Thursday, November 12, 2009

True development is human development

By James Wanjik


PRIOR to independence, Papua New Guinea’s self government leaders pronounced eight policy aims commonly referred to as the 8 Aims.

At independence these were reduced to five national goals. The very first goal which indeed is the vision is integral human development.

It is about holistic human development encompassing four components of a person: body, heart, mind and spirit.

Each of these components has unique needs and attributes.

Our development strategy has been economic development on the back of mineral resources.

It is about making money first before providing service to our people.

Money was made but service did not reach our people as pre-independence, independence and post independence leaders anticipated and charted for PNG in its first national goal.

 Our poor human development index, deteriorated and deteriorating physical and social infrastructure in many parts of our country, increasing incidence of crimes, and poverty of leadership and governance culminating from ignorant and arrogant leadership complemented with corrupt governance are symptoms of PNG not achieving its first national goal 34 years on after independence.

The plight of our borderless people in the six border provinces is even worse.

In some parts of our border there are not even schools to open the window to the outside world and more so to liberate the person from bondage of powerlessness.

Health services are non-existent to provide health care and support.

Infrastructure is unavailable to provide economic opportunity to our people.

Few of these services are provided by kind hearts in missionaries and churches.

Such predicaments make it challenging for any meaningful regulation of the border areas; something that had eluded successive governments over the years.

Just after 33rd independence anniversary of our nationhood in 2008 a search was on for a meaningful path to border development and management.

The idea of border development authority was born in earnest. In October 2008 the 8th Parliament made a momentous decision to pass the Border Development Authority Act 2008.

 PNG would now see the development of its border areas being coordinated and funded with a vision to liberate our border people.

Only a free people would be free to move change in perception of national security and liberty.  

Since commencement of the Border Development Authority Act 2008 and the appointment of the Executive Chairman and the Board of the BDA in October 2008 it has worked hard to win buy-ins and ownership.

In six months after its inauguration in Port Moresby in March 3, 2009 the BDA has moved with lightning speed to secure its position as a model-in-the-making of a development and service delivery authority.

BDA is aware that border development and management is a political hot potato for those inclined at political power play arising from perceived fiefdom syndrome.

It has so far avoided that by keeping to its core mandate to coordinate funding and development in the border areas of PNG.

BDA’s Corporate Plan 2009 – 2012 and 10 Year Development Master Plan 2010 – 2020 are the key documents on how to do and what to do at the BDA.

On the dual launches of these documents in Vanimo, Sandaun Province on 09 October 2009 Hon. Patrick Pruaitch, Minister for Treasury and Finance would have been forthright had he stated that ‘true development is human development’ and the BDA will be an agent of change in development thinking.  

Below is the full text of a speech that was not made. 

TODAY is a wake up time for PNG. No more sleep and no more excuses.

We are ready to move and be the change. Such is the Border Development Authority.

 It has worked hard since its inauguration in March this year.

In just six months Pomat Manuai, the Executive Chairman and his Board and Management with able assistance of BDA staff and a few national consultants in collaboration with regulatory agencies and border provinces have done us proud.

The BDA has developed a Corporate Plan 2009 – 2012 to guide its actions.

 It has a vision to serve the people in the border areas of PNG. Our people in the border areas are some of the most neglected in government services and infrastructure.

Our people desire to stay in a secured and humane environment.

The BDA was to be the change.

BDA has also gone further.

It has completed a 10-year development master plan.

This is what BDA will do in the years ahead.

In Sandaun and more specifically Wutung Border Post lot of background work has been done on the free trade concept.

 BDA is the Executing Agency for this project. A State Team went to Manila in 3rd week of October 2009 to negotiate a 25 million USD loan with the Asian Development Bank.

 The Government will provide 5 million USD as its contribution taking the total project cost to 30 million USD.

BDA is also assisting our Security Organisations.

At the launch of Corporate and 10 year plans the BDA saw to it that the security of PNG was mobilised with donations of four vehicles to the Defence and Police Forces at Vanimo for border patrols.

 The Vanimo jail also was assured of funding commitment for jail dormitory and staff quarters.

In a matter of weeks from now BDA will see first of several landing crafts being delivered to it.

Sandaun will be serviced by MV Ulayut.

Others to benefit immediately are East Sepik, Manus, East New Britain and West New Britain.

In 2010 BDA will acquire some more to service New Ireland, Bougainville, Milne Bay and Western Province.

At this juncture mention and acknowledgement for the counterpart funding support of the Government is due the Ministry of National Planning.

BDA committed     K 10 million and Planning assisted with another K 10 million.

BDA is in the process of setting up a shipping company to manage the fleet though in the early days it might be looking at the possibility of contracting a professional shipping company to manage its fleet.

To move a new organisation in such a short time is a remarkable achievement.

BDA is setting out to be a model service delivery and development authority.

On Wednesday 30 September when the cabinet was briefed on the progress BDA had made it was all praises.

 BDA has a record to build on.

We will work hand in hand to build on.

The Government we understand is ready for challenges ahead. Rowing out of government were those who want Ministries.

They lack human skills to deal with other leaders. Such leaders need position to serve people.

 Very sad indeed for such leaders. PNG does not need the pandemic changes of governments of the past.

 Worse there has been no pronouncement of new policies.

Just what do the pollies in the Opposition and their renegades intend to do?

Our people must ask the Opposition.

Role of BDA is apolitical.

It will help our people regardless of who is in government.

 PNG will not tolerate a government that is only interested to raid the till.

Some leaders of the Opposition are true party freaks.

 They are salivating to party on PNG resources.

Time will tell who helped the people and who helped self.

No leader in the Opposition had wanted their incompetence laid bare.

Well they have no veil left.

The truth is they only want position, pay and privileges.

Nogat sem bilong ol.

The Government is about serving our people.

 BDA is the Government’s baby.

BDA will grow in love of service.

When people feel the impact and get impacted by the BDA they will be free from manipulation and control by power hungry leaders.

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