The Republic of Seychelles, a former, British colony, consists of some 123 islands. This total includes a number of newly artificially reclaimed islands on the eastern coast. The islands have an estimated land mass of some 451 square kilometres and over one million square kilometres of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The archipelago is situated in the Western Indian Ocean, 55.6 degrees East of Greenwich Meridian and 4 degrees South of the Equator and at distance of over 1600 kilometres from the African mainland.
The population of Seychelles is estimated at 90,000’ which is considered as the smallest in Africa and twelfth smallest in the world. The larger percentage of the population (estimated at 90 percent) resides on the main island Mahe. Since mid 1994, the country has been classified as an upper middle income country by the United Nations on the basis of its per capita income which in 2011 was estimated at 12,118 US dollars. The economy is driven by three main pillars, namely, tourism, fish export, and as an offshore business registration jurisdiction. The services sector remains the more vibrant followed by manufacturing.
Seychelles has undergone three main political governance systems following independence in 1976. The First Republic in 1976 characterized by multi-party governance system. The Second Republic from 1977 characterised by a one- party governance system and the Third Republic with the adoption of a new Constitution in 1993, characterised by the re-introduction of multi-party governance system.
Today the country is characterised by a high level of political stability where national unity, pride and aspiration are being reinforced and consolidated. The Seychelles Constitution (1993) guarantees the nation its fundamental rights through its executive, legislative and judiciary provisions.
Seychelles is a member of various regional and international organizations including the United Nations (UN), The Commonwealth, The African Union (AU), The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). Discussions are on-going with regards to membership of other organizations including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as early as 2014. Seychelles is characterized by various international organizations as a Small Island Development State (SIDs).