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Seychelles Historical and Political Profile

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Seychelles Index

  • Seychelles-SOCIETY
  • Seychelles-Tourism
  • Seychelles-Foreign Military Assistance
  • Seychelles-State Security Services
  • Seychelles-Human Rights
  • Seychelles-Penal System
  • Seychelles-THE ECONOMY
  • Seychelles-Foreign Military Assistance
  • Seychelles-Status of Women
  • Seychelles-Government Role
  • Seychelles-State Security Services
  • Seychelles-Penal System
  • Seychelles-Human Rights
  • Seychelles-Armed Forces in National Life
  • Seychelles-Training and Morale
  • Seychelles-ECONOMY
  • Seychelles-Human Rights
  • Seychelles-Legal System and Civil Rights
  • Seychelles-Steps Toward Independence, 1967-76
  • Seychelles -Chapter 4 - Seychelles
  • Seychelles-Human Rights
  • Seychelles-Foreign Trade
  • Seychelles-Coup by René Supporters, 1977
  • Seychelles-Ethnic Groups
  • Seychelles-Armed Forces in National Life
  • Seychelles-Information Media
  • Seychelles-Armed Forces in National Life
  • Seychelles-Security Concerns COMOROS
  • Seychelles-Opposition Movements and Interest Groups
  • Seychelles-Forces Armées Populaires
  • Seychelles-Foreign Military Assistance
  • Seychelles-Seychelles People's Defense Forces
  • Seychelles-Agriculture
  • Seychelles-Languages
  • Seychelles-The Military and the Government
  • Seychelles-Class and Social Structure SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
  • Seychelles-Foreign Military Assistance
  • Seychelles-State Security Services
  • Seychelles-Crown Colony Status, 1903
  • Seychelles-INDIAN OCEAN -- Seychelles
  • Seychelles-Manufacturing
  • Seychelles-Fisheries
  • Seychelles-Oil
  • Seychelles-Transportation and Telecommunications
  • Seychelles-Armed Forces in National Life
  • Seychelles-Security Concerns MALDIVES
  • Seychelles-Security Concerns MADAGASCAR
  • Seychelles-Special Mobile Force
  • Seychelles-POPULATION
  • Seychelles-Penal System
  • Seychelles-Human Rights
  • Seychelles-Security Concerns SEYCHELLES
  • Seychelles-Armed Forces
  • Seychelles-Return to a Multiparty System
  • Seychelles
  • Seychelles-Security Concerns MAURITIUS
  • Seychelles-Preface
  • Seychelles-Chapter 6 - Strategic Considerations
  • Seychelles-Training and Morale
  • Seychelles-Labor
  • Seychelles-Budget
  • Seychelles
  • Seychelles-Economic Development
  • Seychelles-Penal System
  • Seychelles
  • Seychelles-Introducation
  • Seychelles
  • Seychelles-RELIGION
  • Seychelles-Governmental System, 1977-93
  • Seychelles-Foreword
  • BackgroundA lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.
    Locationarchipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
    Area(sq km)total: 455 sq km
    land: 455 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    Geographic coordinates4 35 S, 55 40 E
    Land boundaries(km)0 km

    Coastline(km)491 km

    Climatetropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
    Natural resourcesfish, copra, cinnamon trees
    Land use(%)arable land: 2.17%
    permanent crops: 13.04%
    other: 84.79% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)NA
    Natural hazardslies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
    Environment - current issueswater supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
    Population87,476 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 22.8% (male 10,201/female 9,732)
    15-64 years: 70.1% (male 31,870/female 29,439)
    65 years and over: 7.1% (male 2,321/female 3,913) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 31.4 years
    male: 30.9 years
    female: 32 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)0.999% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)15.87 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)6.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 54% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 12.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 15.44 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 9.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 73.02 years
    male: 68.33 years
    female: 77.85 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.93 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
    adjective: Seychellois
    Ethnic groups(%)mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

    Religions(%)Roman Catholic 82.3%, Anglican 6.4%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.1%, other Christian 3.4%, Hindu 2.1%, Muslim 1.1%, other non-Christian 1.5%, unspecified 1.5%, none 0.6% (2002 census)
    Languages(%)Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
    conventional short form: Seychelles
    local long form: Republic of Seychelles
    local short form: Seychelles
    Government typerepublic
    Capitalname: Victoria
    geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions23 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Louis, Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand' Anse (on Mahe), Grand' Anse (on Praslin), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe La Rue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka

    Legal systembased on English common law, French civil law, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage17 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: President James Alix MICHEL (since 14 April 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President James MICHEL (since 14 April 2004)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held 28-30 July 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
    election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 53.73%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 45.71%, Philippe BOULLE 0.56%; note - this was the first election in which President James MICHEL participated; he was originally sworn in as president after former president France Albert RENE stepped down in April 2004

    Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (34 seats; 25 members elected by popular vote, 9 allocated on a proportional basis to parties winning at least 10% of the vote; to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held 10-12 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
    election results: percent of vote by party - SPPF 56.2%, SNP 43.8%; seats by party - SPPF 23, SNP 11

    Judicial branchCourt of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president

    Political pressure groups and leadersRoman Catholic Church
    other: trade unions
    International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, InOC, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    Flag descriptionfive oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side

    Economy - overviewSince independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the pre-independence, near-subsistence level, moving the island into the upper-middle income group of countries. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. GDP grew about 7-8% per year in 2006-07, driven by tourism and a boom in tourism-related construction. The Seychelles rupee was allowed to depreciate in 2006 after being overvalued for years and fell by 10% in the first 9 months of 2007. Despite these actions, the Seychelles economy has struggled to maintain its gains and in 2008 suffered from food and oil price shocks, a foreign exchange shortage, high inflation and large financing gaps, with GDP growth reduced to about 3% in 2008. In July 2008 the government defaulted on a Euro amortizing note worth roughly US$80 million, leading to a downgrading of Seychelles credit rating. Seychelles requested an IMF Stand-By Agreement in December 2008.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.821 billion (2008 est.)
    $1.838 billion (2007 est.)
    $1.675 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$822 million (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)-0.9% (2008 est.)
    9.7% (2007 est.)
    9.3% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$21,000 (2008 est.)
    $21,400 (2007 est.)
    $19,800 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 2%
    industry: 28.9%
    services: 69.2% (2008 est.)
    Labor force39,560 (2006)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 3%
    industry: 23%
    services: 74% (2006)
    Unemployment rate(%)2% (2006 est.)
    Population below poverty line(%)NA%
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)13.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $260.5 million
    expenditures: $291.2 million (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)37% (2008 est.)
    5.3% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$164.8 million (31 December 2008)
    $330.8 million (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$188.5 million (31 December 2008)
    $249 million (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$375.6 million (31 December 2008)
    $660.2 million (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
    Economic aid - recipient$18.81 million (2005)

    Public debt(% of GDP)74.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
    122.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productscoconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna
    Industriesfishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

    Industrial production growth rate(%)2% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$430 million (2008 est.)
    -$274.8 million (2007 est.)
    Exports$495 million (2008 est.)
    $391.7 million (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
    Exports - partners(%)UK 21.1%, France 19.1%, Mauritius 10.1%, Japan 7.9%, Italy 7.8%, Netherlands 6% (2008)
    Imports$1.018 billion (2008 est.)
    $804 million (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
    Imports - partners(%)Saudi Arabia 17.5%, Singapore 12.4%, France 10.3%, Spain 8.1%, Germany 7%, India 5.4%, South Africa 4.7% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$64 million (31 December 2008 est.)
    $40.8 million (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$1.422 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $1.059 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

    Exchange ratesSeychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar - 8 (2008 est.), 6.5 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004)

    Currency (code)Seychelles rupee (SCR)

    Telephones - main lines in use23,200 (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular85,300 (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: effective system
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is 130 telephones per 100 persons; radiotelephone communications between islands in the archipelago
    international: country code - 248; direct radiotelephone communications with adjacent island countries and African coastal countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
    Internet country code.sc
    Internet users32,000 (2008)
    Airports14 (2009)
    Roadways(km)total: 458 km
    paved: 440 km
    unpaved: 18 km (2003)

    Ports and terminalsVictoria
    Military branchesSeychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2008)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 23,598
    females age 16-49: 24,424 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 19,702
    females age 16-49: 19,780 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 714
    female: 685 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)2% of GDP (2006 est.)
    Disputes - internationaltogether with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

    Electricity - production(kWh)250 million kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)232.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)7,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)7,653 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
    HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91.8%
    male: 91.4%
    female: 92.3% (2002 census)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2007)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)6.5% of GDP (2006)

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