BY ALEX DADAMU
MAJOR capital injection to build roads, bridges, wharves, and airports in rural areas is needed to improve connectivity and access to markets.
This was according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare when delivering his address at the first-ever organized Young Entrepreneurs Council of Solomon Islands (YECSI) Awards night on Thursday 17th November.
Prime Minister Sogavare said connecting the Islands through infrastructure is still lacking thus this has made it unattractive for people to start businesses in the rural areas where more than 80% of the country’s population live.
He said this has resulted in most of the people converging in Honiara and looking for opportunities.
“Most of the existing infrastructure was built by our colonial rulers, the Japanese and the Americans during World War Two and to a certain extent, past governments.
“However, I must say that we are still lacking in connecting our islands through infrastructure and this has made it unattractive for people to start businesses in the rural areas where more than 80% of our population live. This resulted in most of us converging in Honiara and looking for opportunities.
“And whilst the population in Honiara continues to increase the land size remains the same, going into the future, this will not change. Past governments have been trying to build infrastructure in the provinces, but the progress has been very, very slow,” Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said.
He further pointed out that what the country needs is a major capital injection into the building of roads, bridges, wolves, and airports in our rural areas to improve connectivity and access to markets.
“These infrastructures are enablers to economic development, and they ensure the operational overheads cost are kept to a minimum thus increasing profit margins,” Sogavare said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare reassured that the government is adamant to build these new infrastructures and revitalize the old ones to provide the economic network that the country will drive upon to do business in the not too distant future, “and that’s where we thank our development partners who are with us – have been with us since independence and will continue to be with us.