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Africa Day the FetAfrik is a celebration for the Seychelles of its multiple links with Africa

Africa Day the FetAfrik is a celebration for the Seychelles of its multiple links with Africa ( Seychelles officially opened FetAfrik 2013, its Annual Africa Day celebrations on Thursday 23rd May to celebrate the Seychellois ethnic African origins and the island’s other links with the continent.
The launching ceremony at the Offices of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Victoria was marked by a Masai performance from Kenya, the launching of the " zistwar Soungoula" publication, a bazar and an exhibition by the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture in Mauritius.

Opening the event, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Tourism and Culture Minister said the Seychellois nation is historically connected to our African origins throughout our early history of slavery and ethnic link with ancestors from the African continent.

“ FetAfrik celebrates our Seychellois ethnic African origins, our historical connections with African continent and our current political affiliations with Africa as well as our recently initiated links with Africa through tourism”.

He noted that today, many Seychellois are reconnecting with their African ancestry, though research in our National Archives, to establish their personal family trees. “Our Seychellois nation is historically connected to our African origins through our early history of slavery and our people’s link with ancestors from African continent. Today many Seychellois are reconnecting with their African ancestry through research in our National Archives and recognizing their ethnic roots in their personal family trees” said Minister St.Ange.
In our more recent history of the 1950s and the 60s, many Seychellois emigrated to several countries in Africa, such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa, in search of employment and a better life.
“ The government of Seychelles has for many decades had strong political ties with Africa through our membership and longstanding relationship first with former Organisation of African Unity and more recently with African Union which we will also commemorate in this festival on the occasion of 50th anniversary of African Union on Africa Day this Saturday 25thMay” stated Minister St.Ange
The Minister said that many of these Seychellois have since returned to Seychelles with new knowledge, skills and experience to contribute to the economic and social development of the country.
“As we continue to expand the horizons of our tourism sector we have extended our links with our African counterparts in Tourism Industry through Roots Africa, a program implemented to improve tourism and air access between our respective countries, which will benefit all of us in African continent as well as in Indian Ocean region”.
He also noted that Seychelles' economic ties with Africa are also evident today in our memberships of the SADC, COMESA, RETOSA and more recently the EAST3ROUTE linking Seychelles with the South African KwaZulu Natal, Mozambique and Swaziland regional organisations which helps us to foster good relations and also obtain human resources in our fishing industry and educational system.
“Over the last three years some African countries have participated in one of the most important annual tourism events namely the International Carnival of Victoria. This colourful spectacle is not merely a tourism event but also a celebration of cultural diversity and cultural exchanges that is in line with our cultural policy and also UNESCO convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity and Expressions to which Seychelles is a party and which we also implement in our Ministry of Tourism and Culture””
Minister Alain St.Ange ended his welcoming International delegations participating in FetAfrik thanking all African brothers and sisters for their contribution in making FetAfrik more vibrant with African flavour .

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