GOVERNMENT PLANS RECRUITING MORE TEACHERS FROM ZAMBIA

SEYCHELLES: EDUCATION/SNA/11/12/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Ministry of Education says it expects to hire additional teachers from ZAMBIA.

Seychelles schools short of teachers (Pic. SNA)

The Principal Secretary for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary says the recruitment will be through a Memorandum of Understanding with the ZAMBIAN Ministry of Education.

ODILE DE COMMARMOND has told a media conference the move will help the government to compensate for the shortages of teachers in State schools.

She says for the time being, they have 46 vacancies at the secondary level, although it does not mean they are going to fill all the vacancies with teachers from ZAMBIA only.

Ms DE COMMARMOND also says other teachers will have to come from elsewhere, because ZAMBIANS cannot teach some specific subjects such as Religion, FRENCH, and Physical Education.

National news agency, SNA says there are 35 primary and secondary state Schools in the group of 115 islands of the INDIAN Ocean.

It says presently, there are ONE-THOUSAND-AND-50 teachers, including 173 foreigners, working in such institutions on the THREE main islands of MAHE, PRASLIN, and LA DIGUE.

Principal Secretary DE COMMARMOND also says early this year, the Education Ministry took in a group of ZAMBIAN teachers to work in the educational sector, mainly at the secondary level.

She says the local authorities are still looking at the pace of their adaptation to the system to see if there are any setbacks, and how both sides can move forward.

Ms DE COMMARMOND explains the FIRST thing that the ZAMBIANS need to adapt to is the school curriculum.

In their country, the ZAMBIANS have their own examination system and they do not train students for International Certificate of Secondary Education.

In SEYCHELLES, they will be teaching Science, Maths, Geography, Information Communication and Technology, as well as Design and Technology, which are subjects in the ZAMBIAN educational system.

Ms DE COMMARMOND says the SADC member country has offered to help because it has a surplus of professional teachers.

Apart from ZAMBIA, the SEYCHELLES Ministry of Education is also recruiting teachers from MAURITIUS and is exploring possibilities with FIJI, MADAGASCAR and the PHILIPPINES./Sabanews/cam

SUSPECTED IRANIAN DRUG DEALERS FURTHER REMANDED

SEYCHELLES: DRUGS/SNA/27/11/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Magistrate’s Court has remanded until 28 NOVEMBER EIGHT IRANIANS arrested on drug-related charges.

An Iranian dhow intercepted in December (SNA)

The Anti-Narcotics Bureau and the Coast Guard have issued a statement saying they intercepted the vessel, a dhow, in the SEYCHELLES waters.

They say they managed to seize some 500 grams of what they suspect to be cannabis resin and TWO-POINT-FIVE grams of heroin during the exercise.

SNA says only EIGHT out of the 10 IRANIANS appeared in court on MONDAY together with TWO SEYCHELLOIS who were arrested last SATURDAY in connection with the case.

It quotes the lawyer of the IRANIAN suspects as saying the other TWO IRANIANS failed to appear because they are in hospital after being badly beaten by officers who conducted the search on the boat.

CLIFFORD ANDRE, who was lobbying the court to release the IRANIANS on bail, says the heroin was found on only ONE suspect for his own consumption, and there is no reason to remand all the suspects on the same grounds.

The legal practitioner representing the TWO SEYCHELLOIS, NICOLE GABRIEL, says there is no reason to remand the suspects, because they have been brought before the court on the basis of conspiracy.

He says until now nothing has come forward to justify the link between the IRANIANS and the SEYCHELLOIS, who were found in the vicinity in their own boat during the operation.

SNA says this is not the FIRST time IRANIAN nationals have been arrested in the SEYCHELLES’ waters on drug-related cases.

It says in JANUARY, the Supreme Court of SEYCHELLES sentenced TWO IRANIANS, EMAM BAKHSH TARANI and HATTAM MOTHASHIMINA to life in prison for the importation of heroin and opium.

Both IRANIANS and NINE other crew members were arrested on board a dhow, a type of sailing vessel common to the GULF ARAB states, in mid-APRIL 2016.

Their capture followed a joint operation by the SEYCHELLES Coast Guard and the former National Drugs Enforcement Agency.

The other crew members were found not guilty and released by the court late in 2016, but the EIGHT IRANIAN were repatriated to their country in JUNE last year.

Legal experts say for a small island state like SEYCHELLES, where tourism is the economic pillar, any challenge becomes a tourism industry problem, and heroin abuse poses a threat to the sector./Sabanews/cam

ISLAND DOES AWAY WITH DIESEL FUEL FOLLOWING SOLAR COVERAGE

SEYCHELLES: ENERGY/SNA/16/11/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The largest photovoltaic, PV, farm in SEYCHELLES has now completely solar powered the isolated island of ALPHONSE.

Island nation taken over by solar power (Pic. SNA)

SNA quotes a top official of the Islands Development Company as saying the development means people here no longer need diesel fuel to make electricity.

The national news agency says the firm has installed a total of TWO-THOUSAND-220 dual glass high-efficiency solar panels on ZERO-POINT-SEVEN hectares of land: HALF towards the east and the other HALF towards the west, to produce electricity for the whole island.

The project is an initiative of the Islands Development Company as a source of alternative energy to cut costs and reduce the amount of heavy diesel fuel used to power TWO generators.

SNA says the scheme will also help to protect the environment from pollution, quoting Chief Executive Officer GLENNY SAVY as saying it is a real cost efficient plan that will save the ALPHONSE Island a lot of money.

He says they have used only FIVE barrels of fuel to power the standby generators for the past months as compared to FIVE and SEVEN barrels of fuels used every day previously.

Located 400 kilometres south-west of MAHE, the main island, the ALPHONSE atoll is part of the ALPHONSE group including ST FRANCOIS and BIJOUTIER, and the island has a single resort comprising beach bungalows and suites.

The authorities say their Green Energy Project is a combination of solar panels and lithium batteries for storage, covering 90 percent of the island’s energy use.

They say the solar panels produce around 800 kilowatts of electricity per day, more than 50 percent above the normal total power used daily on ALPHONSE.

Mr SAVY says the initiative will not only save money they pay for fuel consumption but also that which is going towards the transportation of the fuel to the island.

He says the Islands Development Company is making a profit by selling the electricity that it is producing, and the money will go towards infrastructure development on the island.

Financed by a SOUTH AFRICAN company METTLE SOLAR INVESTMENTS, the PV farm cost ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION US dollars – with the Islands Development Company injecting a total 37-THOUSAND US dollars.

Environment, Energy, and Climate Change Minister WALLACE COSGROW says the project is ONE that other islands, as well as Mahe, which can ONE day be fully powered by renewable energy, can follow.

Besides ALPHONSE, a similar photovoltaic farm will be set on ASTOVE and FARQHUAR islands by MARCH 2019 and the bigger one on DESROCHES island by JULY next year.

SNA says by early 2020, all islands under the management of Islands Development Company will be 90 percent powered by green energy.

The SADC country, a group of 115 islands on the western INDIAN Ocean, relies heavily on imported fossil fuel for power generation and transportation; and only TWO-POINT-FIVE percent of its electricity is from renewable sources.

The national news agency also says the authorities expect the TWO-POINT-FIVE percent to increase to FIVE percent in the coming THREE years, with a number of renewable energy projects.

SEYCHELLES is also planning to install AFRICA’s FIRST utility-scale Floating Solar Photovoltaic system on the lagoon at LE ROCHER, in the district of LES MAMELLES./Sabanews/cam

SECURITY AGENTS ARREST FOREIGN ILLEGAL FISHING SHIPS

SEYCHELLES: MARINE/SNA/8/11/18 SABANews 1

Seychelles Coast Guard patrol ship Topaz which together with La Fleche intercepted the two Sri Lankan-Flagged vessels (Pic. SNA)

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Coast Guard has arrested TWO fishing vessels carrying SRI LANKAN flags for alleged marine poaching.

National news agency, SNA says the Captain of ONE of the boats has since appeared in Court, charged with illegal fishing in the waters of the INDIAN Ocean island country.

It says another is still under police investigations, according to the SEYCHELLES People’s Defence Forces; which says local fishermen FIRST spotted the vessels around 90 nautical miles south-east of MAHE, the main island.

The Coast Guard Patrol Ship TOPAZ and Patrol Boat LA FLECHE intercepted the TWO boats, arrested and handed them over to the Fisheries Authority and the police at Port VICTORIA, the capital.

The SEYCHELLES Fisheries Authority says the Captain who has appeared in court will remain in custody until 19 NOVEMBER; and the authorities are still probing to see if there is enough evidence for a case against the other suspect.

It says it is assisting the police in gathering evidence as to the species and amount of fish found on board the TWO vessels.

SNA says if confirmed, the case will be the THIRD incident of illegal fishing by SRI LANKAN-flagged vessels this year in the waters of SEYCHELLES.

The news agency also quotes the SRI LANKAN channel, ITN News, as saying a group of SRI LANKAN fishermen has been slapped with a fine of ONE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION US dollars for violating SEYCHELLES maritime borders.

It says the media house quotes the SRI LANKAN High Commissioner to SEYCHELLES as saying the Courts have also confiscated their boats, but the crimes continue.

The Coast Guard Patrol Ship ANDROMACHE spotted another SRI LANKAN-flagged vessel during a routine patrol in JULY north-west of the main island of MAHE.

A Coast Guard team that subsequently boarded the suspected boat carried out an inspection and discovered evidence of illegal fishing in the SADC nation.

Authorities have difficulties with the vast Exclusive Economic Zone of ONE-POINT-FOUR-MILLION square kilometres, which is hard to monitor for illegal fishing, adding pressure on the available resources.

Fishing is the SECOND top contributor to the economy of SEYCHELLES, a group of 115 islands in the western INDIAN Ocean./Sabanews/cam

NEW BOOK TO EASE UNDERSTANDING OF PLANTS IN BOTANICAL GARDENS

SEYCHELLES: BOTANICS/SNA/3/10/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – STEEN HANSEN, a DANISH national, has written a new book on the biodiversity of the tropical plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens on the MAHE Island.

Seychelles botanical gardens guide (Pic. SNA)

SEYCHELLES News Agency says visitors to the park, situated in the capital, VICTORIA, can now gain better insights into the plant community of the garden, thanks to the guidebook.

It says the publication is already on sale at the ANTIGONE Bookshop in VICTORIA at 26 US dollars a copy.

The book focuses on the ethno-botanical aspects of the garden, with details of the origin and names of the existing plants as well as the level of global threats they face, and how they can be of use as food, medicine and in craftsmanship.

Mr HANSEN says his work can give readers an insight of the international plant community because it is an environmental book with information on the importance of conservation and what it is there left to be preserved.

He also says the plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens, in the central district of MONT FLEURI, are very rich and important, as they have rare qualities – while some are unique to the place and the island nation.

Mauritian Agronomist RIVALZ DUPONT established the 15-acre garden as a botanical station in 1901, making it ONE of the oldest national monuments of SEYCHELLES.

The authorities transformed it into a proper botanical garden in the late 1970s, and it is now under the management of the National Botanical Gardens Foundation.

SNA also says the botanical is a living green heritage providing a quiet, green getaway with a 20-minute walk from the busy VICTORIA CBD; and it is ONE of the must-see places in the 115-island archipelago, for tourists and locals with a love for nature.

Mr HANSEN says due to climate change and other negative impacts on the environment, it remains a relief to find such places like the Botanical Gardens still exist – with a preserved array of plant and animal species.

The DANISH author, who has been living in SEYCHELLES since 2005, has already launched THREE other books: THE FLORA OF THE SEYCHELLES, the STRIKING NATURE OF CURIEUSE ISLAND, and more recently THE TEA FACTORY.

As something new compared to his previous book collections, the new publication has an appendix giving all the different plants in the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens since 2016./Sabanews/cam

MINISTRY EMBARKS ON FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM TO LOCALISE EYE SURGERIES

SEYCHELLES: HEALTH/SNA/14/9/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES Ministry of Health is localising eye surgery services in partnership with the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION of SWITZERLAND.

Seychelles opens first surgical service on the island nation (Pic. SNA)

The INDIAN Ocean island country has a five-year plan aimed to stop external attention for different ailments of the eye, and the State has managed to open its FIRST domestic surgical facility.

SEYCHELLES says ONE of the services now available is vitreoretinal surgery, which involves surgical procedures on the retina at the back of the eye.

It says Health Minister JEAN-PAUL ADAM has addressed the media this week, saying with this latest development, the country is on track with its vision to domesticate all eye surgeries within FIVE years.

He says the TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION is not only helping with a donation of medical equipment, but also with training to build the capacity of staff at the new unit.

Minister ADAM says they have a long-term partnership with the SWISS-based Foundation, which has made it possible for the Ministry to carry out the vitreoretinal surgery locally.

He has also commended the dedication and work of Professor CYRUS TABATABAY, Founder and President of TEACHING EYE SURGERY FOUNDATION.

The veteran surgeon this month undertook his THIRD consultative trip to the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital; TWO years after the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the foundation in 2016.

SNA says the Professor normally makes TWO visits per year to SEYCHELLES, and during the latest leg, he helped to set up the service as well as with the FIRST FOUR procedures.

The Consultant in Charge of the Ophthalmology Unit at SEYCHELLES Hospital, ROLAND BARBE, has explained some of the immediate benefits of the vitreoretinal operations.

He says the service will help address the large number of diabetic patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who need such attention, unlike the present situation where they have to go to INDIA or SRI LANKA.

The SEYCHELLES Health Minister says the process is lengthy and dedicated, but the State has long term plans to do most vitreoretinal surgical cases locally; with only the most complex cases referred for overseas treatment./Sabanews/cam

NATION TO CONNECT WITH REST OF THE WORLD IN TWO YEARS

SEYCHELLES: COMMUNICATIONS/SNA/5/9/18 SABANews 1

BEIJING – SEYCHELLES has entered into serious deals to link the island nation to the rest of the world with a SECOND underwater communications cable system,

Currently, SEYCHELLES has only ONE fibre-optic cable, built under the SEYCHELLES East AFRICA System connecting the main island of MAHE to DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA.

Launching the undersea fibre optic cable at Beau Vallon in 2012 (Pic. SNA)

The new facility will connect the county to the PAKISTAN East AFRICA Cable Express by a submarine cable system, laid on the seabed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.

The latest submarine cable system has TWO landing points in the PAKISTANI cities of GWADAR and KARACHI and it stretches across AFRICA as well as EUROPE.

The scheme is part of efforts by CHINA to offer better connectivity between the potentially rich but unexplored AFRICAN markets, according to the PRO-PAKISTANI publication.

SEYCHELLES Cable Systems Company has signed the new deal with HUAWEI MARINE NETWORKS, PEACE CABLE INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS, and HUAWEI INTERNATIONAL.

The national news agency says President DANNY FAURE has witnessed the signing ceremony this WEDNESDAY in the CHINESE capital, BEIJING, and the project is to start in 2019, with completion in 2020.

SNA quotes Information Communication and Technology Principal Secretary BENJAMIN CHOPPY as saying the contract marks the start of achieving ONE of the strategic national infrastructure projects.

He says with the SECOND submarine cable link, the country achieves a long-desired goal of security in its international telecommunications links, as connectivity to the rest of the world is indispensable for a small island developing state.

Earlier on President FAURE told citizens during his 2018 State of the Nation Address on SIX MARCH, in case of an accident with the FIRST cable, the SECOND cable provides an alternative route.

His comments came after telecommunication services in the country were interrupted for close to HALF a day due to civil work carried out in DAR ES SALAAM in mid-JANUARY.

However, Principal Secretary CHOPPY says by joining the PAKISTAN East AFRICA Cable Express, SEYCHELLES links with the rest of AFRICA and ASIA – as well as directly with EUROPE./Sabanews/cam

SOUTH KOREA TO SUPPORT BLUE ECONOMY POLICY

SEYCHELLES: COOPERATION/SNA/28/8/18 SABANews 1

VICTORIA – SOUTH KOREA has pledged to cooperate with SEYCHELLES in areas like e-government and the police force to strengthen bilateral relations between the TWO nations.

Newly accredited Ambassador LIM HOONMIN says his country will also support the SEYCHELLOIS blue economy policy.

Ambassador Lim Hoonmin presents credentials to President Danny Faure at State House (Pic. SNA)

SEYCHELLES News Agency says he has issued a statement after presenting his credentials to President DANNY FAURE at State House in the capital, VICTORIA.

Ambassador HOONMIN says there are also still a variety of areas SOUTH KOREA and SEYCHELLES to promote further, such as fisheries, renewable energy, and maritime security.

SEYCHELLES News Agency says SOUTH KOREA has a number of vessels fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone of SEYCHELLES, an archipelago in the western INDIAN Ocean.

A SOUTH KOREAN company, UNISON, has been helping with the operation and management of a wind farm over the years, while local engineers and technicians have benefited from training as well.

Ambassador HOONMIN says tourism is yet another area the authorities can further develop to benefit the TWO countries.

He says SEYCHELLES is a popular destination for newlyweds in KOREA, with more than ONE-THOUSAND couples travelling for their honeymoon to the island nation.

Ambassador HOONMIN, who will based in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, says such a situation is a very good start for increasing tourism cooperation between the TWO countries.

He also says ties within the safari industry can be strengthened further with the finalisation of the aviation agreement between SOUTH KOREA and SEYCHELLES.

The SEYCHELLES Tourism Board in JUNE took part in the 12TH Edition of the HANA TOUR International Travel Show, which is SOUTH KOREA’s largest travel exhibition.

Under the theme: SEYCHELLES – the Heaven You Must Visit before You Die, the Tourism Board showcased the island destination to the SOUTH KOREAN travel trade and potential visitors.

SNA says the head of the SEYCHELLES Tourism Board office in SOUTH KOREA, JULIE KIM, has revealed the SADC country is highly reputed on the KOREAN market as an upper-end honeymoon destination.

SEYCHELLES and SOUTH KOREA established diplomatic cooperation in 1976, the year when SEYCHELLES attained independence./Sabanews/cam

PARLIAMENTARY CIVIL CODE COMMITTEE HOLDS CRUCIAL MEETING

SEYCHELLES: RIGHTS/SNA/18/7/18 SABANews 1

The revision exercise began in 2013 and proceeded with a series of committee meetings (Pic. SNA)

VICTORIA – The SEYCHELLES National Assembly Civil Code Committee has launched discussions on a number of issues, including the sharing of property between unmarried couples.

The discussions also covered the ability to dispose freely of property on death; as well as other matters raised during the FIRST day of discussions for the revision of the national Civil Code.

The national news agency, SNA says the dialogue started this TUESDAY to scrutinise the SEYCHELLES Civil Code Bill of 2017, which will once approved, replace the Civil Code of SEYCHELLES Act 1975.

It quotes National Assembly Bills Committee Chairperson BERNARD GEORGE as saying the country has since 1976 been using the amended ENGLISH Civil Code.

He says things changed a few years ago when the Supreme Court proposed modernisation of certain areas of the Code due to ongoing changes in the country.

SNA also says the Civil Code provides the basic rules of law of SEYCHELLES for relationships between people.

It further says an international consultant who drafted the Bill has explained the purpose of the revision and the work that has been done for the past FIVE years.

TONY ANGELO, from the Faculty of Law of VICTORIA, University of WELLINGTON in NEW ZEALAND, says the Civil Code has articles that oppose some rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

He says there are provisions in the current Code that if challenged in Court will undoubtedly be found to be void on grounds of breach of fundamental rights.

National Assembly Bills Committee Chairperson BERNARD GEORGE says the Civil Code dates back to 1806 and was inherited while the archipelago was still a FRENCH colony.

He says the authorities then set up the Committee and used the theory of law established over the years to come up with new articles for the Code, a document of more than ONE-THOUSAND pages.

Pertinent and sensitive issues debated involve equalising the rights of children, sharing of property in an arrangement where a married couple and a lover of ONE of them live together while sharing sexual relations – en ménage relationship.

The revised Code also aims to cover the rights of co-owners and the ability to dispose freely of property on death, as well as provide for the civil rights of SEYCHELLOIS in modern form and appropriately reflect and protect current social institutions.

SNA says the revision exercise began in 2013 and proceeded with a series of committee meetings, all of which were open to public consultations.

Also attending the discussions are MAURITIAN legal representatives, SABIR KADEL, a senior law reform officer, and ROSARIO DOMINGUE, the Chief Executive of the MAURITIUS Law Reform Commission.

Like SEYCHELLES, the neighbouring MAURITIUS has also revised its Civil Code, which was similarly inherited from the FRENCH./Sabanews/cam

ILLEGAL DRUG DEALINGS KEEP AUTHORITIES BUSY

SEYCHELLES: DRUGS/SNA/11/7/18 SABANews 1

Heroin in parcel coming in through the post office. (Pic. Anti-Narcotics Bureau)

VICTORIA – The authorities in SEYCHELLES say they have seized FIVE-POINT-63 kilograms of heroin so far this year.

Designated Minister MACSUZY MONDON has revealed the information this week in the National Assembly.

However, she says although the drug quantities are alarming, the State remains committed to fighting the problem of illicit drugs.

National news agency, SNA, says she has been responding to questions by the Leader of the Government Business in Parliament, CHARLES DE COMMARMOND.

The legislator wanted to know how much heroin the State had seized since JANUARY 2017, how much of the drug was in circulation, and what the authorities were doing to address the problem.

Minister MONDON says heroin and cannabis are the only TWO main types of drugs seized, while TWO people were arrested for cocaine – ONE in 2011 and another one this year.

She says cocaine is a rare type of drug entering the country, and there is no evidence so far to show the country, a group of 115 islands in the INDIAN Ocean, produces dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

SNA says Mr COMMARMOND raised the questions to follow up on a presentation by Minister MONDON on a survey entitled SEYCHELLES Biological and Behavioural Surveillance of Heroin Users of 2017.

It says the study shows the number of heroin users in SEYCHELLES from age of 15 years and above is around FOUR-THOUSAND-800, which equals FIVE-POINT-SIX percent of the population.

Minister MONDON says it is difficult to know the exact amount of drugs in circulation in the country, but experts can use a formula to calculate.

She says, for example, if an individual heroin user consumes ZERO-POINT-THREE grams per day, multiplying the amount with the total number of users – FOUR-THOUSAND-800 – will produce some 144 grams in circulation daily.

Minister MONDON says it is vital for people to realise illegal drugs are entering the country through the seaports and airports, while a large amount is circulating at sea through marine activities.

The national news agency says SEYCHELLES made a number of illegal drug arrests this year, mostly at the airports.

It also says the authorities have detected about 300 black spots on the THREE most populated islands of MAHE, PRASLIN, and LA DIGUE, where illegal activities are taking place.

SNA further quotes Minister MONDON as saying the Anti-Narcotics Bureau and its foreign partners are actively engaged to investigate and share information on activities of dealers and traffickers.

The SEYCHELLES Minister says ONE major challenge is some countries in the INDIAN Ocean Region are giving less attention to drugs and focusing more on piracy and terrorist activities./Sabanews/cam