Press release

Seychelles Endorses AU 50th Anniversary Declaration to Protect and Promote Oceanic Spaces Among other Development Goals

May 28, 2013

The Government of Seychelles has signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration of the African Union outline the collective vision of African states and their development ambition for the next 50 years.

The Seychelles delegation, headed by President James Michel at the 21st Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the AU headquarters, had asked for the inclusion of a commitment to maximise the full potential of the oceanic spaces of Africa creating development and sustainable growth for the continent through the creation of a viable and self-sustaining Blue Economy to the benefit of all African people.

Following the discussions spearheaded by Seychelles, with the support of African Island States, a pledge to “take ownership, preserve, protect and use our oceanic spaces and resources, improve our maritime and transport industries to the benefit of the continent and its peoples, including contributing to food security” was included in the declaration emerging from the Summit.

President James Michel described this as a ‘victory for Seychelles,’ following the conclusion of the summit.

The discussions were held at three levels during the summit; by the Heads of State of each member country which was led by President James Michel, by the Foreign Ministers of member states, led by Minister Jean-Paul Adam and by the Permanent Representatives to the AU, led by Seychelles Ambassador Joseph Nourrice.

“The Seychelles delegation has worked hard to communicate the issues of national importance like the Blue Economy which are intrinsically linked to our development goals and this summit has provided an important opportunity for African states to consolidate these ambitions,” said the Foreign Minister,

“It is clear that the future growth of Seychelles is unequivocally linked the growth of the African continent.”

The declaration consolidates the ambitions of each individual member state and takes the shape of a collective promise by the leaders gathered to deliver on ensuring the on going social and economic development of Africa, on establishing long-term peace and security, and on safeguarding democratic governance.

The 50th Anniversary Summit celebrations included notable African personalities that contributed to the liberation of African States as well as former Heads of State, among which President Albert Rene and President James Mancham were invited, the latter of whom attended.

Seychelles has been a member of the Organisation for African Unity and its successor, the African Union, since independence in 1976.