THE Minister of the Minister of National Planning & Development Cooperation (MNPDC) Rexon Ramofafia, emphasised the importance of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2035 in guiding socio-economic development in the Solomon Islands towards sustained and inclusive economic growth, poverty alleviation, improved access to quality health and education, resilient and environmentally sustainable development and a unified nation with stable governance and public order.
Minister Ramofafia was speaking as the Guest of Honour at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Graduation ceremony held on Friday last week at the Panatina Friendship Hall.
He said, “let me put on my official hat as the Minister responsible for National Planning and Development Cooperation of our nation to say something about the Government’s National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2035.
“The Solomon Islands economy, for many years, has experienced slow growth and difficulties in providing basic and essential services to the people.
“The Government, having recognised the need to develop a new visionary pathway to guide socio-economic development in Solomon Islands, then launched a 20-year National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2035 in 2016.
“This NDS provides a longer term framework for planning that lays the foundations for economic growth and long term sustainable development.,’’ he said.
He said the NDS presents five broad objectives that will contribute towards achieving the overall vision and long term objectives. The five objectives represent the five main challenging areas that the country needs to focus on in the medium to long-term.
“These are Sustained and inclusive economic growth, Poverty alleviation across the whole of Solomon Islands – basic needs addressed and food security improved and benefits of development more equitably distributed, All Solomon Islanders have access to quality health and education, Resilient and environmentally sustainable development with effective disaster risk management, response and recovery and a Unified nation with stable and effective governance and public order.”
Minister Ramofafia said the major challenges facing the government’s implementation of the NDS has been finance and human resources and that achieving its objectives would require concerted actions of all stakeholders.
He then called on all national and provincial governments, development partners, private sectors, civil organisations and Solomon Islanders to embrace the NDS and help move the nation forward.
“To implement the NDS and achieve its objectives we need commitment and action from us all – true and strategic partnerships between all stakeholders: the development partners, the private sector, SOEs, education institutions and authorities, non-government organisations, civil society and all development stakeholders.
“We also recognise that achieving the objectives and strategies of the NDS will take time and will require the concerted actions of all of us. Nonetheless, the NDS is our road map for the journey that lies ahead of us, as we move towards achieving its goals and objectives and bring about an improvement in the social and economic livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.”
Minister Ramofafia said his ministry is closely monitoring the progress in the execution of the NDS and also in the process of reviewing progress in the achievement of the NDS goals and the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
By ULUTAH GINA
Solomon Star, Honiara