Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelagic island country in the Indian Ocean at the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. It consists of 115 islands. Its capital and largest city, Victoria, is 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and the French overseas regions of Mayotte and Réunion to the south; and Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago to the east. It is the least populous sovereign African country, with an estimated 2020 population of 98,462.
Seychelles was uninhabited prior to being encountered by Europeans in the 16th century. It faced competing French and British interests until coming under full British control in the late 18th century. Since proclaiming independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, it has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, characterized by rapidly rising service, public sector, and tourism activities. From 1976 to 2015, nominal GDP grew nearly 700%, and purchasing power parity nearly 1600%. Since the late 2010s, the government has taken steps to encourage foreign investment.