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Toroama focus on capacity building

The primary focus of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in 2023 will be to promote economic growth and strengthening law and order in Bougainville.

Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama made the statement during his New Year’s Message for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

President Toroama said that in the last three years his government had been focused on the Post Referendum Joint Consultations with the National Government.

With the 2019 Bougainville Referendum results about to be tabled in the National Parliament for ratification this year the ABG is focused on capacity building in each of its social and development sectors.

“Bougainville must have a sound economic base that is complemented by a safe and secure environment as we prepare for political independence,” President Toroama said.

“Bougainville has a lot of resources that can earn revenue for the government but it is up to our leaders and our people to be receptive to economic development,” President Toroama added.

“A very optimistic sign of progress in economic development on Bougainville is the increase in our internal revenue from K30 million to K50 million for 2022,” President Toroama added.

President Toroama said that this shows that Bougainville has the potential to earn more revenue if more emphasis was placed in economic development projects.

President Toroama revealed that two important economic development projects that will be launched early this year are the Bougainville Water Bottling project as well as the Bougainville Refinery to process gold.

The Bougainville Refinery alone has a projected revenue stream of over K200 million annually for Bougainville whilst other industries such as cocoa downstream processing, tourism and fisheries will also be initiated this year by the ABG.

President Toroama urged Bougainvilleans to continue to support the government in its efforts improve Bougainville’s economy and become more involved in its development.

In terms of law and order the Bougainville Police Service will be boosting its ranks with the recruitment of new officers this year. This exercise is being done to ensure more police presence is felt within Bougainville’s communities.

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