St Helena Government is pleased to announce the visit of His Excellency, Christophe Farnaud, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, from 13 October to 20 October 2018. This is the first official visit by a senior French official in recent times.
This visit follows from a visit to Paris and Cape Town by Her Excellency, Governor Lisa Honan, French Consul, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, and other Enterprise St Helena roadshow members in November 2017 to promote St Helena as a tourism destination following the opening of St Helena Airport.
The week of His Excellency's visit will mark three years since the start of the St Helena Napoleonic Heritage Ltd, which manages the French properties associated with Napoleon. It will also coincide with the197th anniversary since Napoleon's arrival on St Helena.
Ambassador, Christophe Farnaud said:
I am very honoured to be the first French Ambassador to be officially visiting St Helena. This visit will allow us to work together to enhance our cooperation, in particular in the field of tourism, through the valorisation of the Napoleonic sites.
The visit is jointly hosted by the Governor and the French Consul and aims to:
promote the opportunities for joint French/British tourism and the opportunity of two-centre holidays in South Africa and St Helena
raise awareness and strengthen the links around historical French/British/St Helenian connections
highlight the opportunities for French foreign investment on St Helena
The programme will include events with local tourism providers, engagement with Prince Andrew School, meeting elected members, and a set of cultural events to mark the Island's shared history.
Governor Lisa said:
I am delighted to be able to welcome Ambassador, Christophe Farnaud, to St Helena. The theme of the visit is cooperation between St Helena, the UK, and France. That cooperation is, of course, built on shared history. But that relationship has multiplied to the modern relationship between the three which we have today. Now that we have air access, and now that St Helena is open to the rest of the world, we must exploit that access for the benefit of St Helenians.
Michel Dancoisne-Martineau commented:
This is a major first in the history of the French properties on St Helena Island. In the 160 years that France has officially owned the Napoleonic sites, this is the first time that an Ambassador, as head of diplomatic mission, will visit his domains in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.
Source: St Helena Government