According to a top official Seychelles is expected to establish airline connectivity with Angola and enter into a bilateral air services agreement signing that is scheduled for September.
This economic agreement will spur tourism and commerce between the two nations. Seychelles prides in their wonderful natural tourism assets in its beautiful beaches and mountain backdrops which contributes 24.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) while Angola is rich in natural resources as well as having large reserves of oil and diamonds, hydroelectric potential, and rich agricultural land.
Speaking to a press earlier this month the Seychelles Minister for Transport, Anthony Derjacques, said that Angola has always been very attractive to Seychelles and its national carrier, Air Seychelles, and such an agreement will open the countries for commerce, exchanges and visitors.
“We are already flying to South Africa and Angola is also in Southern Africa. It will help us a lot to have this direct link with Angola or for us to go there via South Africa we go to Jo’burg and then fly to Rwanda. It will be easier for them to also get access with Seychelles,” said Derjacques.
The Principal Secretary of Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alan Renaud, said that Air Seychelles’ interest in flying to Angola goes back to 2014, and having an air agreement with this southern African country would add a new dimension to the national airline.
According to Alan Renaud, for Air Seychelles, it was an important thing to have as many options as possible. He recounts In 2016 and 2017, when there was a lot of Chinese airlines coming and Air Seychelles was the only airline flying to Angola and there was an increased demand to keep the services.
“There was a lot of interest for Air Seychelles to continue flights onwards, particularly to the western coast of Africa.” Renaud said.
He added that “China is particularly interested in countries in Africa that have a lot of mineral resources such as Angola. Seychelles as always has a unique position in the Indian Ocean and if flights can be organised, it is very convenient on several levels for the airlines in question.”
During the press conference, it was outlined that there is a significant Chinese community that is living and stationed in Angola, and therefore, there could be facilitation of air travel between China, Seychelles and Angola through Air Seychelles.
Boeing 777-300ER of TAAG Angola Airlines at Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo Brazil
Seychelles and Angola expect to sign the agreement in September, two months earlier than planned.
Discussions between Minister Derjacques and the Angolan ambassador Sandro Renato Agostinho de Oliveira also focused on how Angola can help Seychelles in the land transport, and ports and maritime safety sectors.
According to the minister for transport Anthony Derjacques, Angola will build up Seychelles infrastructure through human resources and expertise that would help Seychelles develop their land transport system hence creating a much more modern fleet for Seychelles..
“The second area we talked about is related to the fact that they have one of the biggest and most modern ports in Africa. Seychelles has new agencies such as the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority, where we have to fully develop our security and safety, both for shipping and seafarers. As such we need to cooperate so as to receive help in terms of expertise and human resources,” said the Minister.
The two countries in the coming three months will work on infrastructure related matters and towards a good approach that will realize this important engagement between the two nations.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, and Angola established diplomatic relations on November 7, 1986. There has not been much cooperation between the two countries although they share common interests and visions in various matters of regional and international scope.
Both countries maintain excellent cooperation in the multilateral field particularly in the sphere of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
The two countries signed their first bilateral agreements a General Cooperation Agreement and an Agreement on the Creation of a Bilateral Commission on Tuesday.