Africa :: Seychelles
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Seychelles
Location of Seychelles
 
Map of Seychelles
Introduction ::Seychelles
A 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.
Geography ::Seychelles
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
4 35 S, 55 40 E
total: 455 sq km
country comparison to the world: 198
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
0 km
491 km
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
fish, copra, cinnamon trees
arable land: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)
NA
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
party 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
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
People ::Seychelles
87,476 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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.)
total: 31.4 years
male: 30.9 years
female: 32 years (2009 est.)
0.999% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
15.87 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
6.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
urban population: 54% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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.)
total: 12.3 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 142
male: 15.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 73.02 years
country comparison to the world: 112
male: 68.33 years
female: 77.85 years (2009 est.)
1.93 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
NA
NA
NA
noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
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)
Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)
total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2007)
6.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 31
Government ::Seychelles
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
republic
name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
23 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
29 June 1976 (from the UK)
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
18 June 1993
based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
17 years of age; universal
chief 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
unicameral 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
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO); People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE, James MICHEL] (the governing party)
Roman Catholic Church
other: trade unions
ACP, 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)
chief of mission: Ambassador Jean Ronald JUMEAU
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side
Economy ::Seychelles
Since 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.
$1.715 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
$1.715 billion (2007 est.)
$1.599 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$834 million (2008 est.)
0% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201
7.3% (2007 est.)
8.3% (2006 est.)
$19,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
$20,000 (2007 est.)
$18,900 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 2%
industry: 28.9%
services: 69.2% (2008 est.)
39,560 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 191
agriculture: 3%
industry: 23%
services: 74% (2006)
2% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
13.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
revenues: $260.5 million
expenditures: $291.2 million (2008 est.)
82.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
122.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
37% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 220
5.3% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 90
5.13% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
10.89% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 143
$330.8 million (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 150
$249 million (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
$660.2 million (31 December 2007)
$NA
coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna
fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
250 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
232.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
7,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
7,653 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 121
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
$-277 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
$-274.8 million (2007 est.)
$475 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
$391.7 million (2007 est.)
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
UK 22.1%, France 20%, Mauritius 10.5%, Japan 8.3%, Italy 8.1%, Netherlands 6.3%, Spain 4% (2008)
$882 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
$804 million (2007 est.)
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Saudi Arabia 18.3%, Singapore 12.9%, France 10.8%, Spain 8.5%, Germany 7.4%, South Africa 5.7% (2008)
$74 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
$40.8 million (31 December 2007 est.)
$1.111 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
$1.059 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar - 8 (2008 est.), 6.5 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004)
Communications ::Seychelles
23,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 188
85,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184
general 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)
AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 2 (2001)
2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)
.sc
324 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 179
32,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179
Transportation ::Seychelles
14 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 149
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2009)
total: 458 km
country comparison to the world: 193
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)
total: 8
country comparison to the world: 121
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1) (2008)
Victoria
Military ::Seychelles
Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)
18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2008)
males age 16-49: 23,598
females age 16-49: 24,424 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 19,702
females age 16-49: 19,780 (2009 est.)
male: 714
female: 685 (2009 est.)
2% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Transnational Issues ::Seychelles
together with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)