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ABG Leaders Symposium crafts way forward for Independence

Realignment of the government’s priorities towards independence-readiness is a key focus of the Toroama-Nisira Government.

Today, the Autonomous Bougainville Government concluded a three-day Leaders Symposium at the Sharpe Memorial Youth Center in Arawa.

Running under the theme of “Moving a resilient and responsible Bougainville towards Independence”, the Symposium provided the space for leaders to reflect on progress so far under the Bougainville Strategic Development Plan 2018-2022, and craft out independence-readiness priorities for the next five years.

ABG President Hon. Ishmael Toroama, in his address to the Leaders Symposium, said that Bougainville is still in its transition phase and while he is in his second year of his Presidency, there are many notable changes already in motion.

“As you all know, it is not just a political journey, but a social and economic one as well,” he said.

“Most significant are the political consultations with PNG and the Constitutional Planning work that has taken Bougainville by storm.”

The Symposium featured presentations from ABG Ministers in the Governance, Economic, Law and Justice, Infrastructure and Social sectors, reflecting progress achieved so far under the Bougainville Strategic Development Plan (2018-2022), and sharing plans developed towards independence-readiness for Bougainville.

A highlight of the Symposium was the tabling of the long-term Bougainville Vision and Strategic Development Plan 2052 Framework that will set the direction for the Bougainville Independence Strategic Development Plan 2023-2027.

“Whilst this government is engaged in the Bougainville Independence Mission we must also prepare a long term plan for the future. A future for an Independent Bougainville where peace prevails and our people are educated, healthy and have a high income (Gross National Product per capita),” Toroama said.

“Through these ideals we must have a plan that encapsulates our development priorities from each sector. The Bougainville Vision and Strategic Development Plan 2052 is the pathway that we will utilize to achieving tangible development in each sector and improve the quality of life for our people.”

President Toroama called on his Cabinet to continue to work together through their Ministries and Departments as Bougainville steps into a new chapter in its journey.

“We are at a transitionary phase from autonomy to independence where we are creating a new chapter for Bougainville.

“This requires us to be innovative and absolute in our commitment to Bougainville as we introduce new ideas, new ways of doing things and a new mindset that is focused on political independence that is complemented by socioeconomic growth,” he added.

The Bougainville Vision and Strategic Development Plan 2052 will undergo further consultations with the people of Bougainville and other relevant stakeholders before it is launched in the final quarter of this year. 

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