On Africa Day, Seychelles celebrates once again the struggles it shared with so many of its African brethren for self determination, and for the right to be a sovereign nation free to create its own path towards development. Our people are proud to have been able to foster a united society of diverse origins based on those very principles following our country’s independence.
Africa Day also marks the anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, where African nations offered each other support in their quest for independence and more equity in development.
The OAU has since been succeeded by the African Union (AU), and that same spirit has helped make great strides towards further strengthening the unity of Africa, and the ability of African states to speak with a collective voice on the international scene.
Recent events in Africa, from the Ivory Coast to Libya, have reminded us that a lot remains to be done to further promote democracy and good governance for the benefit of all peoples of our continent.
The recently-completed presidential elections in Seychelles, offer one example of what can be achieved through a strong commitment to good governance, and its resounding success acts as further incentive for the Seychellois people to continue to strive for the improvement of both Seychelles and the African continent - we will continue to strive for good governance as a platform for development.
On Africa Day, it is very conscious that development depends not only on the situation in individual countries, but on the stability and peace of all African regions. It is with this in mind that we reiterate our commitment to finding durable solutions to the crisis in Somalia and its consequent effects in the East African region (and increasingly the whole world), such as the continuation of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
On this Africa Day 2011, it welcomes the theme of “Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development” as a driver for progress and the continued development of the continent. In Seychelles, the achievement of our vision for 2020, depends on our ability to mobilize the strength and dynamism of our young people who are already redefining the future of our country. It must continue to foster the energy and spirit of entrepreneurship, of industry, and of self empowerment, which has already led to so much success in our economic reforms; a fact not only evident in Seychelles, but across Africa.
It is this vitality of our young people, our most precious of all resources, which will provide us with all the assets we need to ensure that the 21st Century truly belongs to Africa.