Seychelles founding president heads for Europe on peace-oriented missions


It was announced from the office of Seychelles’ founding President, Sir James R. Mancham, that Sir James will be leaving Seychelles next week on a mission that will take him to several cities in Europe, where he will be participating in various peace-orientated forums.

In Hamburg, Germany, Sir James is scheduled to have discussions with Ms. Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair, The Management Board of the World Future Council (WFC), and Ms. Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager of the Rights of Children.

From Hamburg to Berlin, Germany, Sir James will be the guest of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) at a reception in his honor by Mr. Mark Donfried, Founder and President of ICD, on the occasion of his receiving the Africa Peace Award 2016. Sir James has for some years acted as Chairman of the African Chapter of ICD.

Sir James will then head for Belgrade, Serbia, where he will take part in international roundtable discussions dedicated to the Roma people, alongside Professor Federico Mayor, Chairman of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace, who is better known as Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999; Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Head of the Department of International Relations, and Professor Negoslav Ostojic, Executive Director of the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD).

From Belgrade to Sofia, Bulgaria, Sir James will be hosted by Maxime Behar, Seychelles Honorary Consul in Bulgaria, and meet with Bulgaria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Solomon Passy, who is actually the Founder and President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria.

This morning (Wednesday, May 12), the office of the founding President also announced that Sir James has received a letter of thanks, dated May 10, 2016, from Ms. Elsbeth Dixon, Chief Executive of Common Purpose, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is to be remembered that Sir James, a few weeks ago, participated in a conference styled “Africa Venture Leadership Program” in Nairobi, Kenya, which was hosted by Common Purpose Africa in association with Le Club de Madrid. Herewith below, the full text of Ms. Dixon’s letter to founding President Mancham:

“Dear President Mancham:

Our very warmest thanks to you for your most valuable engagement with the participants of the Africa Venture Leadership Programme last month in Nairobi. The groups were so very fortunate to benefit from two generous days of your time, and a lifetime of wisdom, shared with vigour and with an energy the young people in the room could so easily identify with. The groups were enormously fortunate to benefit from both your formal input and the informal conversations with you over lunch at De La Rue, and dinner together at the Stanley Hotel. These were memorable events, treasures etched in the minds of this group of future leaders of our continent.

Our warm congratulations to you again on the recipient of the Africa Peace Award. Thank you too for choosing to accept your Award in Nairobi during the Africa Venture, making it possible for the participants to share this celebration with you, and to meet and mingle with some of your special guests at the associated reception. I’m keenly aware that what they learned at this function of your lifetime of service (continent, country, then self!), was a profound a lesson, not lectured, but lived.

The week overall was a great success, with participants getting to know the city of Nairobi, learning from entrepreneurs in the city and working collaboratively with others to devise their own projects or initiatives in response to our programme challenge. We have received some wonderful feedback from our participants, who left Nairobi feeling inspired by the contributors they had encountered, and by the Pan-African network that they feel strongly a part of it. We’re very grateful for your contribution towards that achievement and we do hope that you enjoyed the engagement as well.

We hope that there will be further opportunities to engage with you as our work of developing future leaders of Africa unfolds, in collaboration with Le Club de Madrid.

Elsbeth Dixon
Chief Executive Officer
Common Purpose.”

Sir James is expected back in Seychelles at the end of May ready to take part in various activities which President James A. Michel is organizing during the month of June to celebrate Seychelles 40th anniversary of independence.