The four new ministers appointed last week by President James Michel in a government restructuring, were sworn into office yesterday morning during a ceremony at State House.
The four new ministers are Wallace Cosgrow for Fisheries and Agriculture; Didier Dogley for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Michael Benstrong for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation and Charles Bastienne for Home Affairs.
They each took and signed three oaths – oath of allegiance to the constitution, oath of office and oath of secrecy. These were taken in front of President Michel.
The ministers have now officially taken their new positions.
Vice-President Danny Faure, other ministers, the speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Herminie, the two outgoing ministers Pierre Laporte and Peter Sinon, other invited guests and close family members of the four new ministers also witnessed the occasion.
After the oaths the four new ministers and other members of the Cabinet joined President Michel and Vice-President Faure in a family photo after which each minister and their immediate family members present took a souvenir photograph with President Michel and Vice-President Faure.
The ministers and their families were then congratulated by President Michel and Vice- President Faure as well as all the guests present.
Outgoing ministers Laporte and Sinon also had words of support and encouragement for the new ministers.
New ministers ‘ready for challenging task’
After the National Assembly on Friday approved their appointments and their subsequent swearing in yesterday, the four new ministers have now officially taken their new positions as ministers.
After the swearing in ceremony yesterday the four ministers talked about their appointment and the challenging tasks awaiting them.
– Didier Dogley
“I believe it is an exciting moment for me after having worked in the environment ministry for so many years. Each time I have moved up – be it as director, director general, principal secretary and special advisor during which I worked very closely with Minister Rolf Payet – I always see each new position as a new challenge. Because even though I have worked in environment for so many years, there are always new things to learn and new ways of doing things,” the new Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Didier Dogley, said.
“One never stops learning and one should be able to listen to the views and ideas of others. Like we all know the environment has always been there but there is a lot of changes taking place and so many things happening in that field; the country is also developing very fast while the world is facing a lot of emerging issues and new challenges but there is a strong team in the ministry on whose support I know I can count to help me,” Minister Dogley said.
Minister Dogley studied Landscape Architecture at the Erfurt University of Applied Science in Germany between 1985-1989.
From 1993-1994 he did a Masters Degree in Landscape Management at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom.
From 1996-1997, he also did a diploma in Management at the Seychelles Institute of Management.
Minister Dogley admitted that like in any other field and sector challenges abound when dealing with various aspects of the environment even though he knows the field very well after so many years of study and work.
As a minister there is also the political component of the position which Mr Dogley said he will have a lot to learn as he has always been a professional working in the environment field and not a political person.
Minister Dogley, a resident of Le Niol in the Beau Vallon district, is married with three children – two daughters and a son. In his spare time he enjoys a whole range of activities from reading, hiking, swimming, fishing, doing masonry and listening to popular and classical music.
‘An opportunity to make a difference at a higher level’ – Charles Bastienne
“I was surprised by the appointment because I was not aspiring to be a minister one day but I always believe in hard work and President James Michel has recognised that and appointed me as minister,” Charles Bastienne, the new Minister for Home Affairs, humbly pointed out.
Mr Bastienne noted though that he has viewed each new step up on the promotion ladder not as a challenge but as an opportunity to make a difference higher up.
“Irrespective of any portfolio I would have been given, I would always see it as an opportunity to make a difference. Looking back at the different positions I have occupied over the years, I believe I have made a difference. As the new Minister for Home Affairs, I am looking forward to making a difference,” Minister Bastienne said.
“It has to be recalled that when he appointed us as ministers, President Michel told us to make things happen and I take this to mean that he does not want mediocrity but hard work to make things happen,” Minister Bastienne added.
He said with all the dedicated and experienced teams working in the Department of Police, Prison, Fire & Rescue Services Agency and Immigration which he already knows very well, he is ready to go and work with them to make a lot more difference.
Minister Bastienne studied for a Degree in Business Management and Accounting [Summa Cum Laude (First Class honours)] and Degree in Economics [Summa Cum Laude (First Class honours)] in 1991-1994 at the University of Pittsburgh, United States of America. In 1997-1998 he studied for a Masters in Business Administration at the Murdoch University, Australia.
A resident of Anse Etoile, Mr Bastienne is married and is the father of two daughters.
‘I am looking forward to continue building on what has already been done in the fisheries and agriculture sectors’ – Wallace Cosgrow
“I am very happy and excited to start work in the office of minister and I am eager to continue building n what has already been done in the fisheries and agriculture sectors. Two very important sectors and I want to ensure the two very dynamic sectors continue to move for the betterment of the Seychellois people,” the new Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Wallace Cosgrow, said.
Describing the new ministerial position as a challenge for him and his family, Minister Cosgrow expressed gratitude to everyone who has supported him and said he is looking forward to the challenge of doing more for Seychelles.
After studying History, Economics and Geography at A-Levels between 1997-1998 at the Seychelles Polytechnic, Minister Cosgrow studied Economics at the University of East London between 2000-2003 (BA Honours).
A resident of the Plaisance district, Minister Cosgrow is married with a son and daughter.
‘A noble position and a new step in my career’ – Michael Benstrong
“I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to perform at that level and I know this portfolio has many activities which I am ready to work with all the stakeholders to make things happen. Expectations on the new ministries out there are high but I am looking forward to that,” the new Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, Michael Benstrong, said.
“I am ready and looking forward to the challenges ahead. In the work I was doing I was in touch with entrepreneurs but now this will be on a larger scale and I am ready for that,” Minister Benstrong pointed out.
Minister Benstrong studied for a Bachelor of Business Studies and Major in Accounting and Finance at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia between July 1988 and December 1991. This after studying AAT III (Final level) from January to December 1986 at the then Seychelles Institute of Management, Ma Joie among different other training courses.
A resident of the Glacis district, Minister Benstrong is married with three sons.