PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has urged Solomon Islanders working in Fiji to join the debate in developing Solomon Islands and contribute their skills and knowledge to the Government in any way they can to assist the country.
Prime Minister Sogavare made the call during at a dinner hosted by the Solomon Islands Commissioner to Fiji, His Excellency Patteson Oti in Suva.
The dinner was attended by over 40 Solomon Islanders working in various institutions and firms in Fiji as well as officials from the High Commission.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government will welcome any contribution from educated Solomon Islanders working overseas who are keen in contributing to the development of Solomon Islands.
He acknowledge the contribution of a local legal practitioner in Fiji, Willie Hiuare at the recent National Land Reform conference in Honiara late last month where Mr Hiuare was able to contribute towards addressing land reforms in Solomon Islands and assist the Government in reforming relevant laws to enable Solomon Islanders to free up their land for development.
The Prime Minister said such contribution from Solomon Islands citizens working overseas would be welcomed by the DCC Government and he acknowledge the high number of PhD graduates who are working overseas who can be utilized to the country’s benefit.
Mr Sogavare acknowledged that there are over 25 Solomon Islanders who had acquired their PhDs in various disciplines but most of them have been employed outside of the country, notably in regional institutions.
The Prime Minister also assured the locals who are married to overseas partners that the government is working on ensuring dual citizenship will be possible during the term of the DCC Government, which will be of great benefit to Solomon Islanders who have partners of foreign nationalities.
The Prime Minister also said electoral reforms are also being undertaken by the Government that will allow Solomon Islanders studying or working overseas to also participate in the national general elections in the country in the future.
The Prime Minister noted that there are more than 4000 Solomon Islanders who live outside the country who are also entitled to exercise their rights to vote for their Parliamentary leaders in Solomon Islands.
Mr Sogavare said the Government is working on many reform agendas since coming into power in December last year and will no doubt welcome any assistance rendered by its educated citizens working abroad to move the country forward.
The Prime Minister thanked the members of the Solomon Islands community and their spouses for accepting the invitation to attend to meet with him and thanked High Commissioner Oti and the Solomon Islands’ High Commission staff for organising the event.
Source: OPMC, press release