1. EU HAPPY WITH FIJI’S ELECTION PROGRESS – The European Union through its representative based in Fiji has welcomed the Fijian Government’s electoral process since the assenting of the Constitution by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau last week.
2. RA STUDENTS MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT – His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is visiting secondary schools in Ra this week to advocate to the students the dangers of HIV/AIDS and what they must do to keep clear of this deadly epidemic.
3. DR LUVENI ATTENDS THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM IN KOREA – The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni is in Korea representing Fiji’s at the “Korea Foundation International Exchange Program”.
4. WAILEVU COMMENDS 14TH TELECENTRE – The vanua of Wailevu has commended the opening of the Labasa Muslim College telecentre.
5. GOVERNMENT PREPARES ROADSHOW TO NADARIVATU – The success of a previous rural roadshow organised by Government has prompted the launch of another one in the next few days.
6. FIJI & EU SUGAR STAKEHOLDERS MEET ON SUGAR INDUSTRY – Sugar stakeholders and representatives of the European Union today met in Lautoka to discuss how the two parties could work together to develop the sugar industry in terms of projects development.
1 EU HAPPY WITH FIJI’S ELECTION PROGRESS
The European Union through its representative based in Fiji has welcomed the Fijian Government’s electoral process since the assenting of the Constitution by His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau last week.
EU’s Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Andrew Jacobs made the announcement today in Lautoka saying that the EU was happy with how Fiji has moved towards democracy.
“The electoral process is well underway and we are happy with how things have progressed,” he said. “We are all looking forward to elections next year.”
He also offered an observer team from the EU to be part of the elections in September 2014.
“EU is very pleased with what has transpired in Fiji recently in the lead up to polls and we are pleased to send an observer team from the EU if invited by the Fijian Government,” HE Jacobs said.
“The offer is already on the table and we will await the Fijian Government’s response.”
2 RA STUDENTS MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is visiting secondary schools in Ra this week to advocate to the students the dangers of HIV/AIDS and what they must do to “keep clear of this deadly epidemic”.
As the Pacific Ambassador responsible for advocating on the dangers of HIV/AIDS, Ratu Epeli visited Navesau Adventist High School and Ra High School yesterday where he informed the students of the status of this disease in Fiji and urged them to make wise decisions.
Speaking to more than 630 students at the two schools, Ratu Epeli said that a collective response and commitment is the only way forward.
“Your parents have the responsibility to teach you the facts of life and HIV/AIDS is very much a fact of our lives now.They must do the hard talking and stop giving excuses. They must talk about AIDS with their children. HIV will only go away by our combined response against this deadly epidemic for which there is no cure. Parents must play their part which is crucial to our response,” Ratu Epeli said.
“You are the youth of Fiji and you have a long life in front of you. You must live your dreams.”
“We have to fasten the pace of our response so we can move on to eradication which must be our final goal. We are now witnessing shared responsibility and global solidarity. We are now making use of civil society, the faith-based organisations, the education ministry and the sports organisations,” Ratu Epeli said.
Ratu Epeli will visit all 178 secondary schools around the country to advocate to both teachers and students on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and the various social and health issues related to this disease.
3 DR LUVENI ATTENDS THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM IN KOREA
The Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni is in Korea representing Fiji at the “Korea Foundation International Exchange Program”.
Her participation at this event recognises her role in promoting the empowerment of women in the country and working to protect and promote the rights of women and children.
Dr Luveni said that this would be a good opportunity to establish networks with Korean counterparts in terms of sharing information.
“Korea is one of the countries that has remarkably high level of economic growth and global integration and it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. This visit provides an ideal opportunity to be exposed to Korea’s economic sectors of development and I am particularly interested in learning about the women’s programs,” Minister Luveni said.
During the exchange program, Dr Luveni will also meet with the Korean Minister for Gender Equality and have the opportunity to visit some of the women’s projects in Korea.
“Apart from women’s programs, the exchange program will provide information on Korea’s programs on ageing population. The visit will also enable delegates to familiarize themselves with the Korean culture and tradition,” she added. The mission of Korea Foundation is to promote better understanding of Korea within the international community and to increase friendship and goodwill between Korea and the rest of the world through various exchange programs.
The Korean Foundation president of, Dr Hyun-Seok Yu said that “since its establishment in 1991, the Korea Foundation has been promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the people of Korea and other nations through various international exchange programs.
“Within the scope of these programs, the Foundation invites prominent government officials from abroad who are recognised through their contributions in various professional areas of socioeconomic development. This promotes strengthened partnership between Korea and other international countries to share knowledge through Korea’s industrial and economic development sectors.”
4 WAILEVU COMMENDS 14TH TELECENTRE
The vanua of Wailevu has commended the opening of the Labasa Muslim College telecentre.
Giving free internet access to more than 3000 members of the community and 376 students, the telecentre opened today by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama gives better access to knowledge and the wider world.
Turaga ni koro for Wailevu (village headman), Senirosi Baleira said that the telecentre will be of benefit to the children of Wailevu, a majority of whom are students of Labasa Muslim College.
“I am grateful for this government initiative which gives access to free knowledge via the internet for our children and also to also about 400 Wailevu villagers,” Mr Baleira said.
“Before our children used to walk to Labasa town, now they will only have to walk for about 6 minutes to access computing services in particular the internet.”
The village headman also acknowledged other assistance rendered by government to the tikina of Wailevu in the provision of basic necessities.
Sharing similar sentiments, Labasa Muslim College head teacher, Kamlesh Prasad said that government was bridging the digital divide between the rich and the poor and the rural and urban people.
“Before computer and internet was only accessible to people that were rich,” Mr Prasad said.
“Students and members of the community alike will now be able to use the computers with free internet for research, search for jobs online and use printing services free of charge.”
Labasa Muslim College deputy head girl, Shonam Chand said that the free internet provided by government will be helpful to them in their quest for knowledge.
“I live near the school so I will be able to walk here and use the internet also after hours,” Chand said.
“Before I used to travel into Labasa town to access computing services but now after I finish my project I will be able to print it straight away.”
Government’s 15th telecentre was opened by the head government this afternoon at Savusavu Secondary School.
5 GOVERNMENT PREPARES ROADSHOW TO NADARIVATU
The success of a previous rural roadshow organised by Government has prompted the launch of another one in the next few days.
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development today launched the second roadshow to Nadarivatu following the success of the previous roadshow earlier this year. The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Filipe Alifereti pointed out that the show is aimed at improving the efficiency of government services and resources. He said that it commits government to bridge the “public to government” divide.
Mr Alifereti said after the success of Navosa roadshow where 42 organisations participated, the two-day program at Nadarivatu will cater for communities who are not able to access government services. This includes the communities of Nabubuco, Savatu, Nadrau and Navatusila.
“We will be looking at all the rural areas in Fiji in the next quarter as services in these areas are outside the routes of service. We understand that people face difficulties in those areas especially for roads and getting produce to markets. We are anticipating services for medical check-ups, TIN letter registrations, voter registration/verification of details, rural service license applications and so on for this roadshow,” PS Alifereti said.
He said that the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is expected to participate at the event and hold informal talks with community leaders and villagers.
“This is his way of ensuring government’s information is disseminated right down to grass root level. This week in Vanua Levu, the Prime Minister opened tele centres which addressed the issues of people’s access to information. It is our hope that this event in Nadarivatu will bring services closer to our people,” PS Alifereti said.
The Roadshow will begin on the 17th and 18th of September.
6 FIJI & EU SUGAR STAKEHOLDERS MEET ON SUGAR INDUSTRY
Sugar stakeholders and representatives of the European Union today met in Lautoka to discuss how the two parties could work together to develop the sugar industry in terms of projects development.
Led by the Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi and the Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan, the meeting was called to bring about collaboration in areas where local Fijian sugar cane farmers needed assistance the most.
EU representative to Fiji Andrew Jacobs said the meeting was a fruitful one as they were able to cover a lot of areas concerning the industry.
“The meeting was good as it showed us (EU) on where to target in future projects and also discuss the way forward between the sugar industry and EU,” he said.
“We have been providing assistance through non – governmental organizations since 2007 after the events of 2006 and we are looking at assisting the industry after the elections.”
Mr Vaniqi said the meeting also saw the approval of the development of three cane access road as pilot projects.
“The three projects would be carried out in the Drasa sector, Malolo sector and in Lautoka and will be funded by the EU,” Lt. Col Vaniqi said.
“Those three roads will begin sometimes this year and we are glad that this meeting took place and it was long overdue.”
Vaniqi added that a lot of issues were resolved and ideas were discussed for the betterment of the industry.
Also part of the discussions were the preferential agreement between Fiji and the EU which come into its final term in 2017 and other projects such as research done by the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji.