Press release

Seychelles Underlines Island Priorities in Africa-EU partnership

April 3, 2014

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam delivered a statement on behalf of President James Michel at the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit; fully endorsing it’s theme of ‘investing in people, prosperity and peace’ as the cornerstone of the Africa-EU partnership.

In that context, Minister Adam highlighted that Small Island Developing States and African Islands are emphasising opportunities of the ‘Blue Economy’ that will revolutionise African development, fundamentally enhancing food and energy security and spur trade within African spaces.

Minister Adam, welcomed the declaration made by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union, stressing the importance of the Blue Economy’ as an essential element for European and African cooperation.

“For African islands, the ocean is the cradle of life.  For Africa as a whole, we believe it can be a catalyst for a new era of sustainable development” stated Minister Adam. He stressed that the Blue Economy Framework (as defined in the ‘Blue Economy Summit’, cohosted by Seychelles) be the stimulus needed to foster; innovation, investment, and develop policies to support sustainable management of marine resource, ensure food security and alleviate poverty.

Minister Adam hailed the ongoing partnership between the European Union and Africa in combatting the scourge of piracy. Although positive strides have been made to rid the continent of piracy; (Seychelles being decisive in ending impunity), the Minister stressed that there was no place for complacency and highlighted the need to strengthen the capacity of African States in terms of maritime security.

More than most Seychelles suffers from the adverse effects of climate change and has emerged as the champion for Small Island States on the topic. Minister Adam noted that Africa remains one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change whilst contributing the least to its causes.

In his statement Minister Adam noted, “our future prosperity is inextricably linked to a real binding agreement on climate change recognising our vulnerabilities.” As such, Africa views the European Union as the natural partner in formalising negotiations for such an agreement.

Minister Adam accentuated the importance of Tourism and the unparalleled opportunity it offers to boost economic growth in Africa.  “Seychelles is working in partnership with the African Union Commission to develop a comprehensive African tourism strategy and we look forward to the support of the EU to reinforce the development perspectives provided by this sector,” stated the Minister.

In conclusion, Jean-Paul Adam, stressed the importance of accelerating the deployment of resources in support of Madagascar. He saluted the successful organisation of free and credible elections being a fundamental step in country’s development perspective that cannot be divorced from development in the sub-region as a whole.