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Vol 62 No 4

Published 18th February 2021


Trouble in paradise

President Ramkalawan faces a battle to deliver on promises as the pandemic-induced collapse in tourism drains state coffers

Seychelles' newest president may be regretting having finally got his wish: the top job in a country that relies almost exclusively on tourism – during a global pandemic. Having campaigned for three decades on a promise to rid the archipelago of corruption and cronyism, Wavel Ramkalawan now finds himself trying to reform a country beset with major economic and social problems: tourism arrivals are well below 10% of normal levels thanks to the coronavirus; the national airline is bankrupt and embroiled in a debt row with Emirates (which owns 40% of Air Seychelles); and rates of poverty and drug addiction are rising.

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