Pswarayi-Riddihough met with President Ramkalawan on Tuesday. (Seychelles Nation)
The World Bank is keen to open an office in the Seychelles by the end of 2023, a top official said on Tuesday.
The bank’s country director, Ida Pswarayi-Riddihough, made the statement to reporters after meeting with Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan.
“We are looking to start obviously very small but it will help us to keep a much smoother dialogue, to hear what Seychelles wants and open the conversation to other stakeholders and to be able to give answers in an easier manner,” said Psawarayi-Riddihough.
The World Bank Group is a global partnership with five institutions that work for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity. It has 189 member countries and provides financial and technical assistance.
Psawarayo-Riddihough said that “there were two main objectives for this mission to Seychelles; with the first being discussion about how to refine the country partnership framework, which governs the work that we do, which ends this year.”
The second objective is to follow up on previous activities that the World Bank has been working on with Seychelles and these include issues of social protection, particularly relating to teenage pregnancy and how to keep children in school.
“This is something that we find is really important, particularly with COVID where many children dropped out and the question is will they go back? If they don’t, then how do we get them to go back, so the country can continue to grow,” added the World Bank‘s country director.
She added that the World Bank will be looking at policies to make it easier for children to go back to school. She also spoke of the issue of the age of consent for sexual intercourse in Seychelles being 15 years old but the age for access to contraceptives being 18.
Other matters discussed included agriculture and food production, tourism and fisheries.
The World Bank is seeking to help Seychelles in all these aspects, not only through financial means but also through analytics and technical assistance.
Since March last year, the World Bank has been assisting Seychelles with its welfare reform. The three-year project has as its objective to modernise the system, thus ensuring targeted and coordinated measures for those really in need.