Issue No. 42/2020 – Monday, 05 October 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
The Taskforce for the National Strategy of Tuvalu organize another consultation today with the focus group comprising of men from different island communities and religious communities.
The consultation was opened with a prayer by the Acting President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Rev Alefaio Honolulu and then an opening remark from the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Faivatala Lee Moresi who replaced the Minister of Finance, Hon Seve Paeniu who had a zoom meeting.
Mr. Moresi briefly explained the history of the Kakeega Development Plan saying that it was in 1998 when the Kakeega I was introduced and it was a 5 Year Plan. TKII that followed was a 10 year Plan (2005-2015), then TKIII a 5 Year Plan (2016 – 2020) and the new national strategy which is under prepration will be a 10 Year Plan (2021 – 2030).
“It is required that we should be able o share our views as to what kind of Tuvalu would we like to be in 10 year’s time,” said Mr. Moresi.
“The vision is to have a long-term plan and any incoming government can follow the plan.”
“Already, consultations have been held with civil servants, with Members of Parliament and today was with Civiil Society. A new name is required for the new strategy as with ‘Kakeega’ we have gone through the process of climbing and a different vision is now required.
The National Consultant for the new strategy, Rt. Hon Bikenibeu Paeniu also gave a briefing of the consultation saying that the plan belongs to the people of Tuvalu and there is the need for the people to share their views on the plan.
He said, “we are now being faced with the COVID-19 as well as the TC Tino this year and we we were in panic. Tuvaluans are very capable people and how can we make a contribution to the development of our economy? There is now the need to return to the land and be able to farm the land and we can produce the best oil in the world out of our coconut resources.”
Rt. Hon. Paeniu explained that Kakeega III has 13 priority areas and for this new plan, we only require four priorty areas, which mean that we have to be very selective and focus in choosing the very few priority areas that we want to contain in the plan. Although this is the proposed plan, yet it is open for discussion and if at the end of the consultation, there is concensus to make changes to the proposed plan, it is the wish of the people that is important.
Rt. Hon Paeniu also explained that the consultation cannot proceed to the outer islands because of the current lockdown but the Taskforce will consider the reports of Island Strategic Plans that are currently undertaken by Island Communities assisted by staff from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Agriculture.
Some of the pariticipants disagreed with the idea regarding the consultations with the outer islands and requested for a reconsideration of the issue to enable the consultations taken to the outer islands as well. Some argued about involving the focus groups in the consultation and requested for the consultations to focus on island communities.
After the opening remarks from Mr. Faivatala Lee Moresi and Rt. Hon Bikenibeu Paeniu, the participants were divided into four groups representing the 4 priority areas: Economic, Social, Rural and Outer Islands Development and Infrastructure.
The groups wil disscuss the new name of the plan, the vision and values that would contain in the plan.
There are few names that have been suggested by the Taskforce as well as drafts for the vision but still new names have also been invited.
The group will also discuss the goals and outcomes that have been identified by the taskforce but amendments to goals and outcomes and also new additions were all invited from the groups
After the groups’ discussions, each group presented its report and today’s consultation ended at 5.00pm in the afternoon.
The Taskforce plans to hold more consultations with different focus groups this week.