SOLOMON Islands’ former ambassador to the European Union, Robert Sisilo, has welcomed the Malaita Provincial Government’s proposal to hold a conference on the future of the province in May or June of this year.
The conference hopes to bring together Malaita Province’s elected leaders in the national and provincial governments and others in the private sector, churches and civil society to chart a way forward for the province in the next 50 years.
“Considering the repeated assurances by the Government that Malaita Province will be one of, if not, the centre of gravity of its development focus in the next four years, then a gathering of the province’s best and brightest minds is indeed timely,” Mr Sisilo said.
“They will have a huge task of identifying and prioritising where exactly that development focus should be,”Mr Sisilo, who hails from the Malaita Outer Island of Sikaiana, added.
“And the focus should not just be on mainland Malaita’s priorities.
“It must also target the development needs and aspirations of the Polynesian people of its outer islands of Luaniua, Pelau and Sikaiana.
“Lest we forget, and far away they certainly are and silent were/are their voices in Parliament and Provincial Assembly, these small atolls are part of Malaita Province.
“And they too have huge challenges due to their remoteness, smallness, limited resources, sea-level rise etc and which the conference must also address,” Mr Sisilo stressed.