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Seychelles

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Background:
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.


 
Location:
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Geographic coordinates:
4 35 S, 55 40 E

Map references:
Africa

Area:
total: 455 sq km
country comparison to the world: 198
land: 455 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:
2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
491 km

Maritime claims:
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

Climate:
Current Weather
tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Terrain:
Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Morne Seychellois 905 m

Natural resources:
fish, copra, cinnamon trees

Land use:
arable land: 2.17%
permanent crops: 13.04%
other: 84.79% (2005)

Irrigated land:
NA

Natural hazards:
lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible

Environment - current issues:
water supply depends on catchments to collect rainwater

Environment - international agreements:
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

Geography - note:
41 granitic and about 75 coralline islands


 
Population:
87,476 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196

Age structure:
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) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 32 years
male: 31.5 years
female: 32.5 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.999% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127

Birth rate:
15.87 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Death rate:
6.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Net migration rate:
1.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Urbanization:
urban population: 54% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.032 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
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 (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.02 years
country comparison to the world: 115
male: 68.33 years
female: 77.85 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.92 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Nationality:
noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychellois

Ethnic groups:
mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Religions:
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)

Languages:
Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2% (2002 census)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.4%
female: 92.3% (2002 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2007)

Education expenditures:
6.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 31


 
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles
local long form: Republic of Seychelles
local short form: Seychelles

Government type:
republic

Capital:
name: Victoria
geographic coordinates: 4 38 S, 55 27 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
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

Independence:
29 June 1976 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Constitution Day (National Day), 18 June (1993)

Constitution:
18 June 1993

Legal system:
based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:
17 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for two more terms); election last held on 28-30 July 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: President James MICHEL elected president; percent of vote - James MICHEL 53.7%, Wavel RAMKALAWAN 45.7%, Philippe BOULLE 0.6%; 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 branch:
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; members to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 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 branch:
Court of Appeal; Supreme Court; judges for both courts are appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party or DP [James MANCHAM, Paul CHOW]; People's Party (Parti Lepep) or PL [France Albert RENE, James MICHEL] (the governing party); Seychelles National Party or SNP [Wavel RAMKALAWAN] (formerly the United Opposition or UO)

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Roman Catholic Church
other: trade unions

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, 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)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US does not have an embassy in Seychelles; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Seychelles

Flag description:
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment


 
Economy - overview:
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, large financing gaps, and the global recession. 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. In 2009, GDP fell nearly 9% due to declining tourism.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$1.819 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
$1.885 billion (2008 est.)
$1.829 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$767 million (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-3.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
3.1% (2008 est.)
7.3% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$20,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
$21,800 (2008 est.)
$21,300 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 30.8%
services: 66.2% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
39,560 (2006)
country comparison to the world: 196

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 23%
services: 74% (2006)

Unemployment rate:
2% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Investment (gross fixed):
28.3% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Budget:
revenues: $288.7 million
expenditures: $267.9 million (2009 est.)

Public debt:
63.2% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
82.4% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
31.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
37% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
NA% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 85
5.13% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15.35% (31 December 2009 )
country comparison to the world: 78
11.81% (31 December 2008 )

Stock of money:
$173.1 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 148
$330.8 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$185.2 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 150
$249 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$375.6 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 124
$660.2 million (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:
coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potatoes, cassava (tapioca), bananas; poultry; tuna

Industries:
fishing, tourism, processing of coconuts and vanilla, coir (coconut fiber) rope, boat building, printing, furniture; beverages

Industrial production growth rate:
-2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Electricity - production:
250 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Electricity - consumption:
232.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Oil - consumption:
7,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Oil - imports:
7,653 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Current account balance:
-$170 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
-$395.8 million (2008 est.)

Exports:
$428 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
$502.3 million (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
canned tuna, frozen fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (reexports)

Exports - partners:
UK 24.84%, France 18.53%, Italy 9.45%, Mauritius 9.03%, Japan 6.98%, Spain 4.92% (2009)

Imports:
$703 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
$1.008 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals

Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 16.44%, India 8.33%, Spain 7.49%, South Africa 6.72%, France 6.39%, Brazil 6.07%, Singapore 5.07% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$197 million (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
$63.8 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.25 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
$1.422 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
Seychelles rupees (SCR) per US dollar - 14.2 (2009), 8 (2008), 6.5 (2007), 5.5 (2006), 5.5 (2005)


 
Telephones - main lines in use:
23,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 188

Telephones - mobile cellular:
85,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 184

Telephone system:
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)

Broadcast media:
the government operates the only terrestrial TV station, which provides local programming and airs broadcasts from international services; multi-channel cable and satellite TV are available via subscription; the government operates 1 AM and 1 FM radio station; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Victoria (2007)

Internet country code:
.sc

Internet hosts:
256 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 188

Internet users:
32,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179


 
Airports:
14 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 150

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2010)

Roadways:
total: 458 km
country comparison to the world: 195
paved: 440 km
unpaved: 18 km (2003)

Merchant marine:
total: 9
country comparison to the world: 121
by type: cargo 1, carrier 1, chemical tanker 6, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 1, Nigeria 1, South Africa 1)

Ports and terminals:
Victoria


 
Military branches:
Seychelles Defense Force: Army, Coast Guard (includes Naval Wing, Air Wing), National Guard (2005)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 26,040
females age 16-49: 23,961 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 19,989
females age 16-49: 19,882 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 704
female: 672 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
2% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72


 
Disputes - international:
together with Mauritius, Seychelles claims the Chagos Archipelago (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

 

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