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    Seychelles:World Bank, Seychelles Discuss Infrastructure Development, Including Proposed Tunnel

    Infrastructure development, energy, and participation of the private sector were priorities discussed between Seychelles' president and a top official of the World Bank on Wednesday.

    Andrew Ndaamundu Bvumbe, the executive director representing Africa Group 1 at the World Bank, called on President Faure on Wednesday at State House in Victoria.

    "We have just finished the country partnership framework for Seychelles, which is going to the World Bank board next month, and we wanted to share with the president details of the framework, which largely includes support to infrastructural development," said Bvumbe.

    The two leaders also discussed innovative ways of financing the infrastructure gap and programme and Bvumbe said that the World Bank is looking forward to working with the government.

    Some of the infrastructural developments brought up for discussion were the port development, connectivity and the tunnel project.

    In his address on the State of the Nation, Faure said that there are plans to build two tunnels on the main island of Mahe. A company will manage the tunnels and all the money collected will be paid to that company.

    The Seychelles' government has put in place a public and private partnership bill which will set up the right environment for private sector to finance projects, thus making things move faster.

    Bvumbe welcomed that idea and said, "we are delighted that the government is focusing on the private sector-led growth going forward limiting the public sector in terms of financing infrastructure."

    The World Bank delegation was accompanied at State House by Patrick Payet, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning.

    Payet said that the discussion focused mainly on the encouragement of the private sector to finance large projects without touching the public's debt and how "to engage the World Bank in the national development strategy among other related matters."

    The delegation during its visits will hold several meetings with officials in finance and trade.

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