AfDB to assist Seychelles with $100m next year
Nzayikorera met with Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan on Monday. (Seychelles Nation)
Seychelles will receive more funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) next year to maintain its economic stability, said a top official of the bank on Monday.
The statement was made to reporters by the executive director of the AfDB, Jonathan Nzayikorera, after meeting with Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan.
He said that AfDB is discussing how to further assist Seychelles with "around $100 million for the next coming year, which will support the economy to keep developing."
The bank has already provided resources of $78 million, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramkalawan thanked the AfDB for the continued assistance that it has provided in helping Seychelles forge ahead in its economic development and stability.
"The budget support that the AfDB provided helped us, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a challenging time but we managed to overcome the difficulties. We are committed to maintaining a diplomatic principle for the betterment and the goodwill of our nation. With all the assistance that the AfDB provides, we are sure to remain on the right track. Rest assured of our continuous support," said Ramkalawan.
Nzayikorera commended the President for his leadership and Seychelles' government for its top ranking in several aspects. These include being a fully vaccinated country that has set an example not only for Africa but also for the whole world, social governance, a well-based welfare protection programme for its citizens, and democracy.
Accompanied by the Seychellois senior adviser at the AfDB, Ronald Cafrine, told the press that he was in the country "as a representative of Seychelles on the AfBD Board of Directors to brief the authorities on the bank affairs and to seek guidance on strategic areas as the representative that I need to focus on."
He added that the discussions with the President were quite impressive and he really appreciated the insights he received.
Another subject that was discussed was the economic diversification of the economy "as currently, Seychelles' economy depends more on tourism and fisheries which are exposed to external shocks."
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, heavily relies on tourism, which brought in a revenue of €221 million in the last three months of 2022.
The country began discussions to diversify its economy after a downturn in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected the tourism industry.
A survey of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, conducted in 2021, showed that most businesses -- 91 percent -- reported operating on a partial basis or being temporarily closed. Fourty-nine percent reported operating partially with reduced capacity and 42 percent reported being temporarily closed.
Nzayikorera pointed out that there are many investment opportunities in Seychelles which include the digital economy and improving financial services, which will create jobs for the youth but also increase the value addition for local production.
He gave the example of tourists coming into the country and said: "They are not only staying in the hotel but also have some other opportunities so that their spending stays in the country."
The AfDB has 81 member countries which include Seychelles and non-regional members such as the United States.