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Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, arrived in Seychelles on Saturday, July 26, 2008, on an official visit. While in the country, Mr. Kaberuka met with Seychelles’ President James Michel, Vice-President Joseph Belmont as well as other senior government officials and members of the business community. Discussions during his meetings focused on global crises, the manner in which the country was coping with the issues, the mechanisms in place that are helping the country cushion the effects of the crises and the country’s reform process.
Mr. Kaberuka also visited the country’s commercial and fishing ports in the company of Environment and Natural Resources Minister, Joel Morgan. Speaking during a tour of the facilities, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Andre Ciseau, outlined the port’s vision, mission and objectives. He presented the country’s proposed re-development plan of the commercial port and the port’s infrastructure. Mr. Ciseau also briefed the delegation on the Baie St Anne and La Digue jetties.
Speaking in an interview, the AfDB Executive Director for Seychelles, Peter Sinon, noted that Seychelles no longer had arrears with the AfDB.
"The president of the Bank Group is here to see things for himself and there couldn’t be any better indication of the relations between the bank and the country," he said.
|Key Aspects of the Visit |
He said Mr. Kaberuka came to see and learn about the ports’ specificities and that the port presented a very solid case regarding its future plans and its vision was clear with very specific aims.
Mr. Kaberuka’s visit was to help the Bank Group re-engage with Seychelles after the country cleared its arrears with the AfDB in 2007.
Speaking at the Airport after the working visit, Mr Kaberuka said he and his delegation could appreciate first-hand the progress and development Seychelles had made, adding that the visit offered them a unique opportunity to learn about the various challenges the country was facing, especially in the current context of escalating oil and food prices. He said island countries like Seychelles, whose high per capita incomes often deflected attention, were equally affected by global crises.
He praised the country for its social development progress, but pointed out that a lot still remained to be done. He urged the government to continue focusing on its development agenda in order to ensure the sustainability of the progress it had made.
Mr. Kaberuka also advised that it was important for him and the Bank Group to see how the government and the people of Seychelles were responding to global crises.
He said he was also very encouraged by the fact that in spite of its challenges, the country was able to attract investments. He underscored the Bank Group’s readiness "to work with the government with a view to enhancing the business climate." This, he said, would further encourage the business community. He assured the business community that Seychelles was a good place for their investments.
While visiting the fishing port, Mr. Kaberuka said the port was an important asset to the island country’s economy," adding that he was impressed by its development and the amount of activity taking place in the port.
He said that considering all the issues, the Bank, which was already very much involved in the country’s development efforts, would continue to work with the government to enable it make further progress.