‘Sourcing out affordable financing to invest in our people and country will continue,’ says Minister Hassan

November 22, 2022

The Minister for Finance, National Planning and Trade, Naadir Hassan, has accompanied a delegation from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) on a visit to La Digue, where they visited the island’s school, which is to be reconstructed.

The school is spread over a compound, with various outbuildings, some dating back to at least 60 years.

The government is looking for financing from the Saudi Fund for Development for the reconstruction of the school, from creche, primary to secondary.

To note, La Digue is the only school in the country, where all three educational levels are accommodated on one compound.

The reconstruction of the La Digue school was announced by Minister Hassan, during his 2023 Budget address, delivered before the National Assembly on Friday 04th November.

A week after the address, the four-member delegation from the Saudi Fund for Development was in the country to evaluate the technicality of the reconstruction. The delegation also visited several projects currently being financed by the Fund, as well as proposed sites for new projects.

Minister Hassan noted that ‘it is important for the government to get this project underway, because it has been promised to Diguois for a long time, and from what I have seen during this visit, the reconstruction is indeed long overdue.”

Speaking to the media, the CEO of the Seychelles Infrastructure Agency, Jitesh Shah, explained that the reconstruction of the La Digue school, is just one of several projects the government has submitted to the SFD for financing.

“We have revisited the initial project, and have come up with a new architectural design, and we have submitted the new project proposal to SFD for funding.”

The team from SFD comprises of technicians, which is why it was important that they visited the site and understand how the project is to be implemented.

“SFD needs to appreciate and comprehend the logistic of the project, especially as we will be building the new school on the same site, there will be a need for example, to construct temporary facilities to enable learning to continue, while construction takes place.”

It is expected that the majority of the existing school will be demolished to make way for the new modern school. Apart from classrooms, other facilities will be constructed, such as a multi-purpose court.

The flat land where the school is located, is vulnerable to flooding, and that is something the new construction will address.

The first phase of the construction of the new La Digue School is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2023 and it will span over a three-year period, schedule to be completed in 2026.

“The construction will be undertaken in 2 phases, because of the relocation and movement of students and staff on the site. The new school will be bigger, with more space, to cater especially for technical rooms. There will also be space for further extension, if the need arises.”

Currently, there are more than 500 students pursuing their studies, at different level, at the La Digue School.

To note, the government has an ambitious plan to invest in infrastructure in the coming years. Next year, the budget allocation under capital investment is R1.4 billion, representing 4.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The total sum is an increase of R608.9 million or 76% when compared to the 2022 revised budget.

Minister Hassan has said the “government will continue to source out affordable financing to invest in infrastructure to enable the development of the people and the country.”

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