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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Economic Growth Centers To Be Built In Solomons Islands
Three constituencies currently planned to host rural hubs

By Charles Kadamana

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 22, 2012) – Work to build the Faumamanu Economic Growth Centre in East Malaita will start soon after the ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday in the Solomon Islands.

Launched by Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, the centre's main aim was to bring economic development to the eastern region of Malaita.

Establishing growth centres in rural areas was a flagship policy of the National Coalition and Rural Advancement (NCRA) government.

These centres will become economic hubs to bring development, improve services and infrastructure to the rural communities.

East Malaita was the first of the three constituencies in Malaita Province to start off this pilot development project for this year.

The other two constituencies expected to see similar projects are North Malaita in Suava Bay and South Malaita in Afio.

Government had allocated SB$10 million [US$1.4 million] for each constituency to set up the centres and the funds were made available under the 2012 budget.

Other constituencies were to be identified next year based on their potential to become growth centres.

The vision of the government is to ensure there is economic growth centres in all the constituencies.

Prime Minister Lilo thanked the resource owners for allowing their land for Faumamanu Growth Centre to be established.

He said Faumamanu was the beginning of a new era for the country’s economic development.

Mr. Lilo said the centre will draw a significant interest in the future, which will stimulate economic participation to the outside world and also a point of entry for investment.

Representatives of the tribal landowners also acknowledged the government for choosing Faumamanu as the growth centre.

They expressed that they fully support the government in its policy to implement projects that will provide services to the people of Malaita and most importantly to the economic development of the country.

Hundreds of people from the surrounding communities converged to witness the ground breaking ceremony.

At hand were also the Minister of Lands Joseph Onika, Minister of Rural Planning and Development Lionel Alex, Minister of Public Service Stanley Sofu, Minister of Planning and Development Connelly Sandakabatu and Minister of Home Affairs Manasseh Maelanga.

Solomon Star
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