THE government of Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare will pursue the development of national economic projects in Malaita and Guadalcanal Provinces.
The national projects include the Suafa Bay Project, the Bina Harbor Project, and Auluta Basin Project in North Malaita and the Waisisi Development Project in the Southern Region of Malaita in Malaita Province while those in Guadalcanal Province include the Tina Hydro Project and the re-opening of the Gold Mine at Gold Ridge on Central Guadalcanal.
Mr Sogavare said his government will also pursue the development of the Munda International Airport in the Western Province.
He said the national projects on Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces are part and parcel of the ongoing peace process which started after the signing of the Townsville Peace Agreement and the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands more than a decade ago.
The government had set up the Ministry of National Unity, Peace and Reconciliation to oversee the progress on the peace process.
Mr Sogavare strongly believes in spreading out development as a means of securing a lasting peace in Solomon Islands, adding the recent ethnic crisis could not have arisen if this was the case.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Jeremiah Manele has acknowledged there are challenges to the development of the national projects.
He said the challenges include inadequate planning and lack of technical skills in the implementing line ministries.
But Mr Manele said these areas need strengthening if the government is to improve the implementation of the country’s major investment projects.
– By George Atkin