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KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HON FIAMĒ NAOMI MATA’AFA, PRIME MINISTER OF SAMOA TO LAUNCH THE PATHWAY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SAMOA FY2021/22-FY2025/26. (25th February 2022.)

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Rev Melepone Isara

Honorable Ministers

Members of the Judiciary

Speaker and Members of Parliament

Members of the Diplomatic Corp

Representatives of National Stakeholders

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Government, it is a great honour to welcome you all to this occasion marking the launch of the “Pathway for the Development of Samoa (PDS)” for the period FY2021/22 to FY2025/26.

This document provides the priorities that will shape Samoa’s development for the next five years.

The National Plan speaks to one central theme: to empower communities, build resilience, and inspire growth”. Realisation of this commitment will pave the way for the achievement of our longer-term vision of “fostering social harmony, safety, and freedom for all”.

We live in unprecedented times. Over the last two years we have all witnessed a global pandemic; one that continues to affect the lives and livelihoods of our people, as well as Samoa’s economy. Therefore, we are more committed than ever to empowering our communities so that they can cope with the uncertainties of today’s world and make the most of the opportunities as they arise.

Our ambition is to inspire and instil growth among all our people. But people cannot achieve this alone. Change for the better requires wide community engagement. Meaningful collaboration and local ownership are crucial to social harmony and shared prosperity within our communities. It requires strong partnerships amongst all our sector stakeholders, and our development partners. Together, we can forge a pathway towards sustainable growth and resilience.

The PDS describes five Key Strategic Outcomes:

  1. Improved social development,
  2. Diversified and sustainable economy,
  3. Security and trusted governance,
  4. Secured environment and climate change, and
  5. Structured public works and infrastructure.

Each Key Strategic Outcome contains a range of Key Priority Areas, commitments and expected outcomes.

Social development sits at the forefront of our national efforts and our Government will forge ahead with measures to build capacities, minimize vulnerabilities, and provide equal access to opportunities. These building blocks for the pursuit of long, healthy and fulfilling lives depend on there being a sustainable and diversified economy that promotes shared prosperity for and within our communities. While outcomes matter, how we choose to pursue those outcomes is equally as important. We will therefore protect people’s rights, ensure the integrity of governance systems, and secure partnerships that can benefit Samoa. Environmental conservation and sustainability remain crucial in building resilience, and we will strengthen measures towards climate change mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk management. In parallel, we will invest in affordable, resilient, and well-maintained infrastructure, so providing the platform upon which overall sustainable development can be pursued.

In summary, the Government’s actions will be guided by a commitment to:

  1. Promote a more equitable, sustainable, and peaceful future based on our common values of fairness, respect, inclusivity, and responsibility, both for one another and for our natural resources;
  2. Implement policies that are responsive to local needs and opportunities, and which strengthen our nation’s resilience;
  3. Safeguard the rule of law and uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  4. Strengthen and safeguard our legal and governmental institutions, ensuring that they are fit for purpose and accountable to all those who live in Samoa; and
  5. Cultivate a diversified economy that is sustainable and resilient to global, national, and local pressures.

We will monitor and evaluate our progress in collaboration with our sectors and implementing agencies. As the PDS has benefited from extensive national consultations, its implementation, monitoring, and consequent reviews will also be founded on highly consultative processes and will draw upon the existing sector-wide approach to development planning.

On our journey towards the achievement of the outcomes stipulated in this plan, we will, without a doubt, be met with challenges and moments of uncertainty. However, as a people bound by a shared responsibility for development, our collective commitment to the careful navigation of the roadmap that is the “Pathway for the Development of Samoa”, will indeed foster social harmony, freedom, and safety for all.

I would like to express my gratitude to all who contributed to the development of this document. These include all stakeholders representing; village communities, the private sector, civil society, NGOs, development partners, and Government institutions. I commend all your efforts and generous support to not only the formulation of this new PDS, but also to the execution of the preceding national priorities. We are confident our collaboration will continue to pave a greater future for the people of Samoa.

Lastly, I commend our national plan, now called the “Pathway for the Development of Samoa FY2021/22 to FY2025/26” to you all.

Soifua ma ia manuia

(L-R, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa and Minister of Finance Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molio’o at the launching ceremonies this morning.)
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