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Introduction - Seychelles:
BackgroundA 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.
Location - Seychelles:
Locationarchipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
Geographic coordinates4 35 S, 55 40 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 455 sq km
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparative2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline491 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
TerrainMahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs
Elevation extremeslowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m
Natural resourcesfish, copra, cinnamon trees
Land usearable land: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)
Irrigated landNA
Natural hazardslies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
Environment current issueswater supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
Environment international agreementsparty 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
Geography note41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands
People - Seychelles:
Population81,895 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.4% (male 10,504/female 10,272)
15-64 years: 68.5% (male 27,405/female 28,706)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,590/female 3,418) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 28.4 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 29.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate0.432% (2007 est.)
Birth rate15.83 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate6.25 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-5.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.023 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.955 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.465 male(s)/female
total population: 0.932 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 14.75 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.34 years
male: 66.98 years
female: 77.86 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.74 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA
Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA
Hiv aids deathsNA
Nationalitynoun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois
Ethnic groupsmixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
ReligionsRoman 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)
LanguagesCreole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)
Government - Seychelles:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles
Government typerepublic
Capitalname: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions23 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
Independence29 June 1976 (from UK)
National holidayConstitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)
Constitution18 June 1993
Legal systembased on English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage17 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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
Legislative branchunicameral 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
Judicial branchCourt of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO); Seychelles Peoples Progressive Front or SPPF [France Albert RENE, James MICHEL] (the governing party)
Political pressure groups and leadersRoman Catholic Church; trade unions
International organization participationACCT, 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, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Jeremie BONNELAME
chancery: 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400C, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 972-1785
FAX: [1] (212) 972-1786
Diplomatic representation from the usthe US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles
Flag descriptionfive oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side
Economy - Seychelles:
Economy overviewSince independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. 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. Sharp drops illustrated the vulnerability of the tourist sector in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf War and once again following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US. Growth slowed in 1998-2002 and fell in 2003, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors, but resumed in 2004. Growth turned negative again in 2005-06. Tight controls on exchange rates and the scarcity of foreign exchange have impaired short-term economic prospects. The black-market value of the Seychelles rupee is half the official exchange rate; without a devaluation of the currency, the tourist sector may remain sluggish as vacationers seek cheaper destinations such as Comoros, Mauritius, and Madagascar.
Gdp purchasing power parity $626 million (2002 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $712 million (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate-1% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $7,800 (2002 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 3.2%
industry: 30.1%
services: 66.7% (2006 est.)
Labor force30,900 (1996)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 10%
industry: 19%
services: 71% (1989)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 0.7% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 44.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $371.1 million
expenditures: $376 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt166.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productscoconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna
Industriesfishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Electricity production208 million kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption193.4 million kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption5,600 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$78.59 million (2006 est.)
Exports$365.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiescanned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)
Exports partnersUK 26.2%, France 18.1%, Italy 12.2%, Japan 8.5%, Spain 8.3%, Netherlands 4.4% (2006)
Imports$570.6 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
Imports partnersSaudi Arabia 17.6%, South Africa 9.6%, Spain 8.1%, France 7.5%, Singapore 7.2%, Italy 4.8%, UK 4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$44.78 million (2006 est.)
Debt external$616.7 million (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$16.4 million (1995)
Currency code Seychelles rupee (SCR)
Exchange ratesSeychelles rupees per US dollar - 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005), 5.5 (2004), 5.4007 (2003), 5.48 (2002)
Communications - Seychelles:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use20,700 (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular70,300 (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: effective system
domestic: 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)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 1, shortwave 2 (2001)
Television broadcast stations2 (plus 9 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country
Internet hosts72 (2006)
Internet users29,000 (2006)
Transportation - Seychelles:
Airports15 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 458 km
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)
Merchant marinetotal: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 69,777 GRT/113,501 DWT
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4
foreign-owned: 1 (Nigeria 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsVictoria
Military - Seychelles:
Military branchesSeychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age (est.); no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 21,612
females age 18-49: 22,459 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 16,122
females age 18-49: 18,777 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp2% (2006 est.)
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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