Press release

Seychelles Supports a Transformative Approach to Africa’s Future

January 27, 2014

The Seychelles Delegation at the First Ministerial Retreat of the Executive Council ahead of the upcoming African Union Summit has added it’s voice to the call for an Africa led, Africa designed strategy for development.

The Seychelles Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Barry Faure, who led the Seychelles delegation, spoke of the need to ensure that Africa is the principal beneficiary of strategies adopted by the continent, particularly through the African Union.

“It is important that we, as the African Union, maintain our partnerships with the key partners that have reached out to Africa in recent years, such as our relationship with Japan, the EU, China and the Arab states, but it is important that we bring our own strategies to the table. We must not simply adopt other people’s vision for Africa but we must devise our own unifying vision and strategy for what we want for our own development and out of these partnerships.”

The focus of the retreat, which was hosted in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, under the theme ‘Defining Agenda 2063: Towards a Peaceful, Integrated, and Prosperous Africa’ was to foster free and open dialogue between African Foreign Ministers on the opportunities and the barriers to the long term prosperity of the continent.

Amb. Faure was accompanied to the two day event from the 24th-26th January by the Seychelles Permanent Representative to the African Union and Resident Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Mr. Joseph Nourrice:

“This retreat has been an excellent opportunity for frank and open dialogue about what is holding us back from embracing our true potentials, both in economic terms and in social development. The result of these discussions was encouraging particularly as the working sessions allowed us to also identify the areas where we can have the most significant impact and truly transform the lives of every African on the continent.”

Ambassador Nourrice added that the results of these discussions is expected to be fed into the Agenda 2063, due to be discussed in the African Union Heads of State Summit taking place in Addis Ababa from the 30th-31st January.

Among the topics discussed was the opportunities for joining forces and forming trade blocs to better manage continental resources and commodities, how to redefine the African narrative and better highlight the possibilities and strengths of Africa, as well as planning for a transformative approach to African governance and addressing the real roots of conflicts on the continent, among other key areas identified.