Thousands of people turned up at Lawson Tama this morning to be part of celebrations marking the country’s 45th Independence Anniversary.
Focusing his address on the theme of this year’s celebrations- “Rising above and overcoming challenges as one people, Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare begun by recalling a number of major challenges Solomon Islands has faced in the last forty-five years. Among them are economic challenges since Independence, Cyclone Namu (1986), East Asian Financial Crisis (1997), Ethnic Tension, Global Financial Economic Crisis (2007-2009), 2014 Flash Flooding among others.
Over the past three and a half years in particular, the country faced the Covid-19 pandemic and felt its wide-ranging devastating consequences.
However Prime Minister Sogavare said, 45 years after gaining political Independence and in the face of challenges, Solomon Islands must rise above and overcome our challenges as one people.
“It does not matter how many of these challenges we face, what matters is how we as a nation work together, rise above, and overcome our challenges as one people”.
Prime Minister Sogavare reflected, the national economy had been hit hard by internal and external economic shocks, coming from natural disasters, global financial and economic crisis, domestic ethnic tensions, civil unrest, riots and health pandemic.
Despite these challenges, the country has come a long way. Small as it is, Solomon Islands still find its place in the global economy, said the Prime Minister.
Coming into power in 2019, the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) was in top form to fully implement its budget to serve its people when the COVID 19 outbreak, November Riots, and impacts of Ukraine war hit home.
But the Prime Minister stated, come what may, united we must remain to overcome current and future challenges.
He adds, our challenge for the next six months is to be united as one people. …….“The upcoming event of the Pacific Games is an opportunity to show our Pacific brothers and sisters that we are stronger together, to Challenge, Celebrate and Unite as one nation.”
On partnership and development for Peace, while the global environment is undergoing dynamic changes with bigger nations jostling for influence in the world and our region, Solomon Islands want to remain neutral…. “it is not in the interest of our people and country to take sides, and align ourselves with interests that are not our interests.”
Solomon Islands will continue to strive for transformation in other provinces apart from Guadalcanal by building new transformative infrastructure that will grow and drive our economy.
The honorable Prime Minister also addressed issues such as Land and Development, Commodities Export Marketing Authority, Climate Change and Development partners and Christian Cultural Values in his Independence address.
Prime Minister Sogavare also announced recipients of the 45th Independence Honors and Awards.