Dear Editor – The Solomon Islands is blessed with a free press which allows for a sharing of news and views. It is encouraging; too, to witness how social media is changing the way citizens are beginning to exercise their democratic rights and enabling e-democracy to take hold.
Social media must never be used to undermine a legitimate government but should be aimed to foster better governance, transparency and accountability.
Social media now impacts all our lives in ways that we could have never imagined five or six years ago.
The newly launched Ministry of Education website and, now, the website of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs are examples of how technology changes are making information more accessible and facilitating the work of the government.
In particular regard to the website of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs it will play a vital role in providing educational awareness on women, youth and children’s issues and also serve as a resource base for all those having a responsibility to the communities across the nation.
I was writing the other day about the local potential of virgin coconut oil being processed, marketed and exported.
I am pleased to have learned that some constituency MP’s have already helped local farmers, from the current S$6.3 million constituency funds allocated to them, in order that the farmers could invest in the company based at Lunga which currently produces 200 tonnes of Virgin coconut oil a year and provides an income for more than 50 village units.
In the reported absence of some kind of loan scheme to help village farmers wanting to participate in village production units, labelled as DME Units, by the Lunga based company, it is welcome news, indeed, that the constituency funds are being put to empowering communities, at least in the Lunga constituency area.
So often in the past the alleged misuse of constituency funds has led to much public anger and cries of ‘corruption’ but now we can expect closer public scrutiny and accountability with the spread of social media as the increasing guardian of good-governance.