The Autonomous Bougainville Government concluded a three-day leaders’ symposium on June 1st at the Sharpe Memorial Youth Centre 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, Ishmael Toroama, in his address, said 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.
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 utilise 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.