Government opens Diaspora Unit to help overseas Seychellois connect with homeland
The Seychellois diaspora living in Perth, Australia, in one of their activities to celebrate their own version of the annual Creole Festival. (Seychellois CLUB INC/Facebook)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The creation of the Diaspora Unit within the Department of Foreign Affairs is giving Seychellois nationals living in other countries a new means to channel their queries and receive assistance.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the new unit on Thursday as it recognises the important role that Seychellois nationals living overseas can play in the socio-economic development of the country.
The director general at the Protocol, Consular and Diaspora Affairs division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Jacques Belle, told SNA on Friday that the setting up of this unit is a first of its kind in the department.
"This is a decision taken by the new government for there to be more interaction and engagement with Seychellois who are living overseas. We want our compatriots who live overseas to connect more with their homeland. Simply put, we want to bring all Seychellois together," said Belle.
"Benefits will come in the long-term for Seychelles. The idea is to be able to identify who these people are and as such know where our expertise is in the world. We would like them to contribute and help one way or another in the economic development of our country," he continued
Any Seychellois looking to get in touch with the unit can do so via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the hotline on +2482727077.
"Officers working in the unit will be available for any Seychellois who need any information of assistance or query. We will facilitate this and put them in touch with the necessary department or agency. For example, for Seychellois who want to come back to Seychelles to invest, the unit will facilitate contacts," explained Belle.
As an example, he outlined that there are Seychellois who left Seychelles quite a long time back and their generation does not have certain documents, and as such, it is the role of the unit to guide them when it comes to legal matters.
"This is an area we are expecting a lot of queries in," said Belle.
The unit is further looking to encourage all Seychellois citizens residing abroad to submit their contact details through the diaspora e-registration available on the Department's website www.mfa.gov.sc.
This e-registration will enable the Diaspora Unit to collect and collate data on Seychellois diaspora individuals living across the world. It will allow the unit to create a resource pool from the diaspora in terms of expertise and knowledge which could eventually support national socio-economic, cultural and political development of the country.
"This will act as a census so that we know how many Seychellois approximately there are all over the world. Of course, we have diplomatic missions that have them in their database, but we also need to have one at Foreign Affairs so as to have an overall picture. We want to do the mapping to know where these people are located. This is our role and mission," explained Belle.
He further added that there are a lot of Seychellois living abroad who need o be made aware of the existence of this unit and as such encourages all media houses to talk about the establishment of the unit.