Africa: Looming reality and benefits of Alain St. Ange, a tourism leader as president of Seychelles

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October is upon us and the presidential and general elections in Seychelles are around the corner. The Indian Ocean island nation relies heavily on tourism and interestingly, the leading and one the three duly nominated presidential candidates is Alain St. Ange of One Seychelles political party.

In this piece, eTurbo news examines the phenomenon that is Alain St. Ange and what his winning the presidential election will mean for tourism in Seychelles. Please read the full article below…

Alain St. Ange has been known as one of the most outspoken movers and shakers in the global travel and tourism industry and made daily headlines when he was the minister of tourism.

St. Ange was the man behind the world-famous Carnival de Victoria, ran for the candidate of Secretary General for UNWTO, and is currently the president of the African Tourism Board.

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa.

It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Mahй, a hub for visiting the other islands, is home to the capital Victoria. It also has the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches, including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka.

Even though Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa when measured by population, domestic and international politics is big.

Strangely located in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is also an important player in the international arena. “Friends with all, and enemies with none”, was always the slogan Alain St. Ange used to explain to the world, why no one needed a visa to visit Seychelles.

Congratulations on the official acceptance of your quest for Seychelles’ Presidency by the election management body. A win for you is a big win for Africa’s tourism community We support, pray, and wish you the best in your Presidential quest. This is one of the posts on the ATB Discussion Group.

The candidate of One Seychelles, Alain St. Ange, submitted nomination documents (including the required 500 signatures of persons backing his candidature) for the presidential elections next month to the Seychelles Electoral Commission on Wednesday. Although four candidates submitted their nomination documents, only three were successfully accepted.

Mr. St. Ange, current President of the African Tourism Board, former Minister for Tourism, Culture, Ports & Marine, and a former popular Parliamentarian, is now in the Presidential race alongside veteran politician, Mr. Ramkalawan (who has been vying for the top job unsuccessfully for three decades) and outgoing President, Mr. Danny Faure (who is participating in his first-ever presidential election). Mr. Patrick Pillay’s nomination was unfortunately not accepted, on account of “failure to satisfy legal requirements”.

Unlike other political parties, whose supporters flocked to the Electoral Commission in hazardous clusters, One Seychelles leadership insisted on leading by example and not acting in contravention of the health guidelines as issued and frequently emphasized by the Health Authorities.

The same sentiment was reflected in the Party’s Convention, which was held last week, where a restricted number of people were permitted into the room and health measures were strictly adhered to.

“Those who are complacent or neglectful with the health of their Seychellois brothers and sisters, particularly when the Country and the world are facing and grappling with the pervasive threat of the deadly COVID-19 virus, would likely be similarly careless with the health and safety of the public if elected into higher office,” said Mr. St. Ange.

He added, “Leaders, or aspiring leaders, should be practicing what they preach and always encouraging their supporters to do the right thing, to do what is best for everyone and not what suits themselves. There is a time and a place for gatherings, but that time is not now.

To encourage, whether directly or indirectly, supporters to gather in such numbers, is undeniably reckless, and in poor taste under the circumstances.”

After tendering his nomination documents, Mr. St. Ange stated that the people of Seychelles have an important choice to make in October.

“This choice will depend on whether we are satisfied with the current status of the Country. Every voter needs to ask themselves if the one they have put in power in the past has delivered. If not, then it is time to make a change,” he said.

“Compared to another opposition political party which has expressed their offer for ‘radical change’ to the Country, we want to bring a change that will gradually transform Seychelles.

We have experienced radical change during the coup d’état on June 5. We are proposing a real change,” said Mr. St. Ange.

He advocated strongly for the formation of a technocrat-led Government, which would comprise skilled, qualified, and experienced young technocrats taking the helm of their respective Ministries and Departments.

Their portfolios would be directly relevant to their areas of expertise, and their appointments would be made on the basis of merit, not favoritism. Their appointments would not be marred by political affiliation, which would be a significant departure from typical Governmental appointments in the past.

Mr. St. Ange also has been a frequent contributor to eTurboNews for many years and was appointed as eTN Ambassador to the Indian Ocean Region in 2007. St. Ange is also the first president and one of the founders of the Vanilla Island Tourism Organization, now based in Reunion, France.

© eTN News

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