Five years, and a bit, after the Bretton Woods institutions left the Seychelles government with little choice but to implement major structural reforms of how the archipelago’s economy was run, are the results now not only felt across the islands, where economic opportunities have opened up, helping to empower local entrepreneurs but are widely acknowledged as a true success story by the IMF and earlier this week by the World Bank.
An economic forum a few months ago, coinciding with the 5th anniversary of President Michel’s announcement of harsh and painful measures to turn the economy around amid the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, applauded the Seychelles for having stayed the course and for having pulled through, coming out on the sunny side of the tunnel. Earlier this week did Dr. Kalyala, the World Bank’s Regional Executive Director, overseeing the 22 countries bundled in what is known as Group 1 in Africa, then also heap more praise on the Seychelles when he named the archipelago as the top performer among the 22 Group 1 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.
The Seychelles have in recent years embraced both the green and blue economies, concentrating on sustainable tourism and sustainable fisheries as the two key economic activities. Tourism has been on the upswing since 2009, establishing year after year new arrival and revenue records while fisheries are reclaiming its place in the Seychelles economy after by and large defeating the Somali ocean terrorists which for some time had severely impacted on fishing by local and licensed international boats inside the extended economic interest zone of 200 miles around the islands. Dr. Kalyala specifically pointed to the average GDP as being the highest among his 22 constituent countries as was unemployment at the lowest at the same time.
The comments are again seen as another resounding endorsement for the Michel government’s success in recent years, to shift from the command economy of old to a modern day market economy, attracting a number of high profile foreign investments in the hospitality industry and spurring a flood of local investments in the sector under the empowerment programme which unfolded alongside the economic reforms. Seychelles, truly Another World.
Source: Wolfgang H Thome