Social Policies in Seychelles

image of Social Policies in Seychelles


The country case studies and thematic papers in this series examine social policy issues facing small states and the implications for economic development. They show how, despite their inherent vulnerability, some small states have been successful in improving their social indicators because of the complementary social and economic policies they have implemented.


Seychelles has one of the most extensive social policy programmes in the developing world, and has been identified as a model for the rest of Africa. As a small state, however, it remains economically vulnerable and in 2008 had to accept a financial rescue package from the IMF. This book provides comprehensive analysis of social policy development in the country from the colonial era onwards, focusing on the political and economic developments that have led to the current situation. The challenge now is to maintain current levels of social policy interventions in the face of severe indebtedness and the stagnation of economic growth.



Conclusion and Policy Implications

This paper has traced the trajectory of social policy in Seychelles from the late colonial period to mid-2008. It has done so through the prism of the political and economic history of the country, including the context of and relationships with external forces. The export-oriented dimensions of Seychelles’ economic history can be characterised by a shift from plantation agriculture to tourism and various interactions with the tuna industry (economic rent from fisheries access and the provision of goods and services to foreign industrial tuna vessels, and the economic activity generated by Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd). State involvement in the economy also shifted from a period of state-led import substitution industrialisation in the 1980s to the 2000s, when, according to the government, the state acted as a ‘facilitator’ for the private sector.


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