African Development Bank report validates COVID-19 decisions by Seychelles’ government
A report for Seychelles entitled “COVID-19 Impact Assessment & Recovery Strategies” validates measures taken by the government to stabilise the economy and budget, as well as increase economic resilience, said a top official.
Prepared by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, the study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of Seychelles. It focused on the key productive sectors of the economy, namely tourism, fisheries and manufacturing.
The Seychelles’ finance minister, Naadir Hassan, said on Tuesday during the launch that “the timing of this report is most opportune, as it coincides with national efforts to relaunch the economy, as we look ahead to unlocking new areas of potential economic growth found in the Digital Economy, Blue Economy and Fisheries, Agriculture, Financial Services.”
“The onset of COVID-19 has brought on a new landscape and reality, in which all economies, small and large, have had to adapt and rise to the occasion, in face of unprecedented odds,” said Hassan.
“This report was prepared as part of the country dialogue and consultation. It makes use of analytical tools to assess the socio-economic dynamics in Seychelles, and provides evidence-based policy options for recovery, notably three scenarios for economic recovery post-2020,” he continued.
The main scenario has Seychelles following the IMF’s macroeconomic projections of a gradual recovery in growth, with real GDP returning to its pre-pandemic level of 2019 by 2023. This scenario indicates that growth in the recovery period is mainly driven by exports, especially the demand for tourism service while the contribution of the fisheries sector to the revival of exports is significant throughout the recovery.
The optimistic scenario indicates a faster recovery with a return to the pre-pandemic level in 2022, whereas the pessimistic scenario shows a return to pre-pandemic level by 2024. It indicates that both fisheries and agriculture are the only sectors that benefit from the pandemic in terms of export. These sectors benefit from the reallocation of resources for the sectors that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
Talking about the policies to be implemented, Hassan outlined that technicians now have the task of evaluating the report, looking at the different works that the government is already making and coming forth with recommendations.
The director general of the Regional Development and Business Delivery office for East Africa met President Wavel Ramakalawan at State House. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
During the AfDB’s visit, the director general of the Regional Development and Business Delivery office for East Africa, Nneenna Nwabufo, met with President Wavel Ramakalawan at State House.
Nwabufo told reporters that at this particular time and with all the present challenges this type of engagement is very important.
“We want to see what the government is doing to evaluate the economic situation. We want to see what are the trends that we are seeing in terms of the government policy to support the people and businesses during this difficult time,” she said.