Abu Dhabi’s generous grant to Seychelles |04 November 2013
I have read with interest your account of the opening of the Seychelles Conference at Le Méridien Barbarons Hotel hosted on Thursday October 31, 2013 to mark the 5th anniversary of the Macro Economic Reform Programme.
I was not invited to attend this event. I guess it was an occasion reserved mostly for the ministers, bureaucrats and financial technocrats who over the last five years have been engaged in systematic discussions with the IMF to get Seychelles out of the great financial mess we found ourselves in five years ago.
As an interested and concerned citizen, I, of course, made it a point to listen to President James Michel’s address from the TV screen at my residence in Glacis-sur-Mer as he opened the conference.
I was certainly heartened to hear him say that the Programme not only included a “strict fiscal regime” but also brought out a “change of mindset during the harsh realities of the global economic crisis”.
I second the President’s congratulatory remarks to Vice-President Danny Faure, Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment Pierre Laporte and Governor of Central Bank Caroline Abel for work well done.
I felt personally impacted when the President said – “Seychelles is today respected as a nation which has done the right thing.
We have a track record that is recognised by the international community at large, from the multilateral to bilateral partners, rating agencies, as well as commercial financial organisations.
We have a track record of implementing appropriate policies. And adhering to them. Our people are respected as a resilient and smart people who found the courage to stand by their Government to make our country a better place, a more prosperous, caring and happier place.” At that time, I felt proud to be a Seychellois.
Indeed, I was much encouraged when the President took the opportunity “to reassure our development partners that Seychelles remains more than ever committed to a stable and sustainable economy”.
But more important than all - I would like to salute the President for singling out Abu Dhabi for providing a “generous grant to Seychelles which allowed the country to weather the storm”.
This statement was certainly overdue because there are still too many fellow Seychellois who are not sufficiently appreciative of the extent which the friendship, care, benevolence and generosity of H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have played to keep us away from national economic catastrophe.
I am yet to learn who else at that time was disposed to assist us in the way they have done – financial aid to the Government, coastguard and hospital projects, housing estates, desalination project and wind farm project, without mentioning Etihad Airways enriching engagement with Air Seychelles.
James R. Mancham