Seychelles celebrates its independence day on Thursday as the head of state called on all Seychellois to use this national day as a source of inspiration to create more unity and harmony.
The Seychelles' President Danny Faure started his address for the occasion saying, "It is with great joy that I wish each of you Happy Independence Day. "
"We are united today, 29 June. It is a feeling of love for our country, a feeling that is strong and extraordinary, that brings us together," said Faure.
The president said that June 29, 1976, is the day that Seychelles became an independent country - the day that Seychellois took their destiny into their own hands.
"Today I salute the courage, determination, and hard work of all Seychellois that fought for our independence and brought Seychelles to where it is today. Citizens across all generations, I thank you sincerely - thank you very much," said the president.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, got its independence from Britain on June 29, 1976. As is customary every year, to commemorate the event, a ceremony is organised at the Unity Stadium at Roche Caiman on the eastern coast of the main island, Mahe. The highlight of the ceremony is a parade. The ceremony on Thursday will start at 6 p.m. Seychelles time.
Though in past years the presidential address took place during the ceremony, this year it was delivered in the morning on national television and radio.
In his address, Faure said, "In our celebrations today, we are celebrating Seychelles and we are celebrating what we are, Seychellois. Yes, today we are one. We are one nation. We are a proud and blessed people, walking toward one destiny."
The president called on Seychellois to use this day as a source of motivation to develop the courage and determination that "will allow us to work harder than ever before for our Seychelles, to overcome any societal challenges, and conquer the trials and tribulations of our time."
He said that the task may be great, but if Seychellois are united as a people, "We have the capacity and the potential to bring the change and transformation that will benefit Seychelles and all Seychellois."