VICTORIA, Mahé – Seychellois, Mr. Mohamed Lamin Kanté, was welcomed home today by Minister Adam after four intensive months on the Guinean National Council of Transition that was charged with the redrafting of the national constitution and the electoral code.
Mr. Kanté, a local A-level teacher of Guinean origins, was selected out of 4 million Guineans worldwide to share Seychelles’ experience of reconciliation and nation-building in the establishment of a Guinean democracy after a military junta seized power in December 2008, following the death of the president.
“The people in Guinea where surprised at Seychelles’ remarkable achievements after only 30 plus years of independence,” said Mr. Kanté. “The level of ambition demonstrated in Seychelles through our infrastructures like public healthcare, free education, environmental protection laws, and even care for the elderly served as an important example in the drafting of this new constitution.”
Mr. Kanté added that the Guinean people were touched by the solidarity shown by the Seychelles government during these difficult times of restructuring and the government’s complete support of Mr. Kanté’s participation, even temporarily releasing him from his work contract in order to go.
“I am very pleased to welcome Mr. Kanté home from this important mission he was charged with, and I think I speak for all of Seychelles when I say we are proud that all our struggles and hard work since independence can serve as an example in unity and nation-building to a fellow African nation,” said Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, minister of foreign affairs. “Although we are a small nation continually striving to improve ourselves and our existing infrastructures and services, we have still set the standard for other nations.”
The minister added, that having been taught by Mr. Kanté himself at NYS, he was proud that such an exemplary man, who had witnessed Seychelles’ transformation first hand, had been selected.
Mr. Kanté, who came to Seychelles over 30 years ago and has dual nationality, said he was very happy to have been able to contribute to the re-envisioning of his country of birth. The most significant contribution from Seychelles that he shared was the inclusion of the President’s address to the nation and national assembly as part of the constitution, as well as the practice of participatory democracy, where each citizen can voice grievances directly to their elected officials.
He added that he was pleased to be home and proud to have been able to share Seychelles’ story of ambition and progress but that there is still a lot more guidance and learning Seychelles can share, particularly with regards to the tourism industry and government services.
“When I started teaching here 30 years ago, I would ask my students what they want to be and most would say a driver or perhaps a carpenter, but now I ask them and they say they want to be engineers or doctors. The ambition of the Seychellois people was a remarkable thing to share with the Guineans I worked with,” said Mr. Kanté.
Out of 4 million Guineans dispersed around the world, 30,000 of which are highly educated, Mr. Kanté was one of only four other Guineans from across the African continent invited to contribute in this process, which began in April.
Guinea, one of Africa’s richest countries in mineral wealth, which also has 150 political parties, recently concluded a successful first round of elections with 24 candidates, and they are due to have their second elections with the final two candidates on August 14 before forming their government and electing a national assembly.