OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Seychelles
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 453 Sq Km (175 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 78,500
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Seychelles is an archipelago of
over 100 islands that are widely scattered in the West Indian
Ocean. The principal island is Mahe which is mountainous
with towering rugged crests, boulders and cliffs, although
sandy beaches surround the coastline. In general, the islands
are divided into two groups, (1.) the granite islands which
number 32 and (2.) the coralline islands which number over
60. After Mahe the three largest islands are Praslin, La
Digue and Silhouette. Major Cities; Victoria 24,300 (1987).
Land Use; forested 11%, pastures and agricultural-cultivated
16%, other 73% (1993).
CLIMATE: Seychelles has a tropical climate that is influenced
by the ocean. The hot season is from October to April and the cool season
is from May to September. During the dry season from May to October the
SE Monsoon prevails while from December to March the NW Monsoon brings
heavy rains. Average annual precipitation varies from 2,280 mm (90 inches)
along the coast to 3,040 mm (120 inches) in the interior at higher elevations.
The average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) all
year, although it falls to 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit) at
night, at higher elevations.
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Creoles who are
of mixed Asian or African and European descent and account for 89% of the
population. Other ethnic alien minorities include Indians, Chinese and
a small number of French descendants.
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 150 persons per sq km
(387 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 59.3% urban, 40.7% rural (1990).
Sex Distribution; 50.0% male, 50.0% female (1989). Life Expectancy at Birth;
67.3 years male, 74.2 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 35% under 15,
32% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 9% 45 to 59, 7% 60 to 74, 2% 75 and over (1989).
Birth Rate; 24.0 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 8.1 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 16.9 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 13.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 91% of the population Roman
Catholic while 8% are Protestant. The remainder are comprised of Hindu,
Muslim and Buddhist minorities.
LANGUAGES: The official languages are Creole and English, with
English spoken by a small minority. The national language is Creole which
is spoken by 94% of the population and French is also spoken by a minority.
EDUCATION: Aged 15 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
13.7%, primary 50.1%, incomplete secondary 32.4%, secondary 1.4%, higher
1.8% (1977). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 17,066 or 57.3%
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: During the 1960's James Mancham
formed the Seychelles Democratic Party (SDP) and in the early 1970's many
Seychellese began to demand an end to British rule. In Mar. 1975 Mancham
formed a coalition government with France-Albert Rene of the Seychelles
People's United Party (SPUP). On June 28, 1976 Seychelles became an independent
republic within the Commonwealth with Mancham as President and Rene as
Prime Minister. In June 1977 Rene ousted Mancham and adopted a new constitution
in 1979 that established Seychelles as a single-party state under the Seychelles
People's Progressive Front (FPPS). During the late 1970's and throughout
the 1980's there were numerous coup attempts by hired mercenaries, although
all were suppressed with the support of Tanzanian troops. In Dec. 1991
the ruling FPPS adopted a multiparty system of government, although no
date was set for the elections. On April 12, 1992 James Mancham returned
from exiled and met with Pres. Rene. In July 1992 elections were held to
establish a 23-member commission to draft a new constitution and resulted
in the FPPS gaining 14 seats, the Democratic Party led by Mancham 8 seats
and the Seychelles Party one seat. In Sept. 1992 the PDS withdrew from
the Constitutional Commission. On Nov. 15, 1992 a new constitution was
put to a referendum, although it fell just short of the 60% vote required
for approval. Also in 1992 the South African government paid some SR 8
million in compensation for their involvement in the abortive coup attempt
in 1981. In Jan. 1993 the Democratic Party rejoined the Constitutional
Commission as it reconvened. On May 7, 1993 both the FPPS and PDS adopted
a draft constitution which was put to a referendum in June 1993 was was
approved with a 73.6% yes vote. On July 23, 1993 elections under the new
constitution resulted in a victory for the FPPS and Rene, and on Aug. 3,
1993 Pres. Rene announced his new Cabinet.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Rupee (SR) divided into
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $444,000,000 (1993). Public
Debt; USD $138,100,000 (1993). Imports; SR 1,044,000,000 (1994). Exports;
SR 259,600,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; SR 510,000,000 (1994). Balance
of Trade; SR -780,200,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 25,238
or 38.9% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 11.5% (1993).
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Pakistan,
the UK, India, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Singapore and Bahrain.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Copra, Fish, Fruit, Spices, Vegetables.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Brewing, Copra and Vanilla Processing, Cigarette
Production, Fishing, Tourism.
MAIN EXPORTS: Cinnamon Bark, Copra, Fish, Fertilizers (Guano).
TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 285 km (177 mi) (1989).
Vehicles; cars 4,072 (1989), trucks and buses 1,321 (1989). Merchant Marine;
vessels 6 (1990), deadweight tonnage 2,441 (1990). Air Transport; N/A.
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 1 with a circulation
of 3,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 40,000 (1994). Television; receivers
13,000 (1994). Telephones; units 11,300 (1993).
MILITARY: 800 (1994) total active duty personnel with 100% army
while military expenditure accounts for 4.2% (1989) of the Gross National