MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 9/10/13 4.00PM

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1.?????FIJI?S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS GET UNDERWAY AROUND THE COUNTRY?-?Labasa was filled with red and blue colours today; celebrating Fiji?s 43rd?year of Independence with the theme, ?Moving Together in Unity to Ensure a Prosperous Fiji?.

 

2.?????WESTERN DIVISION DRAWS CROWD TO FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS?-?Crowds including civil servants, students and members of the public flocked the western city of Lautoka this morning to celebrate Fiji?s Independence Day.

 

3.?????FIJI FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES APEC LEADERS?- The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has delivered a statement to the Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) at the margins of their meeting in Bali, Indonesia on the theme ‘Enhancing Sustainable Growth with Equity and Promoting Connectivity’.

 

4.?????RURAL & MARITIME MINISTER TO ASSESSS GOVT PROJECTS IN OVALAU?-?The Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Col Inia Seruiratu will be visiting Ovalau this weekend to personally assess ongoing government projects Ovalau.

 

5.?????WOMEN GROUPS INVITED TO APPLY FOR CENTRES CONSTRUCTION?- The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Poverty is calling on interested women?s groups around Fiji to send in their applications for the construction of women centres.

 

6.?????RECIPIENTS REMINDED ON?TIMELY COLLECTION OF VOUCHERS?- The Department of Social Welfare is reminding the recipients of government?s Food Voucher Programme to collect their food vouchers on time.

 

7.?????MINISTER LAUNCHES OLPC FOR NADARIVATU PRIMARY SCHOOL?- Making IT Services and resources available in schools around the country is a commitment that the Education Ministry will see through.

 

8.?????VANUA LEVU YOUTH DRIVE SEAWEED FARMING IN THE NORTH?- Youth in the North are earmarked to spearhead the farming of seaweed within the three provinces of Vanua Levu.

 

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1?FIJI?S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS GET UNDERWAY AROUND THE COUNTRY

 

Labasa was filled with red and blue colours today; celebrating Fiji?s 43rd?year of Independence with the theme, ?Moving Together in Unity to Ensure a Prosperous Fiji?.

 

The celebration started with a march from the Y-corner in the heart of the town to Subrail Park led by the Nabala marching band.

 

Members of the public, Business Houses and Corporate entities flocked the town of Labasa in hoisting and swaying their flags up high as civil servants and school children?s marched through town.

 

The celebration at Subrail Park was filled with excitement as various schools performed different items showcasing different cultural items.

 

The Chief Guest and Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Col. Timoci Natuva in his opening remarks said Fiji has come a long way since Independence in 1970.

 

?We have dedicated ourselves to building a strong and prosperous nation through unity of all citizen, as one people, one nation, said Minister Natuva.

 

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2?WESTERN DIVISION DRAWS CROWD TO FIJI DAY CELEBRATIONS

 

Crowds including civil servants, students and members of the public flocked the western city of Lautoka this morning to celebrate Fiji?s Independence Day.

 

Despite celebrating a day earlier, there was more than enough activities to mark the celebrations.

 

Primary, secondary and tertiary school students coupled with business houses, civil servants and those that went to do their shopping stopped and joined the celebrations bringing the number to more than 800.

 

Chief guest Minister for Viliame Naupoto officiated at the celebrations, which is also running concurrently with other centres around the country.

 

?Today, we celebrate as one people, one nation united by our common similarities as we strive for a better Fiji,? he said.

 

?I am overwhelmed to see such a large number of Fijians joined in celebration.?

 

Minister Naupoto said the untiring work of the teachers in schools, the doctor treating patient in the hospital and the knowledgeable advice from the elders has led Fiji to its success.

 

Activities in the western division also included entertainment and exhibition displays.

 

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3?FIJI FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES APEC LEADERS

 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has delivered a statement to the Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) at the margins of their meeting in Bali, Indonesia on the theme ‘Enhancing Sustainable Growth with Equity and Promoting Connectivity’.

 

“The relevance of the theme of the meeting underscored the reality of our inter-connectedness and shared responsibility over common challenges towards the achievement of sustainable development”, Minister Kubuabola told participants that included world leaders and senior officials from government and private organisations.

 

The invitation to this special informal session is significant as it is the first of its kind for a Leader of APEC to invite Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands to the APEC Leaders Meeting to discuss issues of great priority to the region’, Kubuabola said.

 

“Prior engagement has prohibited Prime Minister Bainimarama joining you this morning; he has nonetheless conveyed his sincere good wishes for the success of APEC 13” said Minister Kubuabola who participated at the meeting as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister.

 

In his statement Minister Kubuabola underlined that connectivity between the Pacific and APEC countries is essential for the achievement of our common development goals and growth as countries and peoples.

 

‘We hope to strengthen cooperation and partnerships in the various ?areas of common interests, including through trade in goods and services, investment, tourism and people-to-people connectivity with APEC members’.

 

Within the context of sustainable development, Fiji hosted the inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) last month, the only south-south organization on the Pacific region that provided for a multi-stakeholder platform where governments, the private sector and civil society can discuss what we, Pacific Islanders need to do to achieve sustainable development’, he added.

 

‘Together with the growing challenges of climate change and sustainable development that beset the Pacific region, PIDF, the Melanesia Spearhead Group for instance would be prepared to explore joint collaborative programs with APEC or bilaterally with members’

 

Minister Kubuabola also took the time to discuss about the political developments in Fiji.

 

Fiji’s President has only on 17 September assented on Fiji’s 4th?Constitution, which forms the basis for the ‘rule of law’ in our country.

 

It not only steers our way to the truly democratic elections slated for no later than September 2014, it also establishes the rules for transparent and democratic forms of engagement that ensures development and growth with equity for individual Fijians and for the country as a whole,’ he said.

 

In his conclusion, Minister Kubuabola expressed the desire by Fiji and in support of other Pacific Leaders including President Tong of Kiribati and Prime Minister Lilo of Solomon Islands for Leaders of Pacific Islands Countries to be invited to informal sessions of future APEC meetings so they could share their views as neighbours facing common challenges.

 

Before the meeting the invited Pacific Leaders paid a courtesy call on the President of Indonesia, H.E Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono APEC has twenty-one members which account for approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population, approximately 55 per cent of the world GDP and about 44 per cent of world trade. It was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community.

 

APEC twenty-one Member Economies include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Republic of the Philippines, The Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

 

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4?RURAL & MARITIME MINISTER TO ASSESSS GOVT PROJECTS IN OVALAU

 

The Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Col Inia Seruiratu will be visiting Ovalau this weekend to personally assess ongoing government projects Ovalau.

 

The tour will enable him to get firsthand information and updates on rural development projects there.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary Mr Filipe Alifereti said the visit is vital as it demonstrates government?s commitment to reach out to rural communities.

 

?It is only proper that these communities continue to be visited so that they can understand how governments value these kinds of projects.

 

?We will continue to empower the lives of rural communities and dwellers to allow them to become better persons in life,? Mr Alifereti added.

 

Minister Seruiratu will be in Ovalau from the 10th?? 12th?of October and will be accompanied by the Permanent Secretary.

 

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5?WOMEN GROUPS INVITED TO APPLY FOR CENTRES CONSTRUCTION

 

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Poverty is calling on interested women?s groups around Fiji to send in their applications for the construction of women centres.

 

The Minister Dr Jiko Luveni has urged women?s groups from rural and peri-urban areas to send in their applications to their nearest women offices.

 

?The Ministry is calling on women groups to give in their applications for the women centres through which Ministry will provide an amount of $5000 to help construct these centres.

 

The Ministry is targeting for an additional budget of $130,000 for next year to build women centre extensions. And we hope to assist more women?s groups and targeting to build around 100 new women centre extensions for women in Fiji. So we request women centres to start sending in their applications now,? Dr Luveni said.

 

?In the last 2 years the Ministry has constructed 45 women centres around Fiji and there are more to come. The objective of these centres is to develop the economic potential of women through the adoption of One Centre One Core Product, concept.

 

?The Centre also provides information and training opportunities for women to up skill their leadership skills and knowledge, therein empowering them to make informed decisions. It?s a great incentive for women to work together to expand their income generating opportunities and contribute towards poverty alleviation in their communities,? Dr Luveni reiterated.

 

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6 ?RECIPIENTS REMINDED ON?TIMELY COLLECTION OF VOUCHERS

 

The Department of Social Welfare is reminding the recipients of government?s Food Voucher Programme to collect their food vouchers on time.

 

The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has called on all food voucher recipients to start collecting their food vouchers from their nearest social welfare division and district offices.

 

?The Food Vouchers for the months of October to December is currently been distributed to all the district and divisional social welfare offices. The recipients are reminded not to be late when collecting their vouchers.

 

?They must realize that this programme is targeted towards genuine cases, those people who need the food items. And if the recipients don?t collect it on time, which is within a period of one month, then that?s an indication to us that they don?t need these food vouchers,? Dr Luveni reiterated.

 

Currently there are?15,892 social welfare recipients under the government?s Food Voucher Programme. Of these 12,725 are assisted through food voucher books, while the others have an electronic food voucher ID cards.

 

Dr Luveni said for those recipients in maritime and remote rural areas, they are provided with $30 top up with their monthly allowances.

 

?One of the challenges faced is that recipients in maritime and rural areas are not able to access the food items through the authorized vendors, main one being Morris Hedstrom for the Food Voucher Programme.

 

And because of this reason we are not giving them food vouchers but we are topping up their monthly allowances by $30. So they can have the cash to purchase the food items,? Minister Luveni explained.

For any further information on the food voucher collection, recipients are advised to contact their nearest social welfare offices or else call Social Welfare Headquarters on?3315585?or?3315754.

 

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7?MINISTER LAUNCHES OLPC FOR NADARIVATU PRIMARY SCHOOL

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Making IT Services and resources available in schools around the country is a commitment that the Education Ministry will see through.

 

This was highlighted by the Minister for Education?Filipe Bole when he delivered on his promise to students at Nadarivatu Primary School last week.

 

The Minister led a team of education officials to officially launch the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme at the school.

 

?Today marks a historic day for Nadarivatu as it makes a transition into a new education culture where information and computer technology are being used to facilitate teaching and learning? said Ambassador Bole.

 

?I acknowledged the collaborative effort of the students, committee and community from Nadali, Navai and Nabuesa villages for completing and equipping the computer laboratory within three weeks,? the Minister said.

 

?The traditional design of the computer tables, chairs and setup of the computer laboratory shows the commitment by Nadarivatu community in the development of Education for their children,? remarked Ambassador Bole.

 

Computer education leads to a variety of career paths which are in demand and the launching of OLPC programme at Nadarivatu is one of the keys to your future careers.

 

The Fiji government has approved $1.3m for the implementation of this readymade resource for primary education. At present ten primary schools are using the OLPC programme and more schools will be on the programme by the end of the year.

 

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8?VANUA LEVU YOUTH DRIVE SEAWEED FARMING IN THE NORTH

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Youths in the North are earmarked to spearhead the farming of seaweed within the three provinces of Vanua Levu.

 

The Department of Fisheries acting principal fisheries officer Joji Vakawaletabua pointed out that he believes that Fiji?s young generation have the potential to generate revenue through seaweed farming.

 

?We are urging youths to get involved in this initiative as they are capable of driving these types of income generating projects in the Northern Division,? he said.

 

He stated that the focus on seaweed farming was currently being centred on the province of Macuata and that the youth there were looked at to strengthen traditional links and relationships between the provinces of Vanua Levu while at the same time taking seaweed farming to other villages.

 

?We are thinking of sending youths around to villages because they are mobile and can also be sent as advocates of seaweed farming.

 

Mr Vakawaletabua highlighted that with the success of seaweed farming in the village of Lakeba, youths of the village can be sent to Naweni to plant seaweed and vice versa with youths from Naweni coming to Lakeba to clean and tie lines of seaweed.

 

?Once this gets under way, youths can visit each other and can go from Bua up to Karoko or Rabi, Nagigi and also to Tawake and assist one another in planting seaweed. This is also a good way to foster their traditional relationship.

 

?In this way youth can maintain their ties and also develop their communities through seaweed,? he added.

 

He said that the initiative would also serve as part of community capacity building for the youth in the province.

 

Lakeba youth and assistant turaga ni koro Saimone Digo said that they were more than happy to be planting seaweed as it was a source of revenue for them.

 

?Our youth are happy to be involved in seaweed farming as we are getting the returns for our efforts and the advice and support from the department of fisheries has helped our seaweed farms grow,? he said.

 

Mr Digo stated that youths in the village were targeting to lay 500 lines of seaweed per youth for the upcoming season.

 

Lakeba village recently harvested 600 lines of seaweed and donated 100 lines of seaweed to neighbouring villages like Mali, Kavewa and Druadrua.

 

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