[Country map of Seychelles]



Location: Eastern Africa, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar

Map references: Africa

total area: 455 sq km
land area: 455 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 491 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: claims Tromelin Island

Climate: tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May)

Terrain: Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Natural resources: fish, copra, cinnamon trees

Land use:
arable land: 4%
permanent crops: 18%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 18%
other: 60%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: no natural fresh water resources, catchments collect rain water
natural hazards: lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; short droughts possible
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification

Note: 40 granitic and about 50 coralline islands


Population: 72,709 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32% (female 11,630; male 11,811)
15-64 years: 62% (female 23,229; male 21,679)
65 years and over: 6% (female 2,875; male 1,485) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.81% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 21.35 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.7 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.08 years
male: 66.54 years
female: 73.73 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.16 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Seychellois (singular and plural)
adjective: Seychelles

Ethnic divisions: Seychellois (mixture of Asians, Africans, Europeans)

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Anglican 8%, other 2%

Languages: English (official), French (official), Creole

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1971)
total population: 58%
male: 56%
female: 60%

Labor force: 27,700 (1985)
by occupation: industry and commerce 31%, services 21%, government 20%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 12%, other 16% (1985)


conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles
conventional short form: Seychelles

Digraph: SE

Type: republic

Capital: Victoria

Administrative divisions: 23 administrative districts; Anse aux Pins, Anse Boileau, Anse Etoile, Anse Louis, Anse Royale, Baie Lazare, Baie Sainte Anne, Beau Vallon, Bel Air, Bel Ombre, Cascade, Glacis, Grand' Anse (on Mahe Island), Grand' Anse (on Praslin Island), La Digue, La Riviere Anglaise, Mont Buxton, Mont Fleuri, Plaisance, Pointe Larue, Port Glaud, Saint Louis, Takamaka

Independence: 29 June 1976 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day, 18 June (1993) (adoption of new constitution)

Constitution: 18 June 1993

Legal system: based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law

Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President France Albert RENE (since 5 June 1977); election last held 20-23 July 1993 (next to be held NA); results - President France Albert RENE (SPPF) reelected with 59.5% of the vote, Sir James MANCHAM (DP) 36.72%
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral
People's Assembly (Assemblee du Peuple): elections last held 20-23 July 1993 (next to be held NA); results - SPPF 82%, DP 15%, UO 3%; seats - (33 total, 22 elected, 11 awarded) seats elected - SPPF 21, DP 1; seats awarded - SPPF 6, DP 4, UO 1; total seats by party - SPPF 27, DP 5, UO 1
note: the 11 awarded seats are apportioned according to the share of each party in the total vote

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: ruling party - Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF), France Albert RENE; Democratic Party (DP), Sir James MANCHAM; United Opposition (UO), Annette GEORGES - a coalition of the following parties: Seychelles Party (PS), Wavel RAMKALAWAN; Seychelles Democratic Movement (MSPD), Jacques HONDOUL; Seychelles Liberal Party (SLP), Ogilvie BERLOUIS;;

Other political or pressure groups: trade unions; Roman Catholic Church


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marc R. MARENGO
chancery: (temporary) 820 Second Avenue, Suite 900F, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 687-9766, 9767
FAX: [1] (212) 922-9177

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Carl Burton STOKES
embassy: 4th Floor, Victoria House, Box 251, Victoria, Mahe
mailing address: Box 148, Unit 62501, Victoria, Seychelles; APO AE 09815-2501
telephone: [248] 225256
FAX: [248] 225189

Flag: three horizontal bands of red (top), white (wavy), and green; the white band is the thinnest, the red band is the thickest


Overview: Since independence in 1976, per capita output has grown to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level, led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labor force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the high dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf war. Although the industry has rebounded, the government recognizes the continuing need for upgrading the sector in the face of stiff international competition.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $430 million (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: -2% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $6,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 9% (1987)

revenues: $227.4 million
expenditures: $263 million, including capital expenditures of $54 million (1993 est.)

Exports: $50 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: fish, cinnamon bark, copra, petroleum products (re-exports)
partners: France 43%, UK 22%, Reunion 11%, (1992)

Imports: $261 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: manufactured goods, food, petroleum products, tobacco, beverages, machinery and transportation equipment
partners: Singapore 16%, Bahrain 16%, South Africa, 14%, UK 13% (1992)

External debt: $181 million (1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 4% (1992); accounts for 12% of GDP

capacity: 30,000 kW
production: 110 million kWh
consumption per capita: 1,399 kWh (1993)

Industries: tourism, processing of coconut and vanilla, fishing, coir rope factory, boat building, printing, furniture, beverage

Agriculture: accounts for 5% of GDP, mostly subsistence farming; cash crops - coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla; other products - sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas; broiler chickens; large share of food needs imported; expansion of tuna fishing under way

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY78-89), $26 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1978-89), $315 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $5 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $60 million

Currency: 1 Seychelles rupee (SRe) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Seychelles rupees (SRe) per US$1 - 4.9371 (January 1995), 5.0559 (1994), 5.1815 (1993), 5.1220 (1992), 5.2893 (1991), 5.3369 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: 260 km
paved: 160 km
unpaved: crushed stone, earth 100 km

Ports: Victoria

Merchant marine: none

total: 14
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 5
with paved runways under 914 m: 6
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2


Telephone system: 13,000 telephones; direct radio communications with adjacent islands and African coastal countries
local: NA
intercity: radio communications
international: 1 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 2
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Presidential Protection Unit, Police Force

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 19,829; males fit for military service 10,099 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $12 million, 4% of GDP (1990 est.)