Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Honorable Timothy Masiu paid a visit to the Solomon Islands Expo Pavilion in Dubai on Thursday 13 January 2021.
Minister Masiu was accompanied by his wife Madam Christine Masiu, together with Mr. Steven Matainaho, Secretary for Department of ICT (DICT), Mr. Ian Kwaimani, First Secretary to the Minister for ICT, Mr. Kila Gulo Vui, CEO, PNG National ICT Authority (NICTA), Mr. Russell Woruba, Deputy Secretary for DICT, Digital Government & Information Delivery , Mr. Oala Moi, Principal Legal Counsel, DICT, Mr Daniel Kautu- News and Engagement Officer Dubai, Ms Janet Raula-Ila, PNG DFAIT and Foreign Service Officer Ms Nerolyn Kuamugl.
The ministerial delegation was given a warm Melanesian welcome by Deputy Commissioner General and Pavilion Director Mr Dennis Marita and Team Solo.
As fellow Melanesians, the visit by Minister Masiu was considered a “Journey through Familiar Territory’ as Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Kanaks of New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands have shared similarities and interest through our diverse cultures, languages and traditions.
DCG Marita presented one of our signature gift packs before Minister Masiu reciprocated with words of encouragement to all our Pacific Islanders present at the Expo 2020.
“As fellow Melanesians, we have gathered here at Expo 2020 together with our neighboring Pacific Islanders to help promote our respective countries. We must ensure that when we leave this country, we have made an impact by connecting ourselves to the major countries of the world who are amongst us and that we must take every opportunity to gain leverage and progress for the betterment of our Region”.
Team Solo also reciprocated in our traditional manner to acknowledge the inspiring message given by Minister Masiu.
DCG Marita said that “Papua New Guinea is always looked up to as the ‘Big Brother’ in Melanesia and whom other fellow Melanesian countries, including Solomon Islands, look up to for guidance and support in many ways”.
“PNG is Solomon Islands biggest closest neighbor whom we share very close bonds with through our bilateral and socio-economic relations, and more especially cultural relations for decades,” Marita added.
As the Minister himself is from the North Solomons Province in Bougainville, his presence in the Solomon Islands Pavilion is just like visiting another family home, which is just about a 30 minutes boat ride across the border.