Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Today's Africa Holiday: Seychelles National Day - 18 June 2014

Today the people of the Republic of Seychelles celebrate their national day.

The holiday commemorates the country's return to a multiparty, democratic constitution in 1993. (Independence Day in the Seychelles takes place on June 29, marking the date the country became independent of Great Britain and joined the Commonwealth.)

National day celebrations in the Seychelles include military parades, a state of the nation address by the president, flower shows, and music concerts.

This year's national day celebrations coincide with a state visit by Dr. Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, the president of another African island nation, Cape Verde.

In a statement released June 17, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry wrote in part:
The lengthy and cordial history of U.S.-Seychellois relations illustrates the affinity between our nations, both of which prize diversity and economic opportunity.

The United States appreciates Seychelles’ continuing efforts in support of regional security. Your work to prosecute and incarcerate suspected pirates has made the world’s ocean a safer place. We share your hopes for growth as a tolerant, vibrant society with an active role promoting stability throughout the Indian Ocean region.

We also look forward to working together to sustainably manage our shared ocean resources. No one knows better than Seychelles that our ocean is a precious resource under the threat of pollution, overfishing, and other human impacts. The ocean’s future is our future, and it deserves our attention.
For a relatively recent history of the Seychelles, see Deryck Scarr's 2000 book, Seychelles Since 1770: History of a Slave and Post-Slavery Society. The country's first president, James Mancham, published a memoir in 2009 called Seychelles Global Citizen: The Autobiography of the Founding President.