President James Michel has welcomed the launch of the Equator Institute, the Seychelles’ first think tank, which has a mandate to create an independent platform for policy research, driven by Seychellois professionals and academics.
The Equator Institute has been launched by a group of professionals who have followed up on the recommendations of the Parti Lepep conference held last month that highlighted the necessity of having a dedicated institution for professionals. The provisional chairman of the Institute is Dr. Egbert Thelemaque.
“The Equator Institute will offer a further avenue for the sharing of ideas, proposals and experiences. It is a think tank for our nation. It is a new voice for professionals in our country. I have always put a lot of emphasis on consultation and discussion. Since I have assumed office in 2004, I have used consultations with the people to formulate many of the policies of our government. I strongly believe that when it comes to sharing ideas, there can be no hierarchy, or monopoly on ideas,” said President Michel in his address to a large gathering of professionals at the International Conference Centre on Friday.
President Michel noted that this would also be very important for the economic development of the country.
“We have no minerals to export. We have limited amounts of land. We have a limited population. The key to our success is, therefore, the continued development of services within our economy. And we must also continue to develop a knowledge-based society, which is the basis for us to be competitive in the global economy. This is only possible if we continue to nurture and grow our pool of dedicated professionals. The Equator Institute has a critical role to play in this regard.”
The President said that over the years, Seychelles had invested heavily in education and that this investment had reaped its rewards as today the country has a large number of successful professionals who now have the opportunity to contribute their knowledge and ideas to policy formation and give advice to the government on the future planning for the country.
“We must also facilitate the sharing of valuable experiences. Many of our professionals have acquired experience that can prove invaluable to the successful development of our country; through our institute we will foster a blend of innovation and experience to be able to make proposals, which are astute and strategic for our country.”
The President noted that the government would continue to invest in education and that this was one of the strongest, surest investments the country has made and will continue to make.
He concluded: “I have always regarded education as an investment in the future. And education is always the most secure of all investments. There is no depreciation in this investment. The value of education can only grow over time.”
To read President Michel’s speech in its entirety, click here and select “Read Speech.”