WASHINGTON, July 17, 2018 — The World Bank Group (WBG) endorsed today a new strategy for its work in the Republic of Seychelles for the period 2018-23. The strategy, renamed Country Partnership Framework (CPF), was prepared in close consultation with the government, private sector and other development stakeholders, and is informed by discussions around the Government’s upcoming National Development Strategy (2018-22) and the WBG’s own diagnostic of the Seychelles (Systematic Country Diagnostic), as well as lessons from the previous strategy.
“This strategy comes at a crucial juncture in the country’s economic trajectory when it seeks to consolidate the gains of the past decades while increasing inclusion and building the resilience of its small island economy,” said Mark Lundell, Country Director for Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique. “The strategy outlines a selective range of policies and reforms to increase shared prosperity and improve public sector performance.”
The overarching objective of this CPF is to consolidate the country’s path to inclusive and sustainable prosperity. To that end, the strategy delineates two mutually reinforcing focus areas, namely shared prosperity, and inclusion and public-sector performance. This entails retooling the core economy of fisheries and tourism for sustainability and inclusion, along the lines of the Government’s Blue Economy flagship program; and to strengthen management and resilience of natural endowments. The strategy supports a shift in focus towards building the human capital of the bottom 40 percent of the population to enable them to participate in new expanding opportunities. Finally, it seeks to consolidate resilience in public finances by increasing their efficiency, improving the regulatory capacity of the state to foster space for the private sector, and setting the foundations for transparency and accountability.
“Several of the strategy’s outcomes will be achieved through our knowledge services, called Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA),” said Thomas Buckley, the strategy’s task team leader. “An important element of WBG engagement will be leveraging Seychelles’ strong record of reform and leadership among small island nations to build the global knowledge base on addressing the challenges confronting such nations, including sustainably developing the ocean economy and addressing the impact of climate change.” A significant share of the ASAs will be provided through reimbursable arrangements.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) from the WBG will continue to seek business opportunities in the country in line with their respective comparative advantages. “IFC will strive to build partnerships with businesses to encourage more investment in key sectors of the economy. Among other areas, we want to promote private participation in infrastructure to nurture new economic opportunities and build upon momentum in Seychelles,” said Satyam Ramnauth, IFC Country Manager for Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, and Madagascar.
Lending and Innovative Financing
While the indicative lending from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is estimated at $25 million during the first half of the CPF period, the strategy will make greater use of innovative financing mechanisms which would seek to supplement IBRD funding by crowding in private financing through the issuance of Bonds, as well as Public-Private Partnerships. Additional IBRD lending will depend on the country demand and overall performance during the CPF period as well as global economic developments that affect IBRD’s financial capacity.