This feed does not validate.

In addition, interoperability with the widest range of feed readers could be improved by implementing the following recommendations.


  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  2. <rss version="2.0">
  3. <channel>
  4. <title>Seychelles News Agency</title>
  5. <link></link>
  6. <description>Real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Seychelles news.</description>
  7. <language>en</language>
  8. <copyright>2019 Seychelles News Agency</copyright>
  11. <item>
  12. <title>UAE donates $ 2 million to help Seychelles with specialised medical care</title>
  13. <link></link>
  14. <guid>12093</guid>
  15. <category>Health</category>
  16. <pubDate>Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:12:57 +0200</pubDate>
  17. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  18. <description><![CDATA[<p>Seychelles has received a $2 million donation from the United Arab Emirates to support medical specialisation.</p>
  19. <p>The handing over ceremony took place on Tuesday afternoon between the Seychelles’ health minister, Jean-Paul Adam, and the chargé d'affaires for UAE, Ahmed Saeed Alneyadi, at the Sheikh Khalifa diagnostic centre in Victoria.</p>
  20. <p>The Ministry of Health said the donation adds to the specialist Abu Dhabi Fund -- a special account set up in 2015 under which a number of specialists have been recruited to work in Seychelles.</p>
  21. <p>Adam said the donation will be used to finance the extension of the work being done by medical specialists already in Seychelles as well as to recruit new ones.</p>
  22. <p>He added that there is a need for more specialised care because of increasing incidences of non-communicable diseases. This leads to increased hospitalisation especially among the elderly as well as at the more at-risk population.</p>
  23. <p>“We have established an exemplary primary health care system which is often cited as an example of how a developing country can ensure access and equity for all its citizens towards health care. Our challenge today<br /> is about achieving the highest quality of care that is possible,” said Adam.</p>
  24. <p>As the Ministry has limited human resources, the support of the UAE was critical and the fund will help develop the long-term capacity of the health care sector, the minister added.</p>
  25. <p>For his part, the  chargé d'affaires of UAE said his country “placed strong focus and attention to the health sector as it aims to serve all citizens of Seychelles, providing them with comprehensive world-class health care.”</p>
  26. <p>Alneyadi said that UAE and Seychelles have been working closely with the health sector “towards achieving its national goals, which aims at maintaining the well-being of the people of Seychelles, with services that reflect innovation, sophistication and development, especially for services covering human health and physical, and psychological integrity.”</p>
  27. <p>In his address, Adam also described the project as transformative for Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, that allows the country to save its limited financial resources.</p>
  28. <p>“Since 2015 we have been able to establish new procedures in Seychelles that have saved money since we did not have to send patients overseas for treatment. We have also increased the level of expertise available in relation to diagnosis and this goes hand in hand with the other support we have received from the UAE which includes the diagnostic facilities, which opened in 2013,” said Adam.</p>
  29. <p>Since the fund was set up in 2015, over 29 specialists have been recruited including specialised care in ear, nose and throat, gynaecology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, neurology as well as recruitment of specialised physicians and nurses.</p>
  30. <p>The ministry has identified new areas of priority for the next phase. This will include cardiology, vascular surgery, oncology, head and neck surgery, emergency physicians, rheumatology and chest physicians.</p>
  31. <p>The second phase will also include placements and fellowships at UAE based hospitals for Seychellois specialists. In the Seychelles health care there are specialists from other countries such as India, and Morocco with 72 -- the highest number-- from Cuba. </p>
  32. <table style="height: 64px;" width="625">
  33. <tbody>
  34. <tr>
  35. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  36. </tr>
  37. <tr>
  38. <td>UAE also handed over a fireboat to the local Fire and Rescue services. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: <a href="" target="_blank">CC-BY</a></td>
  39. </tr>
  40. </tbody>
  41. </table>
  42. <p>On Tuesday, the UAE chargé d'affaires also handed over a 30-foot fireboat to the chief fire officer of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency. This is the first time the local fire services acquire a fireboat in its fire fighting fleet. </p>
  43. <p>The boat which can cater for six seated firefighters is fixed with a modern navigation system specifically equipped to take care of any fire emergencies on ships and ports.</p>]]></description>
  44. </item>
  46. <item>
  47. <title>As strike drags on, French government to unveil pension plan details</title>
  48. <link></link>
  49. <guid>12091</guid>
  50. <category>General</category>
  51. <pubDate>Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:10:37 +0200</pubDate>
  52. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  53. <description><![CDATA[<p>The French government will unveil the details of a pension reform plan Wednesday that has already seen workers down tools in anticipation, crippling transport for a week as hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest.</p>
  54. <p>A speedy resolution appears unlikely, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warning Tuesday -- the sixth day of an open-ended transport strike -- of a lengthy battle ahead as unions vowed not to yield.</p>
  55. <p>The industrial action has paralysed public transport in Paris and disrupted national rail services and grounded many planes.</p>
  56. <p>It is the biggest show of union force since President Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017 vowing to cut public spending and make the economy more competitive.</p>
  57. <p>On Tuesday, 339,000 people took part in a second day of demonstrations over government plans to merge the country's 42 pension schemes into one, according to interior ministry estimates.</p>
  58. <p>The numbers, which unions claimed were far greater, were markedly down from the first day of the strike on December 5, when more than 800,000 people took to the streets.</p>
  59. <p>Philippe is scheduled to announce the eagerly awaited details of the pensions overhaul at noon (1100 GMT).</p>
  60. <p>Some suggestions are already in the public domain.</p>
  61. <p>Jean-Paul Delevoye, whom Macron entrusted with leading the reform project, angered unions by suggesting scrapping the more advantageous pension provisions enjoyed by some professions -- including public transport and utilities workers, sailors, notaries, and Paris Opera performers.</p>
  62. <p>The government says the overhaul will make the retirement system fairer.</p>
  63. <p>On Tuesday, the premier cautioned there would be "no magic announcements" to bring the protests to a sudden halt.</p>
  64. <p>But he sought to reassure workers in sectors which enjoy earlier retirement or more generous pensions that the changes would be gradual.</p>
  65. <p>Those opposing the reform accuse former investment banker Macron of trying to roll back France's costly but highly cherished welfare state.</p>
  66. <p>The official retirement age in France is 62 -- one of the lowest among developed countries, and fiercely defended by the labour force.</p>
  67. <p><strong>- Concessions? -</strong></p>
  68. <p>France's famously militant unions have sounded an uncompromising note, insisting they will not call off the strike unless the reform is scrapped outright.</p>
  69. <p>The action has revived memories of three-week-long strikes over pension reform that crippled France in 1995, forcing the centre-right government of the day to reverse course.</p>
  70. <p>Teachers joined the industrial action Tuesday for the second time in a week, closing many schools.</p>
  71. <p>Julien Sergere, a 38-year-old teacher who marched in Paris, told AFP he was worried that a proposal to standardise the way pensions are calculated would leave teachers poorer.</p>
  72. <p>"Our wages are low and until now the advantage we had was that our pensions were calculated on the basis of the last six months of our career, which compensated a bit.</p>
  73. <p>"But today, they're talking about (basing calculations on) the last 25 years, which could make our pensions fall by between 500 and 900 euros ($550-1,100) a month on average," he said.</p>
  74. <p><strong>- More chaos ahead -</strong></p>
  75. <p>Disgruntled hospital workers, firefighters, students and "yellow vest" anti-government protesters also took part in Tuesday's rallies, reflecting the broad level of dissatisfaction with Macron's policies halfway through his mandate.</p>
  76. <p>Striking workers blocked seven of France's eight petrol refineries Tuesday, but the government said there had been no impact on petrol supplies.</p>
  77. <p>Public transport in the capital remained at a near standstill, causing much frustration for working commuters and tourists alike.</p>
  78. <p>On Wednesday, ten out of Paris' 16 metro lines will be offline, four will run reduced services, and the only two driverless lines will function as usual though with a high risk of congestion, according to operator RATP.</p>
  79. <p>The head of commuter trains at SNCF, Alain Krakovitch, warned he expected the chaos to continue "until the end of the week" but some labour leaders have vowed to fight through until Christmas.</p>
  80. <p>International trains will also be disrupted, the SNCF said.</p>
  81. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  82. </item>
  84. <item>
  85. <title>Pressured at home, Ethiopia PM picks up Nobel Peace Prize</title>
  86. <link></link>
  87. <guid>12089</guid>
  88. <category>Africa</category>
  89. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 15:13:26 +0200</pubDate>
  90. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  91. <description><![CDATA[<p>Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will collect his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Tuesday, but as ethnic violence rises at home he has kept festivities and meetings with the media to a minimum.</p>
  92. <p>Hailed as a modern, reformist leader, Abiy's decision to skip all events with the press has dismayed his Norwegian hosts.</p>
  93. <p>Africa's youngest leader at just 43, he is to receive the prestigious award at a ceremony in Oslo City Hall at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT), attended by the royal family and Norwegian public figures.</p>
  94. <p>The Nobel Committee announced in October it was honouring Abiy for his efforts to resolve the long-running conflict with neighbouring foe Eritrea.</p>
  95. <p>On July 9, 2018, following a historic meeting in Eritrea's capital Asmara, Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki formally ended a 20-year-old stalemate between their countries in the wake of the 1998-2000 border conflict.</p>
  96. <p>That was just three months after Abiy took office.</p>
  97. <p><strong>- 'New challenges' -</strong></p>
  98. <p>During the whip-fast rapprochement that followed, embassies reopened, flights resumed and meetings were held across the region.</p>
  99. <p>Abiy's actions sparked optimism on a continent marred by violence, and he went on to play an important mediation role in the Sudan crisis and attempted to revive a fragile peace deal in South Sudan.</p>
  100. <p>In stark contrast to his authoritarian predecessors, the early days of his mandate also saw a wave of democracy-boosting measures in Ethiopia, as he lifted the state of emergency, released dissidents from jail, apologised for state brutality and welcomed home exiled armed groups.</p>
  101. <p>He also established a national reconciliation committee and lifted a ban on some political parties.</p>
  102. <p>Abiy's reforms and visions lifted hopes far beyond his country's borders, but the "Abiymania" hype has faded somewhat and he is now facing major challenges.</p>
  103. <p>His vow to hold the first "free, fair and democratic" elections since 2005 in May could be threatened by ethnic violence.</p>
  104. <p>Less than two weeks after the Nobel announcement in October, anti-Abiy protests left 86 people dead.</p>
  105. <p>"The situation in Ethiopia has... new challenges but without challenges there is no way that we can do something new," Abiy told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on his arrival in Oslo.</p>
  106. <p>"We consider those challenges as a great opportunity to do something positive."</p>
  107. <p><strong>- Highly problematic -</strong></p>
  108. <p>Ahead of the elections, experts say the Ethiopian leader may now have to shift his attention away from the peace process.</p>
  109. <p>The regime of Isaias Afwerki, the only president Eritrea has ever known since independence, has given no sign of any kind of political opening.</p>
  110. <p>The land border between the two nations is once again closed, and the question of border demarcations remains unresolved.</p>
  111. <p>Faced with these challenges, Abiy has considerably shortened the traditional Nobel programme: he will only stay in Oslo for a day and a half, compared to more than three days for most laureates.</p>
  112. <p>And perhaps more importantly, the former officer and ex-intelligence chief has chosen to forego any events where the media could ask him questions.</p>
  113. <p>The traditional press conference held by the laureate on the eve of the ceremony has been stricken from the programme, and instead of fielding questions after meeting with Norway's prime minister Abiy will merely make a statement.</p>
  114. <p>Also gone are individual interviews with the media, and a question-and-answer session with youngsters under the aegis of Save The Children.</p>
  115. <p>The head of the Nobel Institute, Olav Njolstad, called the decision "highly problematic".</p>
  116. <p>"It's linked to the situation in his country and his personality: he's religious (Pentecostal) and does not want to put himself in the spotlight," Njolstad told AFP.</p>
  117. <p>"In the eyes of the (Nobel) Committee, a free press and freedom of expression are essential conditions for a lasting peace in a democracy, and so it's strange for a Peace Prize laureate to not want to speak to the press," he added.</p>
  118. <p>Abiy's entourage said it was "quite challenging" for a sitting leader to spend several days at such an event, especially when "domestic issues are pressing and warrant attention".</p>
  119. <p>"(On) a personal level, the humble disposition of the Prime Minister rooted in our cultural context is not in alignment with the very public nature of the Nobel award," his press secretary Billene Seyoum said.</p>
  120. <p>The Nobel Peace Prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor (850,000 euros, $945,000).</p>
  121. <p>The other Nobel prizes for literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and economics will also be handed over on Tuesday, but in Stockholm.</p>
  122. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  123. </item>
  125. <item>
  126. <title>President of Seychelles highlights country's achievements in Blue Economy at summit in Kenya</title>
  127. <link></link>
  128. <guid>12088</guid>
  129. <category>General</category>
  130. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 14:05:38 +0200</pubDate>
  131. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  132. <description><![CDATA[<p>President Danny Faure highlighted Seychelles' achievements in the Blue Economy in a presidential dialogue at the ACP Business summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, State House said on Monday.</p>
  133. <p>The presidential dialogue held on Sunday was on the implementation of investment plans and concrete projects to promote industrialisation in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.</p>
  134. <p>Faure focused his interventions on investment in the Blue Economy in which Seychelles has secured innovating financing, including the $15 million Blue Bonds proceeds and the $800,000 grant under the African Development Bank Fund for Africa private sector assistance.</p>
  135. <p>The Seychelles’ head of state also answered panel questions on climate change response and preparation and said that “most ACP countries are unprepared for the devastating effects of climate change.”</p>
  136. <p>The President of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is attending the 9th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) summit of heads of state and government which started on Monday and ends on Tuesday.</p>
  137. <p>The theme for the summit is “A Transformed ACP: Committed to Multilateralism.”</p>
  138. <p>Earlier on Monday, Faure was taken on a guided tour of the ACP Village set up in the margins of the Business Summit. The ACP Village showcased the various products, programmes and services available some of the member countries.</p>
  139. <table style="height: 64px;" width="631">
  140. <tbody>
  141. <tr>
  142. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  143. </tr>
  144. <tr>
  145. <td>Faure on a guided tour of the ACP village. (State House/Facebook) Photo License: <a href="" target="_blank">CC-BY</a></td>
  146. </tr>
  147. </tbody>
  148. </table>
  149. <p>The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is an organisation created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. It is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the "ACP-EC Partnership Agreement" which binds them to the European Union. There are 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.</p>
  150. <p>In the margins of the summit, Faure held bilateral discussions with Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica. Both countries agreed to share a close engagement during the negotiation for a new ACP-EU partnership agreement, with the aim of promoting the unity of the African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States and collaborating on SIDS issues at the ACP level.</p>
  151. <p>Faure also met with Steven Davis, Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and discussed the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries which they regretted should have taken place much earlier. In noting the impacts of climate change for Pacific island states, the Deputy Prime Minister welcomed the possibilities for areas of cooperation with Seychelles on tourism and climate change. </p>
  152. <p>Faure will return on December 11.</p>]]></description>
  153. </item>
  155. <item>
  156. <title>Gender-based violence cases rising in Seychelles, must be addressed, official says</title>
  157. <link></link>
  158. <guid>12075</guid>
  159. <category>General</category>
  160. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:00:23 +0200</pubDate>
  161. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  162. <description><![CDATA[<p>Gender-based violence is a serious issue in Seychelles affecting many families and is a matter which is deeply rooted in gender inequality, said a high government official.</p>
  163. <p>Activists around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.</p>
  164. <p>It is a daily reality for the "many women and girls who suffer in silence, behind closed doors, at the hand of those who are supposed to love and protect them. Violence against women and girls continues to increase according to the number of cases reported nationwide," the principal secretary for family affairs, Marie-Josee Bonne, told SNA via email.</p>
  165. <p>For the first three quarters of the year, 356 family violence cases were registered before the respective tribunal, nine more than for the same period in 2018.</p>
  166. <p>Bonne also told SNA that some domestic violence even result in death.</p>
  167. <p>"There have been a few cases where women have lost their lives due to domestic violence - a lady at Anse Boileau whose body was chopped and dumped in Caiman River, a lady who was found dead in her home at Pointe Larue. There is also the incident which occurred on January 1 or 2, where a woman died in hospital as a result of being hit by her partner," said Bonne.</p>
  168. <p>She noted that during 2019 there were several cases where men have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.</p>
  169. <p>In the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Geneva from October 21 to November 8, the Seychelles delegation informed the committee of measures being taken to tackle this problem.</p>
  170. <p>A National Domestic Violence Bill has been submitted to the National Assembly. The bill focuses on domestic violence and is not limited only to violence against women and girls but also provides protection to male victims. The Bill is before parliament for consideration in the first quarter of 2020. </p>
  171. <p>"There is ongoing discussion and procedures to build a one-stop centre for women and girl victims of gender-based violence. The proposed amendments to the Children Act, which will ban corporal punishment of girls and boys as well as reasonable chastisements by parents," said Bonne.</p>
  172. <p>In November last year, the only official shelter for women who were victims of gender-based violence opened its doors with the financial support of the European Union.  </p>
  173. <p>Bonne and her team have also completed a pilot study on the economic costs of gender-based violence.</p>
  174. <p>Sensitisation campaigns are carried out throughout the year to educate and empower women. This included adverts, television spots and short documentaries on media and talks in workplaces among others.</p>
  175. <p>The Family Tribunal makes provision for the protection from domestic violence in civil cases. As a special court, the Family Tribunal has some advantages over the Courts, as its proceeding are less formal, more flexible, less expensive and resolves disputes speedily.</p>
  176. <p>The Gender Secretariat has received support to undertake research work from local and international organisations.  The Gender-Based Violence National Baseline Study 2016 was done conjointly with South Africa's Genderlinks and the National Bureau of Statistics.  </p>]]></description>
  177. </item>
  179. <item>
  180. <title>Suu Kyi heads to Hague court for genocide showdown</title>
  181. <link></link>
  182. <guid>12086</guid>
  183. <category>General</category>
  184. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Dec 2019 08:06:41 +0200</pubDate>
  185. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  186. <description><![CDATA[<p>Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is set Tuesday to personally defend Myanmar in The Hague against accusations of genocide, in a remarkable fall from grace for the woman once hailed as a rights icon.</p>
  187. <p>Myanmar's civilian leader will appear at the International Court of Justice as the Buddhist state disputes claims that it tried to exterminate minority Rohingya Muslims in a 2017 military crackdown.</p>
  188. <p>The west African state of Gambia has launched the first bid to bring Myanmar to international justice over the bloodshed, accusing the southeast Asian nation of breaching the 1948 Genocide Convention.</p>
  189. <p>Protests by opponents and supporters are expected outside the UN's top court for the arrival of Suu Kyi, who was once mentioned in the same breath as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.</p>
  190. <p>The 74-year-old's international reputation has been tarnished by her silence over the plight of the Rohingya, and her defence of the same generals who once kept her under house arrest.</p>
  191. <p>The case will also be watched in Bangladesh, where around 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee into sprawling camps by the bloody campaign in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state.</p>
  192. <p>"I demand justice from the world," said Nur Karima, a Rohingya refugee whose brothers and grandparents were killed in a massacre in the village of Tula Toli in August 2017.</p>
  193. <p>"I want to see the convicts go to the gallows. They killed us mercilessly," Saida Khatun, another refugee from Tula Toli, told AFP.</p>
  194. <p>UN investigators last year branded the Rohingya crackdown genocide.</p>
  195. <p><strong>- 'Mass murder and rape' -</strong></p>
  196. <p>The three-day hearing promises to be a historic one for the ICJ, which was set up in 1946 to adjudicate disputes between UN member states.</p>
  197. <p>Muslim-majority Gambia, acting on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, is due to speak on Tuesday, when it will ask the court for emergency measures to stop Myanmar's "ongoing genocidal actions".</p>
  198. <p>"The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence," Gambia said in its submission to the court.</p>
  199. <p>The move comes ahead of a wider case that could take years.</p>
  200. <p>Suu Kyi's office has said she will "defend the national interests of Myanmar" as she becomes one of the first national leaders to lead their country's defence at the court.</p>
  201. <p>She is due to speak on Wednesday, and is expected to argue that the court has no jurisdiction and that Myanmar was targeting Rohingya militants.</p>
  202. <p>While it risks drawing further criticism abroad, Suu Kyi's decision to go to court has won plaudits in Myanmar, where the Rohingya are widely viewed as illegal immigrants.</p>
  203. <p>Thousands of supporters have rallied for her at home and pro-Suu Kyi billboards have appeared around the country. Fans have even booked tours to The Hague.</p>
  204. <p><strong>- 'Rohingyas have been wronged' -</strong></p>
  205. <p>Potentially working in her favour is the fact that genocide is hard to prove in law, with ICJ judges having only once before ruled that genocide was committed, in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia.</p>
  206. <p>Myanmar, however, faces a number of legal challenges over the fate of the Rohingya, including a probe by the International Criminal Court -- a separate war crimes tribunal in The Hague -- and a lawsuit in Argentina.</p>
  207. <p>Suu Kyi's appearance at the ICJ will be a far cry from her previous visits to Europe.</p>
  208. <p>The daughter of Myanmar independence hero Aung San, Suu Kyi was the face of the opposition to the brutal junta after protests in 1988, earning her the nickname "The Lady", the Nobel in 1991, and plaudits abroad.</p>
  209. <p>After 15 years of house arrest the army finally freed her in 2010, and she led her party to victory in landmark 2015 elections.</p>
  210. <p>But her silence over the Rohingya has led to calls for her to be stripped of her Nobel, while Canada revoked her honorary citizenship.</p>
  211. <p>"The best Suu Kyi can do to restore her image in the eyes of the world is to say the Rohingyas have been wronged," said Abdul Malik Mujahid, an imam who heads the US-based Burmese Task Force.</p>
  212. <p>"Without that her defence will be laughable."</p>
  213. <p>© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  214. </item>
  216. <item>
  217. <title>Seychelles' top official recognised with award at global climate change conference</title>
  218. <link></link>
  219. <guid>12085</guid>
  220. <category>General</category>
  221. <pubDate>Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:16:31 +0200</pubDate>
  222. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  223. <description><![CDATA[<p>Seychellois Wills Agricole has won one of the first-ever Green Champion awards launched by the Green Climate Fund, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change said.</p>
  224. <p>Agricole, who is the Seychelles' principal secretary for Energy and Climate Change, received his Transformational Country Green champion award on Friday in Spain.The principal secretary is part of the island nation's delegation attending the United Nations climate change conference (COP25) from December 2-13 in Madrid.  </p>
  225. <p>When receiving the award, Agricole expressed pride in the Seychelles' climate action thus far.</p>
  226. <p>The award recognises dedication towards effective coordination of climate action from a small island developing state and Agricole said that it "stands as a pillar of my life's work and denotes Seychelles' sustainability credentials fulfilled so far and spotlights the urgent need to find solutions to the climate emergency."</p>
  227. <p>He added that he would like "to be remembered for contributing to climate solutions during a crisis period and in driving climate transformation in Seychelles and the world."</p>
  228. <p>The first Green Champions awards recognise and promote the most noteworthy and successful efforts to combat climate change. Recognition is also given to outstanding individuals and organisations driving climate transformation. Six awards were given overall.</p>
  229. <p>The awards promote initiatives that stand as examples of environmental, social and business-led commitments of climate action. This includes activities limiting or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage adaptation to climate impacts.</p>
  230. <p>The principal secretary said he is committed to pushing for a robust outcome at COP 25 for enhanced and ambitious climate action that is acceptable to all, in light of the climate emergency.</p>
  231. <p>Agricole's areas of expertise are meteorology and climate change mitigation, adaptation and international climate change negotiations. He became  the principal secretary of environment and energy in 2012 till 2015 when he was appointed as principal secretary for energy and climate change.</p>
  232. <p>In February, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, officially launch it's <a href="">National Climate Change Policy Framework </a>to meet the country’s climate change challenges. The policy is aimed at providing a blueprint to build climate change resilience in Seychelles in collaboration with regional and global partners</p>
  233. <p>The other five categories in the award were Climate Youth Champion; Climate Gender Champion; Climate Community Champion; Climate Entrepreneur Champion and Climate Lifetime achievement Champion. </p>]]></description>
  234. </item>
  236. <item>
  237. <title>Creole singer Sonny Morgan, who infused Seychelles into his music, is living life at his own pace</title>
  238. <link></link>
  239. <guid>12026</guid>
  240. <category>The Interview</category>
  241. <pubDate>Mon, 09 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0200</pubDate>
  242. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  243. <description><![CDATA[<p>Creole music infused with reggae vibes was a la une at this year's Creole festival as a Seychellois artist with international hits – Sonny Morgan – enthralled fans. Morgan performed at the festival which was held the last week of October.</p>
  244. <p>Through his music Morgan has demonstrated how the traditional Indian Ocean "Sega" music of the island nation can be blended with more modern influences to create a potent sound.</p>
  245. <p>Morgan is renowned for his unique style, and originality is very important to him. Although founded on a Reggae/Sega beat, the artist continues to experiment with integrating different musical styles such as the Blues into his music.</p>
  246. <p>SNA spoke to the artist whose songwriting talent has been recognised internationally – he won first prize in the prestigious "Unisong" international songwriting contest in America and has also won similar awards in Australia.</p>
  247. <p> </p>
  248. <p><em><strong>SNA: Tell us a bit about yourself your background and childhood.</strong></em></p>
  249. <p>SM: I was born on La Digue. I left Seychelles as a minor with my parents who went to Australia. By the age of 14, I could not carry on with my education and at the same time, my mother came back to Seychelles. I was left in a foster home and at 14 years old after seeking permission I started to work so that I could pay my way.</p>
  250. <p> </p>
  251. <p><em><strong>SNA: Music-wise when and how did it all start?</strong></em></p>
  252. <p>SM: Music was always there. I started at a very young age and did my first gig on La Digue at the age of 12 and got paid 15 rupees ($1). And things got more serious when I returned to Australia and where in the early seventies I formed a group where we played at the Seychelles club and weddings.</p>
  253. <p> </p>
  254. <p><em><strong>SNA: Describe your life as a Seychellois artist in such a huge country as Australia.</strong></em></p>
  255. <p>SM: In 1973, I went to Perth and started to take my music to another level and played with people who had more experiences in the music industry. I then joined the Islanders band and by 1974 I started to work as a professional doing up to 13 gigs a week, working in hotels and night clubs as well.</p>
  256. <p>So then I went back to Melbourne and started playing with different players mainly rock-orientated music. By 1982 I got tired of doing covers and went to the recording studio for the first time. A year later, I recorded my first single with Martin Clark who owned Clarion Records. This was followed by my first cassette album entitled Coco de Mer. One year later I had another cassette out called La Digue.  </p>
  257. <table style="height: 64px;" width="609">
  258. <tbody>
  259. <tr>
  260. <td><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="" /></td>
  261. </tr>
  262. <tr>
  263. <td>
  264. <p>Morgan is renowned for his unique style, and originality is very important to him. (Sonny Morgan) Photo License: <a href="" target="_blank">All Rights Reserved</a> </p>
  265. </td>
  266. </tr>
  267. </tbody>
  268. </table>
  269. <p> </p>
  270. <p><strong>SNA: What are the highlights of your musical career?</strong></p>
  271. <p>SM: In 1989 Martin Clarke told me: let's have a crack at the UK and European market. By then the album Coco de Mer was recorded and had tracks in reggae styles. A record deal was negotiated and I got my first record contract. The album was released in early 1990 and I was the first Seychellois to get a record contract and the first to release on a CD. Well, the rest is history, signed by a German label for two albums: Island People and Sega Nights in 1994. I then moved to Gotham Records and released This World is For Everyone in 2002, Tropical Experience in 2004 and Ras Digwa 2007 amongst others.</p>
  272. <p>In all, I have 13 albums along 126 registered songs with Apra Gemma and SACS. I have also won several awards at Unisongs contest including Wammi Australian Award for World Music in 2000. Sadly Seychelles is the only place that I haven't had any recognition yet but as the saying goes _plus tot tard que jamais!_</p>
  273. <p> </p>
  274. <p><em><strong>SNA:  How do you describe yourself and the progress made over the years?</strong></em></p>
  275. <p>SM:  Long term listeners to my music can hear the evolution of my music over the last 20 years. Whilst I have kept to my original Sega roots, my music has taken on a 21st-century beat. My music is no longer only appreciated in the Indian Ocean, but is succeeding in the US and European markets with haunting songs like "War War War" and the reflections of a coming of age modern businessman with "Clean Cut" - not forgetting "Rasta Man" with guest vocals from the charismatic 'Aswon' and a fantastic video to accompany it.</p>
  276. <p> </p>
  277. <p><em><strong>SNA: And your plans for the future?</strong></em></p>
  278. <p>SM: Now I am semiretired and my days are spent here - on Praslin, my adopted island, and Australia. I have the luxury of time to write songs for what I believe in. I am not under pressure from producers or record companies to come up with crappy hit songs, Radio Gaga songs, etc. (laughs). I'm not with any labels, so everything is calm, am enjoying my gardening and I do not like noisy neighbours with loud music.</p>
  279. <p> </p>
  280. <p><em><strong>SNA: And what do you think of the musical scene here?</strong></em></p>
  281. <p>SM: I hope the real music doesn't disappear and what is left is only manufactured laptop music which everyone can produce. </p>]]></description>
  282. </item>
  284. <item>
  285. <title>Indian Ocean island Mayotte lifts cyclone red alert</title>
  286. <link></link>
  287. <guid>12083</guid>
  288. <category>Indian Ocean</category>
  289. <pubDate>Mon, 09 Dec 2019 08:18:03 +0200</pubDate>
  290. <enclosure url="" type="image/jpeg" />
  291. <description><![CDATA[<p>Officials on the small Indian Ocean island of Mayotte said Sunday they had lifted the red alert in place for Cyclone Belna, after it brushed past the French territory.<br /><br />Officials had told islanders to keep off the roads and stay indoors earlier as they declared a red alert in the expectation that the cyclone would hit the island.<br /><br />Island officials have not yet said how much damage the storm caused on Mayotte, which is home to a quarter of a million people. <br /><br />While early forecasts had suggested the cyclone would hit the island full-on, the latest prediction from France-Meteo -- that it would veer further south and miss the island -- proved more accurate, Mayotte's governor Jean-Francois Colombet said.<br /><br />The cyclone is now 100 kilometres (60 miles) away from the island, but officials still advised islanders to be careful.<br /><br />Many schools were to be closed Monday because some were being used as emergency shelters for between 10,000 and 15,000 of the islanders most vulnerable to possible damage caused by Belna.<br /><br />But island officials said that barges linking the different islands would resume Monday. <br /><br />In the run-up to the arrival of the cyclone, most people had heeded the official advice to stay indoors and off the streets, Colombet told a local newspaper. <br /><br />The island's 256,000 inhabitants had also been advised to stock up on drinking water.<br /><br />After Mayotte, the cyclone was forecast on Monday to hit the neighbouring Comoros archipelago then the island of Madagascar. They issued orange and yellow alerts respectively.<br /><br />Mayotte's airport has been closed, and the island's roads declared off-limits from Sunday afternoon.<br /><br />This will be the third cyclone to hit the island in 50 years, Colombet said.<br /><br />The Comoros government announced an orange alert for the island of Anjouan, while the archipelago's other two islands were placed on a lesser yellow alert.<br /><br />The authorities called on the population to take the usual precautions: shutter windows and doors, stock up on provisions and prepare to take refuge in mosques, schools or others homes if necessary.<br /><br />The archipelago was struck by Cyclone Kenneth in April, killing at least three people before it continued on to Mozambique, where it caused widespread damage.<br /><br />Cyclone Belna is expected to land on Madagascar's northwest coastal region of Boeny on Monday afternoon.<br /><br />Madagascar's northern tourism island of Nosy Be was also expected to be affected.<br /><br />The country's transport ministry called on fishermen not to take to the sea because of fierce winds.<br /><br />© Agence France-Presse</p>]]></description>
  292. </item>
  293. </channel>
  294. </rss>
Copyright © 2002-9 Sam Ruby, Mark Pilgrim, Joseph Walton, and Phil Ringnalda