The Seychelles are a group of 115 volcanic islands in the western Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 800 miles east of Zanzibar. The archipelago covers a considerable area, but the actual land area and population make the Seuchelles the smallest country of Africa. The capital is Victoria on Mahé, the largest island. The Islands were colonized by France during the Seven Years War (1768). France and Britain were at the time contesting control of India. Britain seized control during the Napoleonic Wars and control was formally transferred under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1814). The population is of Afro-European ethnicity. They speak French patois despite becoming a British crown colony. Britain granted independence (1976). As in much of Africa, the new nation experienced a mercenary invasion, an abortive army mutiny, and several coup attempts, the Seychelles only began to achieve political stabilty, in part because of international economic pressure (1990s).
The Goverenment has made a major effort to build a school system.
The Islanders now have a stable multi-party political system and are experiencing economic prosperity. Gradually the Seychelles achieved political stability and economic prosperity. Exports include copra, cinnamon, vanilla, and guano. Since World War II, with the development of inexpensive jet air travel, tourim has devloped as the major sector of the economy, but subject to international economic swings. Most tourist come from Europe. The beautuful white sand beaches, tropical climate, and crystal clear waters are the big attraction. The Seychelles provides an insular habitat for an interesting variety of wildlife, including giant tortoises and sea turtles and important nature reserves have been estblished. These have proven of interest to tourists. Fisheries which has developed from artisanal to commercial operations is also of some importance.
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