Address By President James Alix Michel, Chancellor Of The University Of Seychelles At The Graduation Ceremony For The 2nd Cycle Of The Seychelles Young Leaders Programme (Sylp) Friday, 13 July 2012

16 July 2012 | Education

Young Leaders,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

There is much to celebrate this evening. The purpose of ceremonies such as this is to celebrate success. And I welcome you all to this great celebration of success.

What we are celebrating this evening is this magnificent gift of your personal achievements, your advanced education, the honing of your skills, your perseverance, your resilience, your dedication to your country… You have already earned our admiration – through your hard work. You shall earn it even more by putting the values you learnt at the service of the New Seychelles. I know that you will not fail us in that great enterprise. And we shall stand by you.

I would like to  remind you, though, that graduating from the Young Leaders’ Programme is not an end in itself. Certainly, the skills and attributes that you have learnt and developed will stand you in good stead. They will help you to progress in life and in your careers. But career advancement is not automatic. You will have to earn it. Through hard work. Through your personal integrity and honesty. By developing your talents to their full potential. By leading by example. By being innovative. By empowering others.  By being accountable to society. You will also have to earn the respect of your peers and subordinates. You will have to show humility, dignity and respect. Only then will you be a true leader, worthy of the trust and respect of the people.

Ladies and gentlemen,
It scarcely seems that five years have elapsed since I announced, in my 2007 National Day address, a key Government policy initiative which set out to identify young graduates with the potential to become future leaders and innovators, and who would acquire the necessary skills and training experiences to take up key leadership positions in our country.  We were mindful that our country needed professionals educated to the highest standards to deal with a rapidly changing world. We were also mindful that the way forward lay in a knowledge-based society.

Hence the initiation of the Seychelles Young Leaders’ Programme.

The progress made by this programme during the past five years is a good example of the ‘building blocks’ required for the successful realization of a Government initiative. These include total conviction about the concept of the project, realistic and detailed planning, and commitment and hard work by all involved in the implementation and operation of the programme. The combination of these key factors is clear evidence of how a worthwhile project can be successfully brought to fruition within the envisaged timescale.

The outcome of all these endeavours is that, at the conclusion of a five-year period, 58 young leaders from the combined 1st and 2nd SYLP cycles have participated in the programme, and last week 24 participants of the 3rd cycle presented for their first semester examinations in Year One of their studies.

In the overall context of the country’s ongoing and future development, this cadre of future leaders, who have acquired new knowledge, skills and leadership training experiences, represent a significant addition of quality human resources to vital areas of our public and private sectors. The progress already made by so many of these young leaders since their formal graduation from the programme is indeed gratifying, and a solid endorsement of the programme’s value. It augurs well for the ongoing and future development of the social, economic and cultural development of the country.

It also testifies to the opportunities available to the youth of Seychelles and a constant reminder to them to make good use of the resources that we put at their disposal.

I am convinced that the Seychelles Young Leaders Programme will be a catalyst for important developments in the continuing enhancement of the quality human resources required to meet the challenges and opportunities of our national development. I am pleased to note that, already, graduates from the programme are assuming leadership roles in the public, private and political arenas.


Your achievements , your success, would not have been possible without the significant support of your families, your friends and colleagues, your teachers and mentors. This evening, we pay tribute to them. We acknowledge them all with special gratitude and urge them to continue to accompany you on your journey.

And tonight, you are all winners! You have persevered and achieved success. And we are proud of you. Remember this day and be inspired in all that you do in future. Remember the adage: “A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves”. Remember also that leadership is service. Service with humility, dignity and integrity. Service to our people and to our country. Defeat or retreat should never be part of your discourse. We have confidence in you and rely on you. We expect you to be the leaders of change. Positive change for the New Seychelles.

As you celebrate your graduation with your families, friends, work colleagues,  I congratulate you on your achievements, and wish you continued success in whatever leadership roles you take on in the years ahead, in the positive spirit of giving of your best to help improve the welfare of your fellow citizens and the advancement of your country.

You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to help mould the New Seychelles.


I wish you every success and the very best of luck.

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