#POLITICS: STAY UP-TO-SPEED WITH GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA

Photo Credit: 
Press Secretariat, MPMC

(SAMOA) — Writers for the Government of Samoa, with the Ministry of the Prime Minister & Cabinet, are extremely busy. We've compiled a few of the stories provided to Tautalatala by the Press Secretariat for your Samoa Government Briefs. Find more stories on the Government of Samoa Facebook page.

VUKI FAMILY OF ST. GEORGE: "EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS"

The Vuki family in St. George, Utah in the United States, has donated close to $200,000 to Samoa to fund scholarships for students and in their latest donation presented $15,000 to the Fire Emergency Services.

In addition, Faalogo Situtuila Sissy Vaa Faalogo Te’o-Tuatagaloa Vuki and her husband Tupuola Sione Vuki pledged further support for children of firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders.

Their contributions, made over the last decade, have injected $150,000 into funding of scholarships to help families cover the costs of educating their children.

Said Faalogo: “We hope that this program will continue to grow as my husband mentioned that we are looking at making available scholarships to the firefighters, police and other related sectors of emergency services children as we see there is not enough money from their salaries to help take their kids to school.

“So this year we have discussed requirements with the SFESA and Police for their children to earn scholarship as we all know education is the key to success and because when you save a generation it is also helping their future.”

Read more about this presentation on the Samoa Fire Emergency Services Authority Facebook page.

"TOWARDS A COMMON FUTURE" — PM TUILAEPA ATTENDS COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT SUMMIT

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit that took place in London, United Kingdom April 16-20.

The meeting is held every two years and the 2018 Summit’s theme is “Towards a Common Future.”

Queen Elizabeth II chaired the meeting that listed these issues among the agenda:

— Weak global trade and investment flows

— 21st century security threats which ignore borders

— How to increase resilience of small and other vulnerable states in the face of climate change especially its impact on our oceans

— How to advance our shared values of democracy, good governance set out in the Commonwealth charter

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peseta Noumea Simi.

SAVAI'I NEWS: ASAU HARBOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE CURRENTS

If pieces of the puzzle fall together, Asau Savaii will be Samoa’s newest International Port of entry in two years from now.

“Funding to widen and deepen the Asau channel has been secured,” says Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.  And relevant government officials have been tasked with getting the Asau Harbour Development off the ground.

“To that effect, elevating Asau channel to international standards spells economic benefits for the Big Island and for the country,” added the Prime Minister.

Currently the channel is ineffective and poses a high risk to access the Asau wharf because the channel is shallow.  But Tuilaepa is confident that with the right approach, Asau Wharf should be getting a long overdue facelift that will open up shipping access.

“Access to Asau should attract new investors, big businesses,” continued the Prime Minister.

 “The potential for investors to lease lands for business developments and tourist accommodation facilities cannot be discounted.

“And it will translate to new jobs and fresh cash injected into the economy, not just Asau but across the board.

“It can also decentralize shipping services to the Big Island that should boost our trading capacities and of course tourism through Cruise Ships.”

“Government over the years has been silently planning the resurrection of the Asau Channel to its past days of glory when the timber operation in Asau was booming.

“That can happen again, now that we have secured funding as part of the Government’s strategy to develop our docks and ports to facilitate Samoa’s needs for the next 50 years.

In the mid-1960s, government funded a new harbour and wharf facilities at Asau to accommodate the operation of Potlatch, a large timber mill firm from the United States which moved toward full production in the early 1970s. 

While it was Samoa’s largest employer during that time, the economy boom didn’t last.

Since then, the government has been looking at options for the return of the Asau Harbor as a major economic player.

In the last decade, government has engaged with the American Samoa based cannery StarKist Samoa to develop the channel and the dock as a location for a possible fish processing plant and transshipment facility, but it never amounted to anything.

It was all talk as government later found out that the cannery had used their proposal to government as leverage to their sale bid to new owners.