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World Governments Summit 2024   |15 February 2024

Regional leaders highlight plights of respective nations


The World Governments Summit 2024 was an opportune time for heads of State to highlight the strides made by their respective countries, in identifying and implementing innovative solutions to pressing and foreseeable challenges, to empower the next generation of governments.

Leaders in the region highlighted the plights of their respective nations in battling the grips of climate change, as well as efforts to mitigate its implications. They also addressed measures to transforming domestic sectors to become eco-friendly, inclusive and sustainable, most notably, the tourism sector.

In his address to world leaders, President Wavel Ramkalawan highlighted Seychelles' commitment to conservation and sustainable practices, pledging Seychelles’ unwavering commitment towards sustainable tourism.

President Ramkalawan emphasised Seychelles' efforts in protecting marine ecosystems through the blue economy approach.  Seychelles has achieved significant success in biodiversity protection, preserving 30 percent of its marine territory and 50 percent of its landmass, he noted. The nation has implemented eco-friendly policies such as banning single-use plastics and conducting regular beach clean-ups.

Moreover, the president spoke of Seychelles’ efforts to invest in environmentally-friendly projects across the islands, such as renewable energy systems, like solar and wind power to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote sustainability, waste management, and smart technology for better managing resources and infrastructure.

President of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu spoke about the advancements in the Maldivian tourism industry since the introduction of tourism in the 1970s. Despite fast-paced economic development, the Maldivian tourism sector has seen “revolutionary advancements”, towards eco-friendly developments and products, he said.

“All this is done with sustainable tourism practices, setting the Maldives as an example for responsible and forward-thinking travel,” President Muizzi stated.

As part of the efforts to expand its tourism sector further, Maldives intends to introduce eco-tourism, sports tourism, education and wellness tourism, under the visitor economy concept. Important developments to support this will include the development of the country’s central port, further expansion of the main international airport, and integrated maritime development in the northern area of the archipelago.

The Maldives is also renowned across the world for sustainable harvesting methods in its fishing sector, the president further stated. 

The Maldivian government has pledged to transition to over 30 percent renewable energy sources over the next five years, to designate further areas as protected and to plant five million trees to meet biodiversity and environmental targets.

President Muizzi announced that the reclamation of the first Maldives eco-city commenced in December last year. The city is expected to revolutionise the country’s urban landscape, by addressing housing challenges through 65,000 housing units. The landmark project is the epitome of innovation, inclusivity and sustainability, President Muizzi added. The land will be reclaimed to 3 metres above sea level so as to make it resilient to climate change impacts.

He also addressed technology adoption by the Maldivian government to boost efficiency and productivity, and keep the country abreast with technological advancements.

Mauritian President Prithvirajsing Roopun said urban development presents a major challenge in the small island of Mauritius, necessitating a balance between economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability.

He made reference to the recent cyclone to hit Mauritius, causing significant infrastructure damage to both public and private properties. The president also made reference to the natural disasters to hit Seychelles and Madagascar last year.

“Extreme weather conditions are putting extreme pressure on public spending, but access to climate finance remains a big challenge,” President Roopun stated, highlighting the need for climate justice in a time of climate emergency.

Speaking about tourism, the lifeblood of the Mauritian economy, the head of State said tourism absorbs 13 percent of the total Mauritian workforce.

“Thus, building a more resilient and relevant tourism, based on preserving our natural assets is not a choice, but an imperative. We envision heading towards a sustainable tourism industry, promoting eco-friendly accommodations, implementing renewable energy solutions, conserving water resources, while attracting responsible tourists, who are fully engaged and reaches every level of society, wishing to learn from different cultures, and to return home enriched,” he said.

Similarly to the Maldives, Mauritius is venturing into climate-neutral smart cities, among other measures such as the introduction of electric public transportation systems, as part of mitigation measures.

For his part, President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina affirmed the neighbouring island’s dedication towards transformation and global development. President Rajoelina spoke of Madagascar’s numerous challenges, and efforts to foster development in the nation.

Some 80 percent of the nation’s 30 million-strong population reside in rural areas, and only 23 percent have access to domestic energy, President Rajoelina added. As such, the Malagasy government is accelerating its transition to renewable energy, as an essential component of development. Madagascar has grand plans to establish some 60 solar parks across 119 districts across the island. Meanwhile the ‘HAZAVANA HO ANAO’ programme seeks to provide approximately four million households with electricity access, to further boost economic growth and quality of living.

Madagascar is considered as a biodiversity hotspot and an ecological paradise. However, the territory is also regarded as vulnerable and highly threatened, leading the Malagasy government to implement ambitious projects focusing on conservation and restoration.


Laura Pillay



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