James A. Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles, and Falah Al Ahbabi, the General Manager of UPC
With the endorsement of His Excellency James A. Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles and under the directives of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) signed on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi an agreement of intent with the Government of the Republic of Seychelles to provide consultation and promote cooperation in developing and producing the master plan for the City of Victoria on Mahe Island, the Capital of Seychelles.
This agreement, which underpins Abu Dhabi Government’s endeavours to furthering collaboration with the Republic of Seychelles, was signed by His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, the General Manager of UPC in his capacity as a representative of the UAE’s Government, and HE Minister Joel Morgan, Ministry of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport & Energy, Government of Seychelles.
This agreement follows a recent collaboration and information sharing meeting held in the capital Victoria of Mahe where UPC senior representatives and experts met with government officials from the Republic of Seychelles to discuss current and progressive master planning principles. Both parties discussed best possible ways to evaluate potential opportunities to streamline and enhance urban planning development while enabling processes and procedures to support the Republic of Seychelles goals and objectives stated through the Strategy 2017 and Vision 2020’s governmental report.
Prior to signing the agreement, a delegation from Abu Dhabi’s Government led by HE Falah Al Ahbabi, the General Manager of UPC, visited HE James A. Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles at his Presidential Palace in the presence of government officials from both the UAE and Seychelles. HE James A. Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles, praised this agreement that underpins the strong relationship between the two countries, demonstrating the commitment of the UAE’s Government and HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s President, and HH General Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to bolstering the mutual cooperation and joint projects in various sectors for the interest of both peoples.
H.E Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), said: “Our leadership’s visionary governance and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles aspire to provide citizens with a sustainable environment. By prioritizing and emphasizing on carefully and responsibly managed development, we intend to reflect this through addressing different livability themes including the quality of public realm, community identification and social cohesion alongside the importance given to the development of infrastructure and the revitalization of existing downtown areas.”
The UPC will assist the Government of Seychelles’ leading role in facilitating and developing the Victoria Master Plan. A dedicated team made up of UPC planning experts will work closely with the Seychelles Planning Authority’s representatives in urban planning principles, architecture, development regulation and administrative support to create a framework plan to guide future development of the city that will preserve heritage and culture. Additionally, the UPC planning experts will identify potential efficiencies to streamline the development review process and facilitate inter-agency coordination.
Commenting on the UPC’s role, Al Ahbabi added:” The UPC is honoured to be part of this strategic mission for the mutual benefit of both governments. Through our collaboration, we will also provide the Seychelles Planning Authority access to the planning expertise and resources at the UPC. Both expert teams will work closely to align the urban development strategy with the overarching principles of their Strategy 2017 and Vision 2020.”
“With Abu Dhabi Urban Vision 2030 becoming a catalyst for how cities can be sustainable and better aesthetically developed, we are confident that today’s agreement will further provide opportunities for both governments to establish sustainable urban developments for future generations to come whilst upholding their rich heritage, culture and environment untouched thought carefully-crafted and well-defined urban development strategies”, Al Ahbabi concluded.
“This important collaboration comes at an opportune time when the Government of Seychelles reiterates its emphasis and commitment to revisit the manner we do business in the Planning Authority, provide for necessary development tools and acceptable streamlined processes, to guarantee developers and the general public value for their investments. These tools not only ensure orderly development in the country but guarantee safety and sustainability while the people of Seychelles continues to take pride to preserve its unique culture, at the same time keeping up with modern development in the country” said Minister Joel Morgan, Ministry of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport & Energy, Government of Seychelles.
Minister Morgan pointed out that the Government of Seychelles stand to benefit tremendously through this collaboration. These are in the areas of imparting of know-how and proven practices of sustainable development, while at the same time building capacity and exposing our local experts and workforce to proven development technologies. He also seized the opportunity on behalf of the Government of Seychelles to express the Government’s gratitude to the Government of Abu Dhabi for extending this helping hand, which will go a long way to benefit the people of Seychelles.
Seychelles’ strategy for 2017 and Vision 2020 provides a template for sustained growth through a strategic positioning of Government as facilitator. This will be achieved through wealth creation, full Government support especially for the empowerment of economic actors in the productive sectors whilst focusing on key economic drivers such as tourism and fisheries, as well as new entrepreneurial initiatives in previously untapped areas. The Government aims to be shifting its economic policies into global economic patterns and endeavour to further establish competitive niches for Seychelles.