Seychelles President James Michel shared the following message on the occasion of Africa Day, May 25, 2016:
“Seychelles is cognizant of its inherent place within the greater African Union family and joins the continent in once again reaffirming the unity, which has bound us since the days of our organization’s inception. On this auspicious day, together, we celebrate Africa Day.
“Africa Day is one of remembrance of our founding fathers for having strived to create a continent which would take ownership of its own destiny and deliver an equitable future for all its peoples. It’s additionally the occasion to renew our commitment to uphold peace, rule of law and prosperity for all.
“Seychelles feels very much a part of Africa. The same ocean which bathes the continent’s eastern coast, brought across not only many of our own people, but also our values and culture. These values are universal and under the banner of the African union we will strive to promote them to the benefit of our people.
“As a Pan-African organization, the African Union continues to support the political and economic integration of its 54 member states. We applaud the African Union Agenda 2063, for promoting good governance, justice, strong cultural identity, and a people driven continent, leading it to be a strong and united global player.
“The theme for this year is “African Year of Human Rights” with particular focus on the rights of women. We acknowledge that African women still endure significant challenges. While there has been advancement towards promoting gender parity and improving the representation and involvement of women in political leadership and public life at continental, sub-regional and national levels, significant gaps remain which we must address so that Africa can be genuinely representative and make full use of its entire population.
“Our Governments must make a firm commitment to achieve gender parity on the continent through education. Seychelles remains committed in safeguarding womens rights by providing equality of education and career opportunities with equliaty in almost all sectors of the nation’s socio-economic development.
“The African Union was born of struggle and an inherent desire for liberty. These ideals still ring true today. Together, we have accomplished great things yet challenges still remain on the African continent. With the same tenacity we will surmount the obstacles, which hinder our development and with one voice declare that the future truly belongs to Africa.
“Happy Africa Day!”
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .