Press release

Seychelles contributes to AU Strategic Plan at AU ministerial meeting: Enhancing role for Africa’s islands and Africa’s women and youth

April 9, 2013

The African Union Council of Ministers has given critical consideration to the new Strategic Plan 2014-2017 at its fourteenth extraordinary session held in Addis Ababa yesterday.

Speaking at the conference, Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam has welcomed the new document as a roadmap to improving the impact and effectiveness of the AU as a whole through its 8 priority areas:

1) Promoting peace and security

2) Expanding agricultural production, food production and improving natural resource management

3) Promoting inclusive economic development

4) Building Africa’s human capacity through the priorities action of health and education

5) Mainstream the participation of women and youth

6) Improving strategies of resource mobilization including by adopting alternative financing means

7) Strengthening a people centred union through strengthening of communication

8) Strengthening the institutional capacity of the AU Commission

The Seychelles delegation has asked for more attention to be given to how Africa’s maritime resources can better be mobilized.

Africa’s islands have also called for more consideration to given to the unique challenges faced by them, and the additional advantages that they can bring to Africa in terms of mobilizing maritime resources.  The Seychelles delegation associated itself with the demarche led by Cape Verde on this matter.

In relation to the Strategic plan, Seychelles has also emphasized the importance of given attention to gender equality issues and youth empowerment as crosscutting within the plan.  Minister Adam noted the high level of participation of women in Seychelles’ National Assembly, as well as in decision-making bodies.  In addition he emphasised the role that women should play as entrepreneurs and noted the huge contribution done by women led SMEs towards the success of empowering the private sector in Seychelles.

Following on from President Michel’s State of the Nation Address, Minister Adam also stressed the importance of increasing practical efforts in the plan to create opportunities and employment for young people.  The Minister noted that member states’ experiences can be useful in benchmarking best practices in African countries on youth empowerment, and highlighted that over 30% of SMEs in Seychelles are led by young Seychellois.  Minister Adam added that the Seychelles Government is continually working with regional partners to further strengthen the regional framework for youth empowerment and participation in both government and the economy.

During his visit to Addis Ababa, Minister Adam also participated in the launching ceremony of the new Meles Zenawi Foundation to mark the vision of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia who passed away last year.  The Foundation aims to give special focus on the legacy of the former Prime Minister and ensuring that there is continued attention given to education and people centred development in Ethiopia and beyond.  Minister Adam stated that Seychelles was proud to be associated with this event and to support the goals of the Foundation.

On the 7th April, the Seychelles delegation also joined with the Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E Mrs. Louise Mushiwikabo, to mark the 19th anniversary of the Genocide that occurred in Rwanda in 1994 at a special ceremony held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Minister Adam saluted the efforts of the Rwandan people and government to emerge from the shadow of the atrocities of genocide to become a leader of the transformation of Africa as a whole, and hailed Rwanda’s current service at the UN Security Council.