The Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs has today hosted a workshop with local and international development partners to discuss a newly-proposed Medium Term National Development Strategy (MTNDS) for the period 2013-2017.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, who launched the workshop at the STC Conference Centre this afternoon, described the MTNDS as the machinery that will allow Seychelles to realize its ambitious aspirations, some of which is currently being showcased in the Seychelles Expo 2020.
“The National Development Strategy we are presenting today is the result of the first round of consultations we have undertaken thanks to a national committee we have set up to drive the process in which all government departments are represented, as well as civil society and the private sector. But it is not a strategy set in stone. On the contrary it is a green paper we are putting forward for debate, for consultation, and for improvement. We are pleased to be able to present a proposal, which we believe can take us to the next level of our development,” said the Minister.
In his opening address, Minister Adam also went on to explain how this new strategy compares to its precursors, specifically Strategy 2017, which the government began working on in 2005 and was launched in 2007:
“Between 2007 and today, we have reset the economic base for our development. We have strengthened the institutional framework for government. We have our own university. We have revamped our welfare system. We have seen the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs. We have created new possibilities for investment for Seychellois. But it is clear that the basic assumptions underlining our economy have changed fundamentally.
“Seychelles is a different place. And the world is a different place. We know we are still vulnerable. We know there are so many challenges ahead. From the continued escalation of the price of fuel and commodities, to the continued threat of piracy.”
Minister Adam also explained that the consultative process was still ongoing and that the strategy was a working document open to the inputs of various sectors. The document is set to be finalized in approximately six months.
The workshop held also included several presentations from several key people working on the formulation of the strategy, which is being lead by the MFA Development and regional Integration Division, who explained that the five core action areas of the strategy were:
1) Climate change, renewable energy and water
2) Human Resource Development
3) Economic infrastructure including ICT and transport
4) Food security, trade, and diversification
5) Improvement in measurement of national statistics
Also present at the workshop were Principal Secretaries from across the government, as well as representatives from civil society and key development partners such as the United Nations Development Program.