THE Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) together with the Honiara City Council (HCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the partnership, Friday.
Permanent Secretary Andrew Nihopara on behalf of the MCT signed the MOU with HCC City Clerk Rence Sore in the presence of Lord Mayor Cr. Wilson Mamae and HCC staff and media.
The signing ceremony came to fulfillment following an earlier meeting between Lord Mayor Cr. Mamae and MCT Minister Bartholomew Parapolo and their respective administration heads including Mr. Sore and Mr Nihopara.
Mr. Mamae said HCC is currently undertaking the implementation of its policy and the translation of its policy.
He said part of the policy is to identify opportunities to work with the central government ministries and other agencies for the strategic development of the Capital City Honiara.
Nohopara said the National Tourism Policy administered by MCT also calls for cooperation with other ministries and authorities such as HCC in areas of mutual interest-particularly in the areas of culture and tourism development cooperation, environmental and waste management and in developing a gateway into the country.
Meanwhile, following the earlier meeting between the two parties, a number of common areas of interests which are also under their respective policy coherence were identified such as;
– Establishment of a parallel HCC division to promote and coordinate the development of culture and tourism within the city;
– Development of HCC lands within town boundary through partnership arrangements with MCT and other stakeholders;
– Development of tourist precincts within Honiara;
– Garbage and waste management initiatives;
– Partnership in the roll-out of the Tourism Minimum Standards to enhance compliance;
– Engagements on initiatives that promote the participation of Honiara residents (particularly youths, women and other groups) in business opportunities;
– Other areas for cooperation in preparations towards the Pacific Games 2023.
Nihopara said while the MOU sets the necessary platform for cooperation between the parties, the details of the key areas for engagement and the mechanisms to execute the partnerships are being explored and will be translated into a Partnership Framework.
He said HCC and MCT look forward to the numerous partnership opportunities to work on promoting the tourism development interest within the Capital City under this new MOU.
By IAN M.KAUKUI