recognised for their positive contributions and differences they make in their respective schools and communities.

 

11.12: Bibianne Mein celebrates her 100th birthday with her many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

12.12: Simone Charles, the mother of former President James Michel, celebrates her 100th birthday in the presence of her family and friends in a special mass at the St Elizabeth Chapel.

 

14.12: The secretary general of United Seychelles announces that two candidates are vying to become the leader of this party in an election scheduled for January 30, 2021 at an extraordinary congress.

 

15.12: The detection of 15 new Covid-19 cases in the country in less than five days puts public health authorities on high alert, with warning of an imminent threat of community transmission.

Among the new cases are two Seychellois ‒ one of whom is a healthcare worker and an Air Seychelles crew member.

The remaining cases include seven Covid-19 positive cases on a super yacht which arrived on Sunday December 13, three cases detected on a resort on Silhouette and the others are visitors residing at hotel establishments on Mahé.

 

15.12: The Ministry of Local Government & Community Affairs and the Independent School formalise a memorandum of understanding which gives permission for the latter to build new sports facilities – namely a swimming pool and an indoor gymnasium – on state land next to its Ile du Port campus.

As part of this agreement, pupils from Perseverance primary school will also be allowed to make use of these facilities.

 

16.12: Three police officers attend a first phase of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) training for Covid-19 surveillance.

Dubbed as the ‘UAV for Covid-19 Surveillance Project’, the training is being organised by the National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (Nisti) in collaboration with the Seychelles Police, the Seychelles Air Force and the Seychelles Coast Guard.

Its aim is to provide the officers with knowledge and skills needed to safely operate a UAV to fight Covid-19.

 

16.12: The Central Bank of Seychelles launches the first Youth 4 Youth ‒ a financial education youth ambassadors’ programme that aims to empower the youth and encourage peer-to-peer learning and advocacy on financial education.

 

17.10: The Terrestrial Restoration Society of Seychelles (Trass) in partnership with Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets) launch the ‘Rebwazmwan’ massive tree planting campaign on Praslin, which entails a widespread replanting of 50,000 seedlings per year – the biggest replanting campaign ever undertaken in Seychelles. The seedlings will be planted on degraded land in selected areas of Praslin for environmental protection and conservation of important ecosystems.

 

17.12: Members of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) gives Oliver Bastienne their vote of confidence by re-electing him as chairperson of the chamber.

 

17.12: A special thanksgiving mass is held in honour of Bishop emeritus Denis Wiehe to celebrate his retirement after 19 years heading the Catholic diocese of Port Victoria.

 

19.12: In a first for Seychelles and the Anglican Diocese, three Anglican priests receive their doctorate in ministry from the ACTS Academy of Higher Learning in Bangalore, India.

Archbishop of the Indian Ocean province James Wong, Dean of the St Paul’s Cathedral Reverend Daniel Kalle and Reverend Simon Fred of the St Matthew, Praslin parish officially graduate in a virtual ceremony at the St Paul’s Cathedral.

 

20.12: Six designers take part in a more tone-downed version of the illustrious Seychelles Fashion Week.

The designers are well-known Darren Esther with his Da Extra collection that infuses music with fashion; Ivan Capricieuse with locally made accessories; Natasha Laval with Nwadkoko accessories; Fina Zialor and Oushnajohn Labrosse with OJZ.

Nigerian designer Nancy Iwauagwu, who had previously participated in the previous Seychelles Fashion Week, also has her designs modelled, even if she is not in Seychelles to attend the event.

 

20.12: The newly registered Anse Etoile Fishermen’s Association is officially launched by Vice-President and former representative of Anse Etoile, Ahmed Afif.

It is made up of five members on its executive committee including chairperson, Dimitri Maiden.

 

20.12: Madanm Wilhelmine Anette i selebre son 105enm lanniverser. Madanm Anette i 2enm madanm ki annan plis ki 100-an dan distrik Anse Royale apre Madanm Alda Philo ki ti selebre son 105enm lanniverser le 14 Zilyet osi sa lannen.

 

21.12: Thirty-six (36) patients fly to Chennai on a special flight operated by Air Seychelles to receive further treatment mainly in radiotherapy, cardiac intervention and operations and eye surgery.

 

21.12: A large number of locals gather at dusk on a beach in Glacis, to watch the celestial alignment of the two largest planets in our solar system: Jupiter and Saturn.

This astronomical event is known as The Great Conjunction of 2020; this is when Jupiter and Saturn appear closest together in the night sky, as seen from Earth.

The last Great Conjunction took place nearly 400 years ago in 1623.

 

21.12: The Office of the President announces the creation of a committee responsible for reviewing the names of all roads in Victoria linked to the 1977 Coup D’état.

The committee will have the responsibility to propose new names to replace those that should be changed as well as henceforth be engaged in the task of proposing names for new roads and estates created.

The committee is headed by the Mayor of Victoria David Andre.

 

22.12: Seychelles announces a series of measures to address the threat of the new variant of Covid-19.

“These measures are necessary to address the threat of the new variant of Covid-19 which is known to be more contagious and is now rampant in parts of United Kingdom and South Africa,” says Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon.

 

22.12: A consignment of 50,000 doses of a China-manufactured Covid-19 vaccine reaches Seychelles courtesy of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UAE offered the vaccines to Seychelles during the recent visit of the head of state of Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan, to that country.

 

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Gabriella Gonthier, a model from Telly’s Modelling Agency, is nominated for Female Model of the Year Award 2020 organised by the Global Style Icon Awards, an initiative produced by Global Ovations Ltd producers for The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Kigali, Global Fashion Week Accra

 

 

 

 

 

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