The event was graced by several distinguished guests, including the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, and various government officials and community leaders.
The event began with a heartfelt acknowledgment of the traditional landowners of Popondetta, paying tribute to their foresight and generosity in permitting the township's development.
Prime Minister James Marape was commended for his government’s electoral reforms that saw the creation of 12 new districts, including Popondetta. The local community expressed gratitude for his vision, promising support for his leadership throughout his term.
The Popondetta District's 5-Year Development Plan aligns with national development initiatives such as the Medium Term Development Plan Four (MTDP4), PNG Development Strategic Plan 2010-2030 (PNGDSP), and Vision 2050. The Popondetta district plan emphasizes inclusivity and collaboration with stakeholders and the community to achieve development goals.
Considering the global economic influences on the region, the district focuses on the efficient allocation of resources and strategic investments. Notable accomplishments already achieved include support for students, infrastructure development, water supply, renewable energy projects, and social sector investments.
The plan also captures the Popondetta Special Economic Zone (PSEZ) which is poised to play a vital role in promoting a farming export-based economy. The district aims to attract international investors and markets to export organic produce and further contribute to the national economy.
Meantime, three vehicles were presented to the district, two for administrative purposes and one to support the Cocoa development program in collaboration with the University of Technology (UNITECH).
A request for additional funding in the 2024 budget for a new district office complex was also made to enhance the district's administrative capabilities and better serve the community.
The event concluded with a token of appreciation presented to Prime Minister James Marape—a framed copper-beaten tapa design symbolizing gratitude for his role in the district's development journey.
The launch of the Popondetta District's 5-Year Development Plan marks a significant step towards achieving its development goals and contributing to Papua New Guinea's progress.