Presidential Elections are upcoming later this year not only in the United States but also in the Republic of Seychelles. This Monday is the Independence day for Seychelles.
Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) east of Kenya. The nation is an archipelago of 115 tropical islands. With a land area of approximately 455 square kilometers and a population approaching 96,000, Seychelles is one of the world’s smallest nations but boasts a stable government and a per capita GDP of US $14,385, one of the highest in the region and all of Africa.
Seychelles gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, with Sir James Mancham elected its first president. Sir James Mancham conversation with Juergen Steinmetz of eTurboNews was just hours before he suddenly passed away on January 7, 2017.
Seychelles became an integrated part of reporting for Hawaii based eTurboNews since 2003 when correspondent Alain St. Ange wrote his very successful eTN Indian Ocean Column for eTurboNews. Readers became fascinated with this beautiful and for many unknown jewels of a travel destination on our beautiful blue planet.
Today the slogan for Seychelles is: “Alain St.Ange for president.”
If it wasn’t for eTurboNews, Seychelles Tourism would not be where it is today, said Alain St. Ange in 2019. “Constant global outreach to the global travel and tourism industry through eTurboNews, interaction with media receiving the Forimmediaterelease wire and getting the message directly or indirectly to millions of consumers helped to positioned Seychelles Tourism.”, Alain St. Ange added.
eTurboNews, a leading global publication, and Seychelles Tourism grew together. eTurboNews started with 15,000 travel industry readers in 1999 and gradually grew to an audience of more than 2 million in March 2020
St.Ange became the CEO of Seychelles Tourism in 2010, he was announced Minister of Tourism from 2012-2016 and is now President of the African Tourism Board and presidential candidate for the Republic of Seychelles.
Both Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews, and Alain St. Ange founded the African Tourism Board, first announcing their plans at World Travel Market 2018 in London and concluded the official launch event at WTM Cape Town in 2019.
St.Ange is vice-chair of the Project Hope initiative by ATB to save the continent’s tourism industry post-COVID-19. He was one of the founders and the first President of the Vanilla Islands Alliance – Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, Comoros, and Mayotte.
St.Ange said in a statement today: “On the 29th June 1976, our islands moved to become an Independent Country. Nationhood came with the belief that every Seychellois, immaterial of their skin color, political affiliation, class, sex, or religious belief, would remain fellow islanders with equal chances and respect.
It did not take long for Seychellois to realize that division has been entrenched in many respects, with very few willing to engage in a frank discussion as to what has perpetuated the division, and how we can, as a Nation, move to overcome it and to unite the country in a manner that has never been done before.
We at One Seychelles advocate strongly for a Government of National Unity, a term casually thrown about every election-time by other politicians but with very few grasping its power and importance. Nor are other politicians prepared to expand upon the term or give examples as to how they plan to implement it.
For us, the term firstly means bridging the political divide and forming a gender-balanced technocrat Government, comprising skilled and qualified individuals from all ends of the political spectrum in Seychelles. Particularly in view of the economic turmoil, Seychelles is currently facing, a technocrat-led government will allow the skilled officers assuming their portfolios to hit the ground running. They are best placed to put national interests above party political interests and apply their expertise to their relevant Ministries.
A Government of National Unity also encapsulates the need to prioritize the concept of unity in all aspects of decision-making. Laws that are needlessly discriminatory in any respect shall be revised or revoked. Any abusive act towards another individual on account of his or her race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, or political persuasion shall be dealt with swiftly and severely through the appropriate legal channels. Discrepancies in class, such as MNAs receiving their generous pensions ten years before the average Seychellois would qualify, shall be immediately redressed.
Any aspiring leader must lead by example and ought not to be a hypocrite. Derogatory comments about another person’s race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, or political affiliation cannot be made in the same breath as other comments concerning national unity.
Only once Seychelles finds unity can we begin as a Nation to find strength and prosperity. “
It’s no surprise that Juergen Steinmetz, now CEO of the TravelNewsGroup, owner of eTurboNews said: “I always said Seychelles could be a sister island with Oahu, Hawaii, the home for eTurboNews. Whenever I visit Seychelles I feel right at home. Without wanting to interfere in domestic Seychelles Politics I like to announce our publication is officially endorsing Alain St. Ange for his campaign for president of the Republic of Seychelles. Similar to Hawaii, Seychelles relies on the travel and tourism industry for a major part of its economy.
There could be no better choice for a known and highly respected global player like Mr. St. Ange to lead this Indian Ocean country through a COVID-19 recovery period to ensure prosperity for its people. The travel and tourism industry will play the leading role in such a recovery for Seychelles. Friends with all and enemies with none were what guided Alain throughout the years. This is exactly how Seychelles is seen and respected in the world.”
We will be following this development closely and wish Alain all the best. Alain is a friend. I know he is one of the most hard-working people I know. I know how much he loves his island home, the Republic of Seychelles. More important he thinks out of the box and sees the world from a global perspective understanding the advantage a global view has to help a local economy in a big way.”
Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Chair of Project Hope endorsed Alain St. Ange at the Project Hope Press conference last week.