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« Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #42 of 54: Senegal | Main | Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #44 of 54: Seychelles »

August 13, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Lectures on African Countries #43 of 54: Seychelles

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) ---
43. SEYCHELLES
Flag of Seychelles

Formal Name: Republic of Seychelles.

Term for Citizens: Seychellois.

Capital: Victoria. Population: 30, 000.

Date of Independence: June 29, 1976 (from Britain).

Major Cities: Victoria.

Geography:

Seychelles is an island in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles is approximately 176 square miles. It contains 115 islands. The major islands are Mahe, Praslin, and ladigue. The climate is tropical with high humidity but breezy and cooler weather brought by the monsoon from late May to September. Mean annual rainfall is 3000 millimeters.

Society: The estimated population is 80, 000.

Ethnic Groups: Mixed European and Africans.

Languages: Official languages are Creole, English and French.

Religion: Roman Catholics 90%, Anglicans 7%, and Evangelical Christians the rest.

Education: Education is free through secondary school. Literacy rate is estimated at 85%.

Economy: Tourism and Agriculture are major industries. Seychelles has a relatively well-developed infrastructure for tourism. GDP estimated: $626 million; Per Capita GDP: $7, 800. Monetary Unit: Rupee (SCR).

History and Government:

Africans and Europeans and a mixture thereof settled the Islands. In 1768 France took over the Islands and in 1794 Britain took over. Initially Britain and the ruling party in the Islands did not desire independence but pressure from the OAU and the UN led to independence in June 29, 1976. An elected president selects a cabinet to govern with. A peoples Assembly that legislates, a judiciary headed by a supreme court. The country is divided into 23 districts.



CONTEMPORARY HISTORY AND POLITICS

Seychelles was an uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean until the Portuguese sighted it in the fifteen hundreds. They used the island as a stopping station on their route from Africa and the Asia. In 1756 the French came along and took over the Island. In 1794 the English took it over. Seychelles became a British crown colony in 1903.

The government of the island calls for an executive president, a unicameral legislature, a National Assembly, and independent judiciary. The president selects a cabinet that must be approved by the legislature

Seychelles is divided into 25 administrative districts.

Seychelles is well governed and attracts foreign investors. In fact, it is the richest country in Africa with a per capita income of US $7, 504.

Seychelles has a well developed tourism industry and is currently trying to diversify and industrialize. Tourism is vulnerable, for example, the 2004 Christmas tsunami in East Asia affected tourism as folks, for a while, were not interested in visiting that part of the world and countries that depend solely on tourist money suffered greatly.

Ozodi@africainstituteseattle.org

Posted by Administrator at August 13, 2006 09:53 AM

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