1. FIJI ENVOY MEETS EGYPTIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER – Fiji’s Ambassador to the State of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr Robin Nair last week paid a courtesy visit to Egypt’s Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister, Dr Ahmed Mahmoud Ali El-Gizawy in Dokki, Cairo.
2. FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO NEPAL – Fiji strengthened its bilateral relationship with Nepal through the presentation of credentials by Fiji’s High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to Nepal, Mr Yogesh Karan to the President of Nepal.
3. TRAINING TO ACHIEVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE – The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs has recently produced its Workforce Training and Development Plan 2013-2016 to ensure improved services to the public and to its stakeholders as part of its commitment to service excellence.
4. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY – Government is committed to ensuring Fiji meet at least 90 per cent of total energy requirements through renewable sources.
5. TRAINING TO EMPOWER NAGONENICOLO YOUTH – Empowering the nation’s youth, especially those in remote areas is a priority for Government, says Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania.
1. FIJI ENVOY MEETS EGYPTIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER
Fiji’s Ambassador to the State of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr Robin Nair last week paid a courtesy visit to Egypt’s Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister, Dr Ahmed Mahmoud Ali El-Gizawy in Dokki, Cairo.
The visit was a day after Mr Nair presented his credentials to the President of Egypt at the Presidential Palace in Cairo.
Dr El-Gizawy congratulated Mr Nair on his achievements and welcomed any development cooperation between the two countries in agricultural sectors such as land use and reclamation, irrigation and farm management, agriculture fresh produce, sugar production of from sugarcane and beets, livestock farming, seeds production, banana and rice farming and research and development.
Dr El-Gizawy also welcomed Mr Nair’s suggestion to establish a Memorandum of Understanding as the guiding principle to expedite this new area of development in relations and cooperation between the two nations.
Mr Nair said the Fijian Government is currently exploring opportunities with other countries in the area of sugar production and marketing and will certainly welcome any contribution and advice on the advancement and marketing of sugar from Fiji.
He highlighted the importance of technology in agriculture and indicated the MOU cover such technical assistance for Fiji’s fresh produce sustainability.
Dr El-Gizawy said Egypt is ready to share technology and expertise with Fiji to improve agricultural productivity
“Egypt is an intensive user of modern technologies to improve agricultural productivity and they are ready to share the technology and expertise with Fiji,” Mr El-Gizawy said.
Mr Nair said Fiji agriculture will continue to build and strengthen its relations with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.
“Fiji Agriculture will continue to build and strengthen its relations with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and it will further explore areas of collaboration and cooperation, including in areas of mutual interest in food security and self-sustainability,” Mr Nair said.
The Government of Egypt prioritizes investment in the agricultural sector because it supplies 44 per cent of its local food demands and contributes 20 per cent to its national income.
The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation is considered to be key especially when agriculture is still the most important source of growth in their GDP.
Egypt is an important actor in the context of South-South Cooperation supporting development projects in many developing countries. Egypt is also initiating innovative modalities of cooperation on the South-South cooperation with the implementation of trilateral cooperation.
2. FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO NEPAL
Fiji strengthened its bilateral relationship with Nepal through the presentation of credentials by Fiji’s High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to Nepal, Mr Yogesh Karan to the President of Nepal.
The official ceremony was held in the President’s Office in Kathmandu.
The President, His Excellency, Right Honorable Dr Ram Baran Yadav in accepting Mr Karan as Fiji’s Ambassador to Nepal, said both countries could work together to further strengthen its diplomatic relations.
Mr Karan, while conveying his message on behalf of the Fijian Government said Fiji is keen to work closely with Nepal.
During the meeting, Mr Karan also briefed Dr Yadav on Fiji’s political and economic development and international relations.
Mr Karan also had meetings with top leaders of Nepal’s private sector and discussed investment opportunities available in Fiji.
Mr Karan said economic power is shifting to Asia and Fiji needed to capitalise on such opportunities competitively.
He invited the Nepalese entrepreneurs to invest in Fiji as the Government has provided attractive incentives for investments.
Mr Karan further explained that Fiji is open for foreign investments and has efficient systems in place for business registrations.
He also discussed with Dr Yadav the possibility of establishing an agreement on development Cooperation between Fiji and Nepal.
3. TRAINING TO ACHIEVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE
The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs has recently produced its Workforce Training and Development Plan 2013-2016 to ensure improved services to the public and to its stakeholders as part of its commitment to service excellence.
Permanent secretary Savenaca Kaunisela said the Workforce Training & Development Plan is an essential planning tool that will identify competency gaps to improve and raise the level of staff efficiency, performance effectiveness, and public service delivery within the Ministry.
“Being the government agency responsible for good governance and wellbeing of the iTaukei people, it is imperative that the entire workforce are trained and well equipped through the provision of appropriate training and capacity building programmes,” Mr Kaunisela said.
Mr Kaunisela said the plan contains the Ministry’s staff profile, their capabilities and training needs identified through the compilation of a competency audit which is divided into 2 streams: short courses, and full time studies.
“These courses will be undertaken by the officers by 2016,” Mr Kaunisela added.
“The Workforce Training and Development Plan is a valuable asset that will allow our managers to better strategise for the future and narrow the competency gaps by 2016.”
The plan will be guided by the Public Service Commission general training policies.
Section 6.0 of the PSC General Training Policies requires each Ministry to systematically analyse and determine training needs to ensure that officers benefit from the courses they attend.
The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs employs 147 staff. It is made up of seven divisions – Corporate Services, Executive Support Unit, Appeals Tribunal, Development Division, iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture, iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission, and the iTaukei Scholarship Unit.
4. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
Government is committed to ensuring Fiji meet at least 90 per cent of total energy requirements through renewable sources.
This year the Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented close to 1000 solar projects in the rural and maritime areas to ensure all Fijians access sustainable electricity.
DOE assistant director Praneel Singh said the department is currently reviewing the National Energy Policy that will incorporate changes.
“The review of the National Energy Policy will include strict targets for Fiji to reduce their import bill which will allow
Government to save expenditure in these areas,” Mr Singh said.
“Government’s aim by 2015 is to ensure 100 per cent of Fiji’s population has some form of power. Since 2006 we have installed close to 4000 solar projects,” he added.
The department is confident of producing a reviewed National Energy Policy by September this year.
As part of the 1000 government funded solar project, 603 are designated for Vanua Levu while the remaining 397 are being installed in Viti Levu, Cikobia, Rotuma and Taveuni.
Mr Singh said it is the department’s responsibility to look for alternative energy sources in the face of growing international prices of energy commodities.
5. TRAINING TO EMPOWER NAGONENICOLO YOUTH
Empowering the nation’s youth, especially those in remote areas is a priority for Government, says Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Josefa Sania.
Mr Sania, who closed a one week empowerment training workshop in Nagonenicolo, the upper-most district of Naitasiri, said the ministry through its training workshops hopes to give youth in interior areas a sense of redirection and empowerment.
The ‘Dynamic Training Workshop’ was conducted by the ministry at Nakorosule village, bringing together youth from Dreketi, Udu, Wairuarua, Waibalavu, Nawaisomo, Nasalia, Laselevu, Nakida and Nakorosule.
“With all that you have been given this week, I hope that it would give you a sense of redirection and empowerment,” Mr Sanias said to the young people of Nagonenicolo.
Mr Sania thanked village elders of the district for their support and asked them to trust youth with responsibilities in order to encourage them in their capabilities.
Naitasiri youth worker, John Tamani said village elders highly praised the workshop conducted by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
“Because of the location of the villages, they (youth) hardly meet especially when five of the villages are not accessible by road and it is easy for them to travel through Wainibuka,” Mr Tamani said.
Mr Tamani said through the workshop the young people of Nagonenicolo district were able to register their youth groups and also do project proposals.
Stakeholders involved in the training included the Ministry of Agriculture, Small Business Enterprises, Fiji Development Bank, Elections Office and the Ministry of Health.