Address to the nation on ministerial portfolios - English

09 June 2010 | State House

Address to the nation on ministerial portfolios
By President James A Michel
8th June 2010

We are living a transformation that is unprecedented in the history of our country. We have accomplished what many thought was impossible. Today, as I look back on the period of 19 months from 31st October 2008, that has gone by, I can say with sincerity that, truly, we are a blessed people.

Whilst many countries that are bigger and more powerful are still reeling from the impact of the world economic and financial crises, we are hard at work. We are adapting to the new realities. We are proving our resilience and determination. Already we are seeing the results of our hard work and resilience. We have accomplished what many thought was impossible.

The people of Seychelles rallied behind the reform and made it a success. We came together in the 25 districts and we exchanged views. Where we are doing well, we must find ways of doing even better. We shall fix what needs to be fixed.

I am proud that the Seychellois people have been able to put differences aside for the good of our country.  If our economy has remained strong, and our tourism sector has been able to mobilise the industry to achieve a good performance in spite of the global recession, it is because we put Seychelles first.

I am satisfied that we worked as a team. We have shown that when we stand together proudly as one people, one nation, all is possible. We have continually built on this team spirit.

In my address on the occasion of the announcement of the new government on 9th August 2006, I put a lot of emphasis on the importance of teamwork and consultation.

I greatly appreciate the key role played by my ministerial team during the period of transformation. They accompanied me to the district consultative meetings, to listen to and be closer to the people.

Together we listened to the voices of the people who, during the most difficult economic period, came together to discuss the future of our country and share their feelings with us. 

One man who has always been part of the teamwork and ever ready to serve his country is Vice-President Joseph Belmont. After more than 40 years of service to his country, he has expressed to me his wish to retire. This will take effect at the end of the month. Vice-President Belmont has always been an honest man, a courageous and sincere leader at the service of his country. On behalf of the people of Seychelles and also on my own behalf, we pay tribute to his contribution to Seychelles’ development.

It is the devotion and passion of people like Mr Belmont that have enabled us to reach where we are today. It is also with his spirit of determination, and hard work, that we as a people will continue to take our country forward, and on to a higher level of development.

Our work continues. In the spirit of dynamism and innovation I have reorganized my ministerial team to deliver to the expectations of the Seychellois people in this new phase of our development. As required by our Constitution, I will submit a candidate for approval by the National Assembly to fill the post of Vice-President as from 1st July. As the Designated Minister, Mr Danny Faure is well placed to assume this responsibility and continue to serve his country. I have full confidence in his ability.

In the new government organization, as President I will also have portfolio responsibilities for tourism, legal affairs, defence and information. I will restructure the Seychelles Tourism Board to better reflect its importance to our economy.

Minister Faure will retain the portfolios of finance and trade and will also take on the responsibilities for public administration and information communication technology.

Mr Vincent Meriton will become the new Designated Minister. He is also Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sport.

I am creating a new Home Affairs ministry which will strengthen our capacity to face threats such as piracy and also to improve the security situation in our country. This ministry will incorporate the Police, Department of Internal Affairs, and Prison. The new ministry will be under Minister Joel Morgan who also has portfolio responsibilities for Environment and Transport.

The Ministry of National Development will be restructured to speed up the house construction programme and land development. It will concentrate on these two key sectors. Minister Jacquelin Dugasse will be responsible for land use and housing.

Minister Bernard Shamlaye will assume the responsibilities for social development and culture.

The Ministry of Education will now be under Minister McSuzy Mondon. It will merge with employment and human resource development.

I am creating a new Ministry of Investment, Industry and Natural Resources which will be under the responsibility of Mr Peter Sinon. He is returning to Seychelles following his exemplary work at the African Bank for Development.

I have appointed a new Minister for Foreign Affairs to continue boosting the role and image of Seychelles in the international arena, and also to continue promoting, in a proactive way, our economic diplomacy. Mr Jean-Paul Adam will take on that role.

Mr Barry Faure will become the Secretary of State in my office.

The Ministry of Health continues to take the necessary steps to undertake reform in this sector. In view of the complexity of this subject, I am appointing a health professional, Doctor Erna Athanasius, as the Minister for Health.

I take this occasion to thank Minister Marie-Pierre Lloyd for her service to the government and country. She has expressed her wish to pursue other undertakings that will contribute to the development of the country. Mrs Lloyd demonstrated a lot of compassion and determination in her role as Minister. Her contribution was greatly appreciated by our people.

In recognition of her capacity for a pioneering role in the social sector, and also in honour of Seychelles’ status as a world example of woman empowerment and child wellbeing, I am proposing the nomination of Mrs Lloyd as a roving ambassador for women and children.

Dear people of Seychelles,

We are here to serve you. A government post does not belong to any individual. It is appropriate and correct to bring about changes in the responsibilities of ministers or other authorities. A Minster or another government officer may, at a certain time, be asked to take on a new responsibility. As I have said before, rotation brings about renewed dynamism and also helps us to acquire more baggage and experience.
The team I am presenting to you today represents the continuation and reinforcement of the work we are doing to transform our country.

It represents the pattern of changes we should always embrace in order to guarantee progress. It is therefore important that the Seychellois people give their full support to the team. I am also calling on all civil servants in all ministries to put aside their differences and work together as a team. A Minister alone is not able to make a ministry function. The Minister needs all the civil servants. It is the spirit of unity that enables us to progress.

This is a team that will continue to promote the values needed to take our country forward. We must continue to work hard, and become more productive. We must always be at the service of our people. 

We must always be responsible, resilient and realistic. We always have to be ready to fix what needs to be fixed, and where we are doing well we must find ways of doing better.

We must always come together as a people and remain united.

Whilst my new team will be promoting these values, just like we are asking our people to also live these values, it is also a team that will undertake positive changes when necessary.

We must be ready to bring about changes that will benefit the Seychellois people. Changes that bring benefits to our country are the changes that my government will promote.

All of us, together, are ready for the future. We are ready for the challenges that may arise. I wish all the best to all workers who are at the service of this nation and once again I thank you all for your contribution to the development of our country. With the grace of God, we will continue to work for the benefit of the people who have put their trust in us.
Thank you.

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