‚ÄúPeace and stability are the platforms on which we can build truly inclusive growth for Africa, and we salute the efforts of Japan which complement those of our African Union,‚Äù said Seychelles President James Michel.
President Michel made these remarks during the 5th Tokyo International Conference for African Development in Yokohama, during a plenary session on peace and stability.
Mr. Michel said that political instability and conflict nurtures terrorism and other illicit activities such as trade of arms and narcotics, human trafficking, and maritime piracy, which are by their nature transnational threats.
The President noted that Seychelles is continuing to contribute to the process of establishing stability in the region. He informed the conference that Seychelles recently launched the Regional Anti-Piracy and Prosecution Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC) ‚Äì which is aimed at ‚Äúensnaring not only the ‚Äòfoot soldiers‚Äô but the financiers of transnational crimes that use the ocean as their conduit for illicit activities.‚Äù
He called for the strengthening of cross-border maritime law enforcement as well as the improvement of judicial systems in the region.
Furthermore, President Michel applauded Japan for convening the special conference on Somalia as part of TICAD V, as it provided additional momentum to the progress achieved at the London Conference on Somalia earlier this month.
Mr. Michel also commended the Somalia government for the progress it has made to establish law and order in the country.
‚ÄúWe salute the efforts of the government in Somalia to take ownership in the task of rebuilding from the ground up. A legitimate government has been implemented; Al Shabab is losing ground, pirates are being prosecuted and incarcerated, and piracy attacks are on the decline. We must also continue to highlight the positive role which can be played by Somalia‚Äôs immediate neighborhood, of which Seychelles is part.‚Äù
Mr. Michel reiterated his previous call for TICAD V to give particular focus to the concept of the ‚Äúblue economy,‚Äù for African nations to secure their oceans and harness their valuable resources in a sustainable way.
‚ÄúWe want to keep maritime routes open and safe at all times for trade, fisheries, tourism, research, and natural resources development. If secured and used sustainably, Africa‚Äôs oceans offer vast opportunities for growth, and feed into Africa‚Äôs greater peace and stability,‚Äù the Seychelles President said.
During his attendance of TICAD V, President James Michel also visited the Seychelles booths in the JETRO African trade fair concurrently taking place in Yokohama. Seychelles‚Äô Beijing Embassy prepared and coordinated Seychelles‚Äô participation in the fair, which showcases Seychelles products including rum, tuna, and vanilla/lemon grass tea. Beijing‚Äôs Seychelles Tourism Board representatives were also present. The booths seek to highlight some of Seychelles’ trade and investment opportunities.