Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wanted: a political approach to empower Papua New Guinea citizens


SINCE INDEPENDENCE, successive governments have betrayed the values that brought Papua New Guinea to nationhood.

The early political promise at independence of providing opportunities to the people, taking responsibility and rewarding those who work hard, seems to have been forgotten.

The result is the people got poorer while the few who got the power and their special interest friends got richer.

PNG has some of the world’s best natural resources and most resourceful people.

The country’s natural beauty, culture and lifestyle could make it a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

Yet, since independence, the country has mismanaged its assets and squandered its opportunities.

The consequences are high unemployment, low incomes, a high tax economy, substantial urban migration, below standard services and a big national debt.

The political system is not working effectively for its people.

Waigani is dominated by special interests and an entrenched bureaucracy that has failed its mission of serving the people in all conditions.

Papua New Guineans are tired of the way their country has been mismanaged and are ready for leaders who are willing to take responsibility to lead the nation to prosperity and growth.

To do this, PNG’s leadership must have a good strategy for change that will transform the country.

The strategy must put people first with a plan to provide avenues for people to fully engage in life-changing opportunities.

The next new prime minister must start dealing with basic problems ignored for many years.

The next government must apply rational policies to traditional resource industries to make PNG competitive and provide benefits to all citizens.

More money must be put into the pockets of those who need it most.

Small and medium businesses, tourism, IT, fisheries, forestry and agriculture must be targeted.

The future government must ensure equality for all citizens by empowering them to equally participate in the country’s development.

PNG must ensure its natural resources are conserved and used for the collective benefit of all citizens and future generations.

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