The Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Idith Alexander and her management team met representatives of the press yesterday to elaborate on her action plan with regards to the ministry as well as its entities and departments.
The chief executive officers in attendance were Alvin Laurence, CEO Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC); Miera Savy, CEO of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF); Jimmy Savy, CEO of the National Arts Council (NAC); Giovanna Rousseau, CEO of the National Sports Council (NSC); Galen Bresson, CEO Creative Industries and National Events Agency (Cinea) and Flora Ben David, CEO of the Creole Institute.
The principal secretary (PS) for Culture Benjamine Rose and the PS for Youth and Sports, Fabien Palmyre, were also present.
Minister Alexander started by explaining the purpose of the meeting with the press. “It has been four months since I am attached to this ministry and I have been busy visiting all the departments and have had the opportunity to hear the concerns and criticisms from the management and the staff. All these departments are being governed by boards and my ministry is reviewing all these boards and their functions. I know the public has a lot of expectations from us, but please be patient and we will deliver what we are promising. We are currently reviewing our policies, strategies and plan to better respond to the current needs.”
Seychelles Heritage Foundation: Miera Savy
The press had a few questions regarding our national sites. Mrs Savy explained that “We all want our National Heritage sites to be well maintained. In order to transform them into international standard, we need to put in place all basic logistics. A scientific and archaeological research has been done last year and a proposal has been drafted. Currently there is no electricity and water distribution facilities in these places, all of these will be put in place once the project is validated.”
The minister reinforced that “whatever concerns the press brought forward are true and I’ve already mandated the SHF to work on two sites as priorities for this year and these are Mission Lodge and Val de Pres. By Creole Festival we should be able to bring back life at Val de Pres.”
Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC): Alvin Laurence
Talking about the activities and participation of the youths, Mr Laurence said that “Last year some 220 activities were organised in districts for the youths and some 40 activities at national level. Nowadays, it is the youth who meet at district level who decide on what type of activities they want to do including cultural, sports and educational activities. Prevention stays our main priority. The Council is working mainly with the youth to cater for their current needs”.
National Arts Council: Jimmy Savy
“What is the difference between the NAC and Cinea?” asked the press. Mr Savy explained that “NAC has been enacted in 1991 and its main objective is to develop art and assist new artists until they become professionals. Once they become professionals, they will be taken care by Cinea.”
National Sports Council: Giovanna Rousseau
Replying to a question from the press regarding why there is such a low participation in sports activities in the districts and generally at national level, the minister said: “As I mentioned at the National Assembly, I want to see a population in good health, talented and devoted to sports. We are giving the chance to everybody to develop their abilities to the maximum. But all of these depend on financial resources. I met all the federations and discussed with the sportsmen also. We are looking at our strategies and will bring some revisions and I will make sure things change for the better. One of our strategies will be to bring more international athletes, trainers to meet with our people. We really need to look at our current reality and cater for the current needs. Sports is an area that companies can look into for their CSR.”
Ms Rousseau explained that “NSC deals mainly with the federations. We try to organise as many activities to make them work and we do have programmes for the age of three to seventy. We promote 32 sports and they all receive a grant. Currently we are preparing for the Jeux de la Francophonie and next year we will have the Commonwealth Games and the Indian Ocean Games. Already our athletes are on training.”
Creative Industries and National Events Agency: Galen Bresson
Regarding explanations about artists’ participation in foreign festivals or programmes, Mr Bresson said “Cinea is starting to promote a platform for local artists to represent themselves internationally. This year NAC and Cinea are working together to prepare the Art Biennale but as of next year Cinea will organise the event. It has been four months since we are working and we’ve already set up a platform for our artists to collaborate with artists from Mauritius and Reunion. Also another new element we will bring in our activities/festivals is to analyse how much money these activities are generating.”
Concerning the organisation of Miss Seychelles, Mr. Bresson added that “we asked for people who want to organise this event to come forward as this year we did not have enough time to prepare the event. Cinea does not want something mediocre and we want a show. We are also calling upon private businesses to come forward to give a helping hand in making the rewards more interesting, thus helping to attract more participants. We are doing our best and it would be good to put the real Seychelles beauty out there.”
Creole Institute: Flora Ben David
“Creole Institute is mandated to develop and promote the Creole language. We are doing our level best to bring Creole to the masses. Activities and forums are being organised and also we are looking at other ways how to promote the language in collaboration with other institutions,” said Mrs Ben David.
The PS for Culture, Benjamine Rose, let the press know that the ‘Adult Section – lending’ of the National Library will soon be open once the office of the Electoral Commission moves out. She also gave details about the new National Museum (more details in tomorrow’s edition).
The PS for Youths and Sports, Flavien Palmyre, noted that “soon a Tribunal Arbitration for sports will be put in place to deal with the complaints we receive from the sportsmen. This will be on a part-time basis and three people will be part of the tribunal. We will also work on a Trust Fund to help the associations or individual for any sports related initiatives they are taking.”
To conclude the press conference, Minister Alexander promised the public that “the ‘Stad Lanmizik’ will be delivered this year and our national museum is right on track. We are reviewing the policies of almost all the departments and we will keep the public aware of what we are doing. Each department will have to publish a document of what has been happening during the year and also the programme Koze Kiltir will be relaunched twice a month. I am leading a competent team and I want to let the public know that we are here to listen and provide help to any initiative leading towards the promotion of youth, sports and culture”.
Seychelles NATION will come back on other issues that came up during the press conference.
Source : Seychelles NATION