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Seychelles

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Introduction

Official Name: Republic of Seychelles
Capital: Victoria
Official Language: English, French, Creole
Currency: Seychellois Rupee (SCR)
Head of State
                & Government:
President H.E. James Alix Michel
Foreign Minister: H.E. Joel Morgan
Government Website: www.gov.sc
Date of joining: 15 November 2011

 

General

The Republic of Seychelles is a remote, small island-state with middle income country characteristics and an estimated population of 89,188 (July 2011).  The Seychelles archipelago is divided into the inner islands, outer island, granitic islands and coralline islands. The Inner Islands which are mostly granitic cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. The capital city of Seychelles, Victoria, is located on Mahé.

http://www.virtualseychelles.sc

Country Name: Republic of Seychelles,

Official Language(s):Creole, English and French

Motto: "Finis Coronat Opus" "The End Crowns the Work"

Location: Seychelles' islands extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Kenya. 

Geographic Coordinates: 4.6308° South of the Equator, 55.4619° East of Greenwich Meridian

Time Zone: GMT + 04:00

Calling Code: +248

Key economic sectors: Tourism and Fisheries

Capital: Victoria (Mahé)

Climate 

Temperatures on Mahé vary from 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900 mm (114 in) annually to 3,600 mm (142 in). During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24 °C (75 °F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31 °C (88 °F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.

Environment:There are approximately 200 plant species found in Seychelles, some 80 are unique to the islands, including screw pines several varieties of jellyfish trees, latanier palms, the bois rouge, the bois de fer, Wright's gardenia, and the most famous, the coco de mer. Wildlife includes a diverse array of marine life, including more than 900 identified species of fish; green sea turtles and giant tortoises also inhabit the islands. Endemic species include birds such as Seychelles bulbuls and cave-dwelling Seychelles swiftlets; several species of local tree frogs, snails, and wormlike caecilians; Seychelles wolf snakes and house snakes; tiger chameleons; and others. Endemic mammals are few; both fruit bats (Pteropus seychellensis) and Seychelles sheath-tailed bats (Coleura seychellensis) are endemic to the islands. Indian mynahs, barn owls, and tenrecs (small shrew like or hedgehog like mammals introduced from Madagascar) are also found.

Seychelles has established several nature preserves and marine parks, including the Aldabra Islands and Vallée de Mai National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. In July of 2011, the Seychelles government announced its intention to declare several new protected areas in the archipelago, resulting in over half (50.59%) of its total land area becoming protected by law. In addition to protecting its terrestrial land area, Seychelles has also demonstrated a significant dedication to protecting its marine environment as well. Seychelles has created fourteen Marine Protected Areas covering 30% of the nation's total marine territory, with 15% of the total marine environment being designated as no-take areas.

Terrain 

Seychelles is one of the world's smallest countries. The number of islands in the archipelago is officially given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155. There are 42 granitic islands, 2 coral sand cays, 44 coral islands which 29 are found in the Amirantes group and 13 are located in the Farquhar Group with the remaining two found south of the granitics. There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group. The 3 main islands are; Mahé (the largest and most populated) Praslin and La Digue, all of which are granitic. This group's topography is generally mountainous and rocky with typical narrow strips of coast and a central range of hills. The overall aspect of these islands, with their lush tropical vegetation, is that of high hanging gardens overlooking silver-white beaches and clear lagoons. The highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (2,969 feet [905 meters]), situated on Mahé, is located within this mountainous island group. The coralline islands, rising only a few feet above sea level, are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. These islands are largely waterless, and very few have a resident population.

Flags/Maps

No Flags are availabe for downloads

History

The first settlers reached the pristine shore of Seychelles in 1770. The French- leading a small party of whites, Indians and Africans- where the first to inhabit the previously deserted islands. Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814, after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

Under British rule, Seychelles saw the establishment of several important estates producing coconut, food crops, cotton and sugar cane. Victoria evolved into her capital city.

Seychelles achieved independence from Britain in 1976 and became a republic within the commonwealth. Following a period of single party rule by the government of Mr. France Albert René, on December 4, 1991, President René announced a return to the multiparty system of government, 1993 saw the first multiparty presidential and legislative elections held under a new constitution in which President René was victorious. President René also won the 1998 and 2003 elections before transferring the Presidency to James Alix Michel in June 2004.

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/about_seychelles/history.php

http://www.mfa.gov.sc/content.php?content_id=26

Geography

Seychelles is made up of 115 islands of which 41 inner islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while 74 form the five groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets that are the Outer Islands.

Seychelles' 115 granite and coral islands extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean.

This Indian Ocean republic occupies a land area of 455 km² and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million km². It represents an archipelago of timeless beauty, tranquility and harmony that is famous for its world-beating beaches and for its great diversity which rolls from lush forests down to the warm azure ocean.

Of these 115 islands, 41  Inner Islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while a further 74 form the 5 groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets that are the  Outer Islands.

Seychelles is home to no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin where the wondrously shaped Coco-de-mer nut grows high on ancient palms and fabled Aldabra, the world's largest raised coral atoll, first seen by early Arab seafarers of the 9th century A.D.

Seychelles, one of the world's very last frontiers, promises adventure and breathtaking natural beauty in pristine surroundings still untouched by man.

Government & Politics

The Republic of Seychelles has a multi-party political system with an executive President as head of state and government.  The President heads a Cabinet of 13 ministers which includes the Vice-President.

In April 2004 Mr. James Alix Michel replaced Mr. France Albert René as President after Mr. Rene had been in office since 1977.  The Vice President is currently Mr. Danny Faure.  The First Designated Minister is Mr. Vincent Meriton, who is also the Minister for Community Development Youth and Sports.

Legislative power is vested in a National Assembly of 32 members of whom 26 are elected directly in constituencies with the balance on proportional basis based on the results of the National Assembly elections.

Parti Lepep, The People's Party, previously known as the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF), currently led by President Michel, holds 31 seats in the Assembly.

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), headed by Mr. David Pierre, holds 1 seat in the Assembly.

The other main political parties (not currently represented in the National Assembly) are the Seychelles National Party (SNP) headed by Rev. Wavel Ramkalawan and the Democratic Party (DP), headed by Mr. Ralph Volcere.

The Republic of Seychelles is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie.  It has embassies in Paris, New York, Brussels, New Delhi, Beijing, Pretoria and London as well as numerous honorary consulates worldwide.

People

The citizens of Seychelles are called Seychellois. The cosmopolitan Seychellois are a colorful blend of peoples of different races, cultures and religions.The group of 115 islands has traditionally attracted a broad diversity of peoples from the four corners of the earth that has included freed slaves, European settlers, political exiles, adventurers, traders of Arab and Persian origin as well as Chinese and Indians.

Creole is the native language of Seychelles, however, English and French are commonly used as the main language of government and commerce.

About 75% of the Seychellois live on Mahé Island. Most others live on Praslin and La Digue, with the remaining smaller islands either sparsely populated or uninhabited.

Economy

Seychelles has a mixed and developing economy. Tourism and fisheries (fishing and fish processing) are the economy's two major pillars. Agriculture accounts for only a small proportion of the total GDP. The service sector accounts for nearly four-fifths of the GDP and employs the largest proportion of the workforce.

Recently, the government is promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing in order to diversify the economy.

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/AFRICAEXT/SEYCHELLESEXTN/0,,menuPK:367517~pagePK:141132~piPK:141107~theSitePK:367495,00.html

http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/countries/east-africa/seychelles/

http://www.indexmundi.com/seychelles/gdp_real_growth_rate.html

Transportation & Communication

To be updated soon ...

Social Indicators

The 2011 budget was strongly committed to the social sector and the social welfare programs; such as in health, education, social services, housing and community development.

Since the 1990s, Seychelles has successfully promoted high living standards and social development. Better access to education and health services, safe drinking water and sanitation for all have contributed to poverty alleviation, social integration and a high standard of living.

The ministry of Health and social development is the principal provider of health services in Seychelles. Under the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles and Health Policy declaration, the entire population of Seychelles has free access to the basic health services. There are two big and well equipped hospitals on Mahé, another on Praslin and a small hospital on La Digue. Regional clinics located around all the populated islands ensure nobody is more than a short trip away from free healthcare.

Seychelles Ministry of Health has recently focused on the need to improve the country's emergency medical services (EMS).

http://www.gov.sc/GovernmentAgencies/Ministry/minhealth.ASPX

http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/countries/east-africa/seychelles

International Relations

Seychelles follows a non-aligned foreign policy and aims to promote its reputation as a safe and secure tourist destination and a leader in environmental and conservation matters.

Seychelles is a member of African Union (AU), Commonwealth, International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC), Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) (observer), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The Seychelles continues to play a key role in the international fight against piracy in the Somali Basin. With the collaboration of the UK and EU, Seychelles has allowed suspected pirates captured by EU/UK forces to be transferred to the Seychelles for trial and imprisonment.

Seychelles aims to strengthen the existing relationships with other countries/ organisations and to increase its level of participation in the international developments and issues.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/country-profile/sub-saharan-africa/seychelles/?profile=intRelations

News & Media

  • SBC (Seychelles broadcasting corporation  )  television - Seychelles' international TV channel
  • SBC Paradise 93.6 FM
  • SBC Radio 1368 AM
  • TV5 Monde ( television channel)
  • Intelvision (Seychelles Telecom Company)
  • DSTV ( television channel)
  • Airtel company (Seychelles Telecom Company)
  • cable and wireless company (Seychelles Telecom Company)
  • Seychelles Nation (Newspaper)
  • Today (Newspaper)
  • Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly (Newspaper)
  • People (Newspaper)

http://www.cwseychelles.com/

http://www.sbc.sc/

http://www.africa.airtel.com/wps/wcm/connect/africaairtel/Seychelles/Home/About_us/

http://www.allyoucanread.com/seychelles-newspapers/

Links

Discover

To be updated soon ...

At a glance

To be updated soon ...

Public Holidays

Official:

New Year - 1st & 2nd January
Labour Day - 1st May
Liberation Day - 5th June
National Day - 18th June
Independence Day - 29th June

Religious:

Good Friday - 6th April
Easter Sunday - 8th April
Corpus Christi - 7th June
Assumption Day - 15th August
All Saints' Day - 1st November
Immaculate Conception - 8th December
Christmas Day - 25th December

Capital City

To be updated soon ...

Major Tourist Attractions

Although Seychelles is a small island state, there are a vast number of attractions that visitors can choose from. 

Since Seychelles aims at promoting eco-tourism, most of the attractions have been naturally established and is enjoyed in its natural entourage.

Some of the major attractions are:

  • Vallee de Mai
  • Aldabra Atoll
  • Botanical Garden
  • Mission Lodge
  • Marine Parks
  • Nature Trails
  • Beaches
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
  • Sailing
  • Big Game Fishing

http://www.holidaysseychelles.com/seychellest-top-tourist-attractions.html

http://www.go-seychelles.com/attractions.htm

Planning Your Visit

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/home/index.php

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/plan_your_visit/travellers_essentials.php

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/plan_your_visit/customs_formalities.php

Visa requirements:

Most nationalities do not require visas to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport and to obtain a visitors' permit that is initially valid for one month; a passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles, Return or onward ticket, Proof of accommodation; including contact details and Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/plan_your_visit/entry_formalities.php

 

VISA REQUIREMENTS

If you are a person who wishes to pursue studies in Seychelles, then you should show proof that you:

  • Would be enrolled as a student in an approved educational institution;
  • and have sufficient funds to meet the expenses that he/she would incur while residing in Seychelles.

Accommodation

New and renovated establishments provide visitors with a wider choice and greater options in their selection of holiday accommodation. The accommodations range from self-caterings and charming Creole guesthouses to the existing exclusive 5-star hotels.

16 of Seychelles 115 islands currently offer accommodation with more expected to develop hotel facilities in the near future.

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/plan_your_visit/accommodation.php

Airline and Local Transport

The national airline in Seychelles is Air Seychelles Ltd is located at Point Larue on Mahe. Air Seychelles Ltd engaged in a strategic partnership alliance with Etihad Airways in January 2012 with the aim to provide better services to the people and to increase the number of flights it has by accessing new potential destinations.

Seychelles' airport accommodates many international airlines from other countries such as Kenya Airways and Emirates Airline. The airport is also used for the domestic flights between Mahé and Praslin.

Visitors can consult the bus schedule, which can be obtained from the bus depot or cars may be hired only on Mahé and Praslin with several companies represented at the International airport on Mahé and at the larger hotels.

Independently operated taxis are available on Mahé and Praslin, and a handful on La Digue. There are also the services of knowledgeable guides who will help you to discover the numerous walking trails and interesting sites on the islands, by foot or in the comfort of a tour bus.

Trade Agreements within IORA

To be updated soon ...

Chamber of Commerce

Seychelles has only one Chamber of commerce: the Seychelles Chamber of commerce and Industry (SCCI) more commonly referred to as "The chamber".

It is the only organization which represents all sectors of the private sector in Seychelles.

The objectives of the Chamber are:- 

(a)   The promotion and protection of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, tourism, transport, insurance, banking and other services in the Republic of Seychelles.

(b)   The promotion, support or making of representation in relation to legislative or other measures affecting the aforesaid interests.

(c)    The collection, classification and dissemination of statistical data and other information of relevance and interest to all sectors of activities of the Seychelles economy.

(d)   The sponsorship of and assistance in the organisation of fairs and missions which may foster the economic development of the country.

(e)   Keeping and maintaining a reference library for members.

(f)     Providing facilities to enable members to operate properly as far as is practical.

(g)   The issuing of certificates in respect of goods which are grown, produced, processed, manufactured in or exported from Seychelles.

(h)   The carrying out of surveys independently or in partnership with other organisations.

(i)     The organizing and running of training courses and seminars.

(j)     The provision for arbitration in respect of disputes arising in the course of commerce, industry, tourism, transport or other business matters, and the securing of the services of expert technical and other persons to that end, if necessary or desirable.

(k)    The acquisition of movable and immovable property by purchase, donation, legacy or otherwise.

(l)     The selling, leasing, exchanging and mortgaging of such property.

(m) The doing of all that may be necessary or conducive to the development of industry, commerce, transport, insurance, banking, tourism, trade and services or incidental to the realization or attainment of the above-mentioned objectives.

(n)   Entering any agreement with any Government Ministry or Department or other authority, both in and outside Seychelles, which in the opinion of the Chamber shall be deemed to be in the interest of its members and to obtain from any such Government Ministry or Department or authority any rights, privileges and concessions in furtherance of the objectives of the Chamber.

(o)   To subscribe to and form part of any local or foreign federation or association pursuing similar or related objectives.

The management of the affairs and business of the Chamber is vested and deputed to a council made up of 15 councilors among which there is one chairperson, one vice chairperson and one treasurer. The councilors are elected during the annual General meeting of the SCCI.

The council meets regularly once a month.

The councilors are from various sectors of the economy: Legal, insurance, construction, Human Resources, Agriculture, International trade, medical and finance and investment.

The permanent staff of the SCCI at the secretariat consists of: one secretary General, one executive secretary, one trade promotion officer and one messenger/clerk.

The SCCI is represented on Statutory Authorities and National Committees in Seychelles.

Statutory Authorities

  • National Economic Committee (chaired by the President of the Republic)
  • National Tender Board
  • Seychelles tourism board
  • Seychelles fishing Authority
  • Seychelles Pension Fund
  • Town and Country Planning Authority
  • Social Welfare Agency Board
  • SIBA Board
  • Seychelles Agricultural Agency Board
  • Seychelles Investment Board
  • Seychelles Petroleum Company

National Committees

  • National Food Control Board
  • Commission Nationale de la Francophonie
  • National Committee for Social Renaissance
  • Waste management fund board
  • National Tobacco Control board
  • Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles and Green Island Foundation project steering Committee.
  • Steering Committee for Strategic Planning for HIV and Aids 2012-2016. 

The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also a member of regional and international bodies:

  • L'Union des chambres de Commerce et d'Industrie des îles de l'Océan Indien(UCCIOI)
  • The Comesa business Council
  • The Association of chambers of the SADC region
  • Works in close affiliation with the Commission de l'Océan Indien

Customs

To be updated soon ...

Trade Legislations

To be updated soon ...

Business Incentives in Seychelles

The Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) is the first point of Contact for all matters relating to investment and business in Seychelles.

The main objectives of the bureau are to promote the Seychelles as the ultimate environment for business and to create an investor friendly culture in the country. 

www.sib.gov.sc

Investment Opportunities in Seychelles

To be updated soon ...

List of Private & Public companies

To be updated soon ...

Conference & Exhibition Facilities

To be updated soon ...

Educational Opportunities

The Ministry of Education offers free and compulsory education to all children. As a result, Seychelles has achieved Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 for many years now with a near 100% primary completion rate and about a 94% secondary school enrolment rate.

http://www.education.gov.sc/

http://www.egov.sc/governmentagencies/ministry/mineducation.aspx

Student Exchange Programmes

To be updated soon ...

IORA Member States Students in

To be updated soon ...

Scholarships for IORA Member States

To be updated soon ...

Why study in

List of Public/Private Universities for Foreign Students

Student Health Facilities

To be updated soon ...

Distance Education

To be updated soon ...

Visa Requirements

If you are a person who wishes to pursue studies in Seychelles, then you should show proof that you:

  • Would be enrolled as a student in an approved educational institution;
  • and have sufficient funds to meet the expenses that he/she would incur while residing in Seychelles.

Exhibitions Calendar

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has a list of the many events and activities that take place throughout the year.

http://www.seychelles.travel/en/events  


Sixth Carnaval International de Victoria set for April 22-24 as the Celebration of "National Unity"   

The Seychelles Tourism Board has confirmed the dates of the 2016 edition of the island's Carnaval International de Victoria, the event set to continue to bring together the different cultures and people from around the world to one place.

Dubbed as the 'carnival of carnivals',Carnaval International de Victoria, now going in its sixth year will be held from April 22 to 24. 

"Nothing is more uniting, and nothing promotes social cohesion more than 'festivals' to which all people contribute" said Minister Alain St.Ange, the island's Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture following discussions with Claire Holder of the Notting Hill Carnival of the UK on their participation once again. Minister St.Ange announced that the Celebration of "National Unity" will be the theme of Carnival 2016 in Seychelles.

This spectacular event held over three days in the heart of the Seychelles capital Victoria was baptised under the theme 'the melting pot of cultures'.

The carnival has since 2011 received great visibility with the representatives from top media houses coming from Europe, Middle East, Americas, Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Over the past five years, the carnival has been known to be the biggest cultural manifestation in Seychelles, bringing together the best carnivals of the world to its shores such as the Brazilian group, the Notting Hill Carnival Roadshow Company of the UK , Düsseldorf carnival of Germany, the Italy Carnival, the Indonesian Carnival to name but a few. Cultural Troupes from the Community of Nations have also descended on the islands to parade alongside with delegations of the best carnivals of the world.

The carnival celebrated its fifth anniversary last year where again top international dignitaries graced the three-day event with their presence. 

In discussions with the Seychelles Tourism Board prior to confirming the dates for the 2016 edition of the carnival Minister Alain St.Ange said that many nations have jumped on the tourism 'bandwagon' and tourism represents an integral and important element of broader economic and social development policy. But what differentiates one nation from another is, among other things, the quality and value derived from the attractions, both natural and man-made. The Seychelles International Carnival should therefore be designed to aim at the 'spectacularisation' of the culture and heritage of the Seychelles Islands because tourists often demand 'authentic' exhibitions of culture and lifestyles which are considerably different from their own. The Carnival should also aim to express and showcase the modernity of the Seychelles without any loss of the charm of its traditional values and history.

"Every year we spend time searching for the Soul of Seychelles through the Eyes of Carnival.  We know carnivals of festivals remain a motivation of economic activity through the cultural and artistic creations and the general impact on infrastructure provisions. We also know that during carnival time our country benefits of the visitor expenditure multiplier effect in the fields of food production, catering, hospitality, hotels, crafts and souvenir production" Minister St.Ange said adding that cultural contacts are seen to be strong drive and magnet for world peace and the perceived roles of the Seychelles in that process is set to be more appreciated as the more and more countries use the Seychelles cultural event to showcase their own culture and develop relationships with other nations from the Community of Nations.  

The Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria continues to establish a close correlation between carnival attractions that bring together the arts, culture, history and heritage of Seychelles as it works in tandem with other countries who are proud of their own culture to showcase to the world media the unity through diversity and this immaterial of the colour of the skin, religious beliefs and political affiliation. 

"Today we know that the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria has carved itself a unique place in the culture of Carnival, in that our carnaval invites the world to participate. There is no doubt that the Carnival has become an important feature in the calendrical cycle of tourism in Seychelles. However we also know that our carnaval needs to be more grounded in the history and culture of Seychelles, which Seychelles invites the world to experience. This we shall be working on for the coming edition in April" said Minister St.Ange as he went on to explain that tourists today want a more inter-active experience in which they are also immersed in the culture and history of the destination and are able to experience the story of the Seychellois.  

"This can be done through Carnaval and is consistent with the underlying concept of "Searching for the Soul of Seychelles through the Eyes of Carnival" which simply means that the Carnaval must be used to tell the story of Seychelles and its people through arts, design and performance of themes that are uniquely Seychellois. We are a melting pot culture in so many different ways and meaning can be given to this through the "Eyes of Carnival". Through the carnaval the celebration of our very own diversity would resonate with the rest of the world where there are so many conflicts and ethnic tensions, the resolution of which has defeated most politicians, campaigners, institutions etc. The reality is that globalisation has turned the world into such a melting pot, that no assumptions can be made about ethnicity - everyone has a touch of somebody else in their DNA" Minister Alain St.Ange said. 

The Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria remains a simple celebration of diversity and is a very important catalyst for conflict resolution and togetherness, and an instrument for telling the history of globalisation as it impacts on tourism destinations. 

"You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one…this is why we are inviting our partner countries, International Carnivals, Cultural Troupes from the Community of Nations and also from the Seychelles itself all government ministries, non-government organisations, the business community and tourism trade partners to take part in the upcoming sixth Carnaval International de Victoria" Minister Alain St.Ange said.