In the National Assembly - Start of second trimester |17 May 2023
30 overseas trips undertaken by President Ramkalawan
President Wavel Ramkalawan has undertaken 30 overseas trips since coming to power in October 2020 to date at a cost of R8.9 million, Vice-President Ahmed Afif has said.
VP Afif was answering a private notice question in the National Assembly yesterday brought by the leader of the opposition, Hon. Sebastien Pillay, in the first session of the second trimester.
Hon. Pillay had enquired about the number of trips and the total cost and benefits brought for the country.
VP Afif outlined all 30 trips, citing the months and year in which they took place, as well as the purpose of each. The destinations include the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Mauritius, Turkey, Rwanda, United Kingdom, Belgium, France and United States of America among others.
The vice-president said those overseas trips helped to maintain Seychelles’ exposure and visibility as well as led to several donations, the signing of various agreements and development of sectors such as housing, health, security, environment, education, fisheries, and transport among others.
“A lot of discussions take place on the sidelines of these meetings, which are beneficial to Seychelles,” he stated, citing the introduction of Seychelles’ first biometric passport and new visa agreements.
“All these are the results of intense work which involve travels and overseas meetings, which of course come at a cost, but the outcomes for the country are plenty, outcomes with tangible results for Seychellois,” said Mr Afif.
He said for the year 2021, the budget for the president’s overseas missions was R4 million, out of which he spent R1.6 million.
In 2022, the budget was increased to R9 million out of which R5.6 million was spent on overseas travel, with a saving of R3.4 million.
For 2023 to date, out of a R2.8 million budget for the first half of the year, R1.7 million has been spent.
“In total, this represents a budget of R15.9 million, with R8.9 million worth of expenses and a saving of R7 million,” explained VP Afif.