Press release

Africa Should Use OAU/AU 50th Anniversary to Take Ownership of It’s Economy and Oceans

May 25, 2013

President Michel has attended the opening of the 50th anniversary Summit at the African Union in Addis Ababa today, together with the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

On this historic and auspicious occasion, the President has said that while reflecting on the Union’s achievements there must also be a focus on areas that need to be improved.

During the opening ceremony, President James Michel commended the Union for its achievements such as promoting unity and improving lives of many people across the continent and the world, adding that Union must intensify its competence to bring stability and putting its people at the centre of development.

“We must redouble our efforts to bring more development to benefit our peoples. We must invest in the provision of education and healthcare as we look to strengthen our post 2015 development agenda. And we must become champions and good governance and democracy,” said President.

President Michel has also called for more Africans to take ownership of the economy, which is increasing remarkably, and to look at the true potential of the Blue economy.

“Africa is currently benefiting from unprecedented economic growth.  But we need more African ownership of the economy.  We cannot speak of transforming African ownership of the economy, unless we are prepared to seriously look at our oceans. As an oceanic state, it is apparent to Seychelles that we have much to do to claim ownership of our ocean.  The opportunities inherent in our seas belong to us, and we must create frameworks to develop this potential.  We must make our ocean safe.  And we must be able to manage our oceans.  To do this we must be prepared to give more attention to the ‘blue economy.”

The President said that as guardians and facilitators of this concept, by linking together African islands, it would further increase trade and developments within Africa in the next 50 years as well as improving connection amongst the youths.

He further stated that this year’s theme requires empowering the young leaders for now and in future as well as the importance for Africa to lead by example.

“The spirit of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance compels us to empower our young people, not simply to be leaders tomorrow, but to be leaders today.  We must aim to provide African examples. And on this 50th anniversary, despite our challenges, I am ever more confident that Africa can be ever more exemplary,” President Michel emphasized.

President Michel is accompanied at the African Union Summit by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean Paul Adam, the President’s Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d’Offay  and the Seychelles Ambassador to the African Union, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice.


Editor’s Note:

·         A live stream from the summit is availableon

·         The 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU is being held in conjunction with the 50th   Anniversary of the African Union which is on the 25th May 2013. The Theme for the Summit is                  “Pan Africanism and African Renaissance.”

·         The African Union, or AU, is a Pan African organization whose goal is to propel a united continent             towards peace and prosperity. The AU supports political and economic integration among its 54               member states. It aims to secure Africa’s democracy, human rights, and a sustainable economy,             especially by bringing an end to intra-African conflict and creating an effective common market.

·         Established in 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the amalgamated African Economic                 Community (AEC) and the Organization of the African Unity (OAU) which was first founded on                 25th May 1963.

·         Seychelles has been a member of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) since independence in             1976, and remained a member after the change to the African Union (AU) (2002-2003).

·         Seychelles has cooperation with the African Union in line with the Maritime Boundary Delimitation           project and also in Reinforcing Veterinary Governance in Africa.