The Botanical Garden in Victoria is a renowned destination that houses 280 tree species and attracts many visitors to Seychelles. President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame were honored guests at the National Day event, which they attended following their arrival in the country on the 28th of June.
During their visit, both heads of state held a productive closed-door meeting and witnessed the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in various areas of mutual benefit, including tourism, security and defense, health, and agriculture.
One of the significant agreements reached was the signing of an MoU between the two countries, facilitating visa exemption for their citizens. President Ramkalawan commended President Kagame for his exemplary leadership, which he believes showcases the presence of great leaders in Africa.
Both leaders reiterated their commitment to continue working together, fostering stronger collaborations for the benefit of their respective countries. They emphasized their shared vision and highlighted their membership in major international organizations such as La Francophonie and the Commonwealth.
Seychelles’ National Day, also known as Independence Day, is observed as a public holiday on June 29th. This day marks the country’s independence from Britain in 1976. Previously, until 2015, the National Day was celebrated on Constitution Day, commemorating the adoption of the new constitution on June 18th, 1993.
The history of Seychelles dates back to Vasco da Gama’s charting of the islands in 1503, when he named them the Admiral Islands. Over the next 150 years, various European nations vied for control of the islands due to their strategic location in the Indian Ocean.
In 1754, at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, the French established a colony on the main island, Mahé. However, in April 1811, the British took control of Seychelles after gaining control of other French colonies in the region. Despite becoming a British Crown Colony in 1903, Seychelles maintained its French identity in terms of language and culture.
The movement for independence gained momentum during the Second World War but reached its peak in the 1960s. After elections in 1974, during which both political parties campaigned for independence, Seychelles negotiated an agreement with the British.
This agreement led to Seychelles becoming an independent republic within the Commonwealth on June 29th, 1976. Every year, Independence Day serves as a significant milestone in the country’s history, commemorating its journey towards self-determination.