Capital city: Victoria
Population: 98,891 (2021)
Land area: 459 km²
Official languages: French, English, Seychellois Creole
Legal system: Mixed legal system based on civil law derived from the French Napoleanic Code and common law
Time zone: GMT+4
Currency: Seychellois rupee (SCR)
GDP: 1.60 USD Billion (2021 est.)
Main industries: Tourism, fishing, farming, oil drilling and manufacturing
Principal exports: Canned tuna, frozen fish, petroleum products (reexports)
With a population of approximately 90,000, Seychelles is an island country made up of an archipelago of 115 islands off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, some of them remained uninhabited. Seychelles is home to numerous beautiful beaches, coral reefs and an array of wildlife, including giant tortoises and sea turtles. Much of the land is protected as part of nature reserves.
The Seychelles has no indigenous population, 90% of the population of the Seychelles are of Creole descent from people who immigrated, of which the largest ethnic group were those of African, French and Indian origin. The remaining 10% of residents are mostly of European origin. Today, the multi-ethnic roots of the Seychelles people stretch far and wide, including France, India, the UK, China, the Arab world, and other parts of Africa.
There are three official languages in the Seychelles: Creole, English, and French. Creole is the native language of the Seychellois population. This language is a French-based creole language and is locally referred to as seselwa or kreol. Although Creole is the native language for most Seychellois, English remains the language of government and commerce.
The Seychelles has a hybrid legal system based on Napoleonic Civil Law and English Common Law, as a result of its history as both a French and an English territory in its history. Substantive civil law remains French, whereas substantive criminal law is codified in English, as are both civil and criminal procedural law. The sources of law are mainly through legislation. The National Assembly is the Seychelles legislative branch, which has the power to create, amend and repeal all laws except for certain chapters in the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles. The supreme law of the country and certain chapters therein, such as the constitutional rights of individuals, can only be amended by a referendum.
Seychelles has a massive fishing sector, within which artisanal fisheries and industrial fisheries form the main components. The artisanal fishery, comprising mainly the local fishers primarily focusing on demersal and semi-pelagic species. Artisanal fisheries exploit an assortment of species and habitats with vast array of boat-gear combinations and strategies and produce some 4 500 tonnes per year. The industrial longline fishery is dominated by the South East Asian fleets which target mainly tuna for sashimi markets. Tuna species constitute over 95 percent of the catches by industrial vessels, which are mainly used for exports. National investment in the development of artisanal fisheries relies heavily upon the revenue and capacity building generated by industrial fisheries sector, which are a major pillar of the economy. The two sub-sectors have complemented each other well.
In 2013, fisheries contributed to approximately 1.2 percent of the national economy (GDP), with an additional 2.9 percent by food manufacture. Food manufacture creates a lot of employment opportunities including a tuna canning factory with annual throughput of 90 000 tonnes that is the largest single employer in the country. With 58.9 kg of fish/caput/year in 2017, Seychelles is among the higher per-capita-fish-consuming countries in the world. In the same year, imports of fish and fishery products hit USD 165 million, while exports were valued at USD 525 million.
Endowed with wonderful natural assets in its world-famous beaches and mountain backdrops, the tourism sector is one of the main pillars of the economy, contributing to 39.2% per cent of Seychelles GDP. The number of international tourists has been on an upward trend since the establishment of the international airport in 1971. Approximately 45% of arrivals are international tourists coming from Europe. Tourism activities are, after fisheries, the second main source of foreign exchange earnings. Tourism is the main employer in Seychelles: according to the WTTC, in 2019, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 41.8% or 21,000 jobs.
Both principal exports comprise of prepared or preserved fish, Motorboats, as well as petroleum oils, accounting for US$ 274,936.68 million, US$ 212,590.00 million, and US$ 159,494.44 million, respectively. United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom have been the top exporter partners in 2018. The country relies on fisheries, with top imports being petroleum, frozen tunas, and motorboats. This constitutes US$ 231,517.63 million, US$ 157,983.90 million, and US$ 45,487.49 million, respectively.
The Seychelles have taken part in every Commonwealth Games since making their debut in 1990. Their first medal arrived when Rival Payet won bronze in the 71kg category in 1994 and more boxing medals followed in 1998. Melbourne in 2006 provided two more bronze medals, one in athletics the other in weightlifting. In Delhi in 2010 Janet Georges lifted a silver medal in the weightlifting final. The Seychelles National Olympic Committee is responsible for organising their participation in the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games.