The Seychelles Minister responsible for tourism and culture, Alain St.
Ange, has appealed to the Seychellois community to unite their actions in promoting their cultural heritage.
Minister St.Ange made the appeal during the official opening of the international day of the French-speaking countries, âLa Francophonie,â which falls on March 20.
In his speech to launch the week-long activities, Minister St.Ange said that âthe marketing of the Seychelles as a tourism destination should not solely showcase its beaches, sand, its dense vegetation, and endemic species, but that of its rich cultural heritage.â
Minister St.Ange also spoke about Seychelles' innovative concept of sustainable tourism, which is driven by the conservation of its natural and cultural assets.
According to the Minister, the foundation stone for this concept has already been laid. However, he noted, âIt is worth acknowledging that there are obstacles which need to be surmounted to rehabilitate the cultural heritage sites, which will give a better definition and character to the Seychelles scenery.â
It is with this vision in mind, said the Minister, that âSeychelles should gear its actions so that the international day dedicated to the âLa Francophonie' evolves not just for the promotion of French as a linguistic heritage but that of Seychelles' cultural and natural heritages.â
In October 2010, the President of the Republic of Seychelles James Michel, signed during the 13th summit of the French-speaking countries in Switzerland the linguistic pact, which among its main objectives, encourages the Seychelles population to use French as a supplementary language to English and Creole.
Minister St.Ange has praised the signing of this pact and has extended an invitation to the Seychellois community at large to âseize the opportunity of the week of La Francophonie to showcase their abilities to be trilingual in mastering the three national languages â French, English, and Creole.â
He had also appealed to the Seychellois artistes to âgrasp every opportunity offered by this pact to enroll in programs and competitions proposed by the international organization French speaking countries.â
In the presence of the Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, the President of the National Committee of âLa Francophonie,' who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Paul Adam, the French Ambassador to the Seychelles, Phillipe de Lacroix, dignitaries, and members of the diplomatic corps based in the Seychelles, Minister St.Ange extended his thanks and appreciation to his predecessor, Bernard Shamlaye for his leadership in supporting and coordinating activities to mark the âLa Francophonie 2012.'â
Seychelles, with a population of more than 80,000 people, is part of the 70-member countries of the International Organization of the French-speaking countries.
Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism & Culture