Facts about Seychelles
|Population||82,247 (July 2008 est.)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar
General info about 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.
Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)
fish, copra, cinnamon trees
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. 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. Economic growth slowed in 1998-2002 and fell in 2003-04, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors, but resumed in 2005-07. Real GDP grew by 5.8% in 2007, 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 is struggling to maintain its gains and in 2008 suffered from food and oil price shocks, a foreign exchange shortage, high inflation and large financing gaps. 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.
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater
Cities in Seychellesvictoria