PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says infrastructure is an important enabler of development.
The Prime Minister in his recent 2021 Independence Address said investments in infrastructure generate multiplier effects in other sectors and throughout the economy.
Prime Minister Sogavare said infrastructure links people to markets and services, supports and stimulates economic activities in rural areas and brings about improvements in the livelihoods of our people.
“Infrastructure development remains an important priority of the Government. The Government remains committed to progressing key game changing infrastructure initiatives that have the potential to drive transformative change and boost economic and social development,” he said.
The Prime Minister also reiterated what he stated in his 2019 Independence Address, which ‘calls for innovative approaches to infrastructure planning and development that not only address social and economic constraints but one that demonstrates inclusivity and a whole of country focus’.
Prime Minister Sogavare said despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have made some progress on that front.
“I am glad to update you all that a concept study desktop analysis of the National Transport Core Initiative was undertaken. The concept study assessed the technical, economic, environmental and social viability of the National Transport Core Initiative,” he said.
Infrastructure development remains an important priority of the Government. The Government remains committed to progressing key game changing infrastructure initiatives that have the potential to drive transformative change and boost economic and social development
The Prime Minister highlighted that the key findings were:
Prime Minister Sogavare said the next step is to do a study, which would cover the following;
The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Solomon Islands Government and the Australian Government had just signed a Subsidiary Agreement worth $AUD250 million for 10 years under the broader Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program.
He said two components of the National Transport Core Initiative have been taken up as part of the start-up work-plan under this agreement.
“These are the technical preparatory work on the Bina Harbour Project and the planned Noro Port redevelopment project that would potentially leverage additional financing from the Australian Infrastructure Investment Financing Facility (AIFFP),” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program initial start-up work-plan will include activities aimed at strengthening infrastructure policy, planning and management and infrastructure financing and delivery.
“Key infrastructure policy work will include support for the finalization of the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Management Bill and Building Codes,” he said.
The Prime Minister said work is also underway to establish a National Infrastructure Development Authority.
“Initial baseline gathering work for the infrastructure sector will lead to a repository of infrastructure information, materials and knowledge for Solomon Islands,” he said.