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Seychelles personality Perin St.Ange at IFAD in Rome

Seychelles personality Perin St.Ange at IFAD in Rome ( Derek Savy of the Today Newspaper covered a Seychelles personality who is on a mission to do good works. Derek Savy wrote a two-page feature on Perin St.Ange, the island boy now based at IFAD in Rome, Italy, where he states:

The sons and daughters of our country are known to be model ambassadors and flag bearers whenever they are away from home. By virtue of hailing from one of the smallest countries on Earth, our people tend to put in the extra effort to excel. Our small nation is awash with noteworthy paladins who in their own little way are shining a bright spotlight on their homeland.

One such model ambassador is Perin St. Ange. This native son, born and bred on the island of La Digue, worked tirelessly for his own country before heading farther afield to foster a career in one of his greatest passions – agricultural development. He has left an undeniable imprint on the agricultural landscape of Seychelles and like a true son of this soil; he has now been called upon to help revive our ailing agribusiness.


Perin was born in 1956 to renowned vanilla “baron” Karl St. Ange on the St. Cloud family estate on La Digue. He grew up as an island boy, cherishing the days of snorkeling and diving with his many friends whilst contributing his fair share to improving the family fortunes. Under the shadow of his father, a leading political figure, Perin’s youth was heavily influenced by his exposure to very strong philosophical thinking and opinions on social fairness.

In order to further his secondary education at the Seychelles College, Perin moved to Mahe to live with his grandparents at Le Chantier. At this time, there were only a handful of national doctors, lawyers, engineers and agricultural specialists. There were passionate calls for more opportunities to be provided to Seychellois in order to increase the capacity of the local people to generate wealth and benefit with equity from the natural resources of the islands. Taking the reins from his parents’ love of toiling the land, Perin developed a passion for agriculture and looked for opportunities to pursue a career in this field.


From as young as 17, Perin was determined to go to England to study at Kesteven Agricultural College in Lincolnshire and went on to study Agricultural Business Management at the Aberdeen School of Agriculture in Scotland.

This was the start of a very long journey - as he headed from the quiet isolation of island life to the bustling outside world – where he was immersed both physically and intellectually into a new and lasting way of life.


Following his diploma in Animal Husbandry, Perin joined the Ministry of Agriculture as an Animal Husbandry Officer working for the Livestock Improvement Centers of Union Vale and Grand Anse. From there, he provided animal health and production support services to small stakeholders in Seychelles.

After his Post Diploma in Agriculture Business Management, he was elevated to Chief Livestock Development Officer, responsible for all technical aspects of livestock in the country.

In 1979, Perin married Babette (nee Larue) thus consolidating the direction of both his professional and family life.

Perin had an enthusiastic and methodical approach to work. Following the successful completion of his Master’s degree in Economics from the University of New England, Australia, he was promoted to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in 1988. Here he worked tirelessly to raise the level of food and livestock production in Seychelles, with the implementation of several projects aimed at self-sufficiency.


Perin’s numerous local achievements prompted him to seek new challenges on the international scene. In 1991, he opted for “greener pastures” to extend his professional experience, taking up a post as Agricultural Economist in the Investment Centre of the Food&Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Bank Cooperative Program. He worked there for four years before taking on a new assignment as Country Program Manager for Nigeria with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). After several years he was promoted to Regional Portfolio Advisor to the West and Central Africa Division and in early 2012 he was awarded the post of Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

Perin’s career development has been grounded in over 25 years of combined practical, professional and managerial work, delivering on assignments across all continents. He embarked on a career in the international sphere in order to expand his impact beyond the scope of his backyard, sharing his knowhow and competencies with international agencies and organizations.

As Regional Director, Perin leads a portfolio of USD 1.6 billion investments; supporting millions of poor rural producers across the whole region and within 20 countries across East and Southern Africa. He has a clear vision of what needs to be achieved and is forever responding to calls from Prime Ministers, Ministers and global leaders for action.

Perin has taken the plight of millions of rural people to heart, with warmth and empathy. His accomplishments as an international development specialist are remarkable. Under his leadership, agricultural and rural development has been elevated as a priority for development in Africa. Together with the support of his dedicated IFAD team, they annually negotiate about US$200 million incremental financing for country strategies and projects, guiding new initiatives to success, with an emphasis on a combination of what to do and how to do it.

IFAD projects deliver agricultural technological change with passion and compassion, albeit often in very difficult circumstances. Productive capacity is supported to increase farm output; to increase resilience to the constant shocks of droughts, floods, soil erosion and desertification, and animal and plant disease outbreaks; and to enable poverty and food insecurity to be simultaneously overcome.


Perin has proven himself to be a true Seychellois who has succeeded in scaling-up on an international level. From his slow-paced start in La Digue, to the present day bustling city of Rome, Perin is a moving testimony to the remarkable work of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a Specialized UN Agency and an International Financial Institution which focuses on financing agricultural and rural development to the benefit of the rural poor.

Perin has established numerous networks and is rigorous in his commitment to the cause. He takes a critical view when evaluating work, always making certain that it is focused on high quality outcomes, with a meticulous attention to details and ensuring that the goals set are being achieved.

IFAD’s East and Southern Africa Division has made a formal commitment to bring up to 15 million poor rural people out of poverty by 2015. This is quite a challenge in a fast changing world but, as Perin recalls his father saying to him as a young man strolling on the beach Anse Reunion, LaDigue, as they recounted interlocking anecdotes on independence, development, post-colonial economic growth opportunities and challenges for social advancement: “Doing good is good for you and makes you happier and thankful for real things. It is a blessing for people around you.”


Perin is results driven, persistent, and clear in his thinking and purpose of his work. He emphasizes the importance of all-inclusive participatory processes, providing for the needy and often helpless rural women and the young.

Perin St. Ange is an international public servant in his own right and is very thankful to his parents, his family, his community, the people of Seychelles and all his international development colleagues for their support and collaboration.

He has plenty of reasons to be thankful. Like his brother Alain, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Perin is a very successful Seychellois. And he fully appreciates everything he has: a wife of 34 years, Babette and his children. His son Karl St. Ange Junior is Assistant Food Beverage Manager at Beachcomber Hotel and Resort on St Anne.

Asked if he would do it all over again, a non-hesitant and confident Perin gives double thumbs up and a resounding YES! As he soaks in the vanilla&patchouli scented air of La Digue on his latest trip to reconnect with his ancestral heritage; the shadow of “Ton Karl” seemingly lurking over him… providing renewed inspiration to continue in his mission to do good. His hope is to return one day on a final homecoming to inject his experience back into his native soil.


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