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GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, DEMOGRAPHY, ECONOMY, POLITICS, FLAGS
GEOGRAPHY

Seychelles Archipelago is located between 4 and10 degrees south of the equator on the eastcoast of Africa. It extends from a marine zone of about 1.4 million km2 in the western Indian Ocean.
The islands of the Seychelles, both granitic and coralline are situated on an underwater plateau called the Seychelles Plateau.
The islands are divided in 2 groups:

- 43 « Inner Islands» of coral (Bird and Denis) or granite formation located within 90 kilometers from the main island Mahé with it’s contrasted landscape of coves and mountains; the highest being Morne Seychellois culminating at 905m and located on Mahe island. This is where Victoria the Capital is located with 90% of the population. The majority of people live on the 3 major islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. The inner granite islands comprise of islands such as Cerf, Round and Frigate Islands. These green, tropical forest covered islands are hilly and mountainous and have fine white sandy beaches often framed with huge granite boulders.
- 72 coral islands or « Outer Islands» including Alphonse, Saint Francois and Bijoutier islands are 3 outlying islands that make up the Alphonse group. The other outlying islands make up the other 4 groups : Amirantes (24 islands and islets including Desroches island), Meridional coralline islands (Platte and Coetivy islands), Farquhar group (Providence and Farquhar islands), Aldabra
Group (Aldabra, Assumption, Astove and Cosmoledo islands).
These coral islands are flat and almost at sea level and have very few people living on them. A few are being developed for tourism with exclusive resorts.

 
CLIMATE

The Seychelles benefit from an equatorial oceanic climate, warm and humid all year round.
Temperatures are generally between 24 and 31°C, with sea temps between 27 and 29 ° C.
The lush vegetation and forests on the granitic islands reflects the important amount of sunshine and rain that fall on the islands. There could however be some drought periods. As the principal islands are situated outside the cyclone belt, heavy storms are rare in the area. There are two seasons during the year and their transitions are probably the calmest and pleasant period during the year:
- the South East trade winds blow from May to October which is the Austral winter. July and August are the coolest months of the year.
- the Austral summer is from November to April. This is the warmest and most humid time of the year. The sea is calm, warm but it is also the rainy season.
Whatever the time of year, the weather is very changeable and conditions may vary from island to island.

DEMOGRAPHY
The Seychelles population are from very diverse ethnic origins and come mainly from Europe (French, English), Africa, India, and China. The majority of seychellois are Roman Catholic. Around 9% of residents in Seychelles are non- Seychellois. The predominant nationality among non-Seychellois is Indian. Indians represent just over half of all non-nationals.
In 2010, the population density was estimated to be around 212 inhabitants / km. (This does not take into account the uninhabited areas, e.g., land under environmental protection). As of 31st December 2016 the population stood at 94,206 ( in 1903, it was 19,232, Praslin having 1621 inhabitants). In comparison de 2015, the country has a population growth of +1.1 % mainly due to strong immigration and a high birth rate. Average life expectancy is 74 yrs, and the fertility rate is 2.78 children per woman. The birth rate is 17.4 %, the mortality rate is 7.9 % , and infant mortality rate is 13.4 % according to the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics www.nbs.gov.sc.

ECONOMY
Tourism is the main source of revenue for the Seychelles (276,500 tourists in 2015). This is followed by fishing, Victoria being the main tuna processing and transhipment port in the Indian Ocean. Offshore financial services also generate income. 90% of exports are to the European Union and tuna represents 95% of those exports. Since 2008, the Seychelles have embarked on a series of macro economic reforms to stabilise the economy and the currency and the results have been very positive; in 2015 growth was at 3.5%, inflation is under control, the budget deficit is being reduced, the balance of payments is in the positive, and the foreign currency reserves are on the rise. In April 2015, the Seychelles became the 161st member of the World Trade Organisation.

POLITICS
The president is the head of state and head fo the government. He is directly elected by the people and serves a term of 5 years. He appoints 12 ministers to his cabinet. The Constitution provides for a separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial sections of government.
The National Assembly is the legislative body and comprises of 33 members, 25 of which are elected directly by the people and 8 seats are allocated on a proportional basis. The “Parti Lepep”, whose leader is the Vice-President Vincent Meriton, have 14 seats in the National Assembly while the LDS party, “Linyon Demokratik Seselwa”, lead by M Wavel Ramkalawan have 19 seats.
The country is divided into 25 districts. The Seychelles are members of the UN, the African Union, The Commonwealth and La Francophonie.
The country has embassies in Paris, New York, Brussels, New Delhi, Pekin, Pretoria and London and consulates in many more countries.

FLAG
On Independence Day June 29, 1976, the country had a new flag. It had alternating blue and red triangles. In 1977, when president James Mancham was overthrown by France-Albert René, the old flag was abolished and the red, white and green flag of the Seychelles People’s United Party (SPUP) came into use and it had a distinct wavy white stripe.
In 1996, all political parties at the time pushed for a new national flag which was adopted by the National Assembly on the 18th of June. The flag consists of five different coloured bands (green, white, red, yellow and blue) starting from one end and diverging towards the other end. The colours used in the current flag are the official colours of two of the nation’s major political parties: the red, white and green are the official colors of the SPUP (Seychelles Peoples United Party). The blue and the yellow are the colours of the country’s Democratic Party. The oblique bands symbolise a dynamic new country moving into the future.
However another interpretation is that the colour blue depicts the sky and the sea that surrounds the Seychelles, Yellow is for the sun
which gives light and life, red symbolises the people and their determination to work for the future in unity and love, while the white band represents social justice and harmony. The green depicts the land and natural environment.