opening up new avenues of cooperation
South Africa and Seychelles to build on bilateral relationship to boost tourism
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, has met with the South African High Commissioner to Seychelles, Dr. Nomvuyo N. Nokwe at his Ministry’s Bel Ombre Offices. During their discussions, Minister St.Ange said he was most encouraged to hear that the South African High Commissioner intends to fly back to Seychelles in July be present for the Routes Africa Forum. which will be held in Seychelles.
Minister St.Ange said: “[The] Routes Africa forum will be an opportunity to build on the good bilateral relationship Seychelles and South Africa today enjoys, and it should open up new avenues of cooperation between Seychelles and South Africa. Through this Routes Africa forum, we are hoping to come up with new avenues of cooperation, which will be beneficial to both Seychelles and South Africa.”
The Seychelles Minister told the South African High Commissioner: “Seychelles values its cooperation with South Africa. Two years ago, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, at his residence. Seychelles has kept a strong feeling of friendship with South Africa, our country’s close African mainland neighbor, which has a lot of potential for Seychelles and South Africa to develop its tourism synergies.”
“I believe that Africa should be working with Africa to showcase to the world the assets of this continent,” emphasized Minister St. Ange, “Africa’s tourism destinations complement each other, and we must build on this as we appreciate that our continent is where growth in the field of tourism is possible. We have so much in common with South Africa, which advocates the essence of a rainbow color[ed] country, with its rich cultural and tourism diversity, as we in Seychelles live as the rainbow people,” the Seychelles Minister said.
The South African High Commissioner to Seychelles, Dr.Nomvuyo N. Nokwe, on her part has outlined her mission saying that it is geared towards promoting tourism trade and investment between Seychelles and South Africa.
“ I am glad we shared the same vision of the integration of our assets rather than portraying both countries as competitors in term of tourism. I’ve witnessed the potential of your country as a beautiful destination. As much as we have a lot of South African investors in Seychelles, this destination is still relatively unknown to South Africans at large. Routes Africa will portray as the ideal forum for both Seychelles and South Africa to work on a roadmap for common strategies to promote both destinations,” the South African High Commissioner said.
Minister St.Ange has also detailed his vision to continue to work with South Africa, La Reunion, and other neighboring states to see the establishment of a regional cruise liner, which will promote the region as a cruising center. The South African High Commissioner to Seychelles has given her thumbs up to this concept saying that it is be food for thought.
During the discussions between the Seychelles Minister and the South African High Commissioner, it was tabled that for the first and second editions of the Carnaval International de Victoria that is staged in Seychelles and that is co-hosted by Seychelles and La Reunion, the presence of a large South African delegation was prominent. The South African group at the last two carnivals was instigated by the Seychelles Tourism Board Representative in South Africa, David Germain.
Minister St.Ange has advocated that the time had come “for a South African official delegation from Joburg and Durban to join the Cape Town’s Minstrel Group to showcase the South African people and rich culture. The carnival staged annually in Seychelles opens the door for the Community of Nations to showcase their people and their culture. No country, big or small, should be shy of doing that, because every country’s people are and will remain their greatest asset.”