Small islands face geo linked development challenges

Minister Laisenia Tuitubou speaking to members of the Moce Youth group in Suva May 19.0 Picture: SUPPLIED

SMALL island developing states are faced with compelling development challenges says Minister for Youth and Sports, Laisenia Tuitubou.

He made these comments while speaking at the Eastern Division Stakeholder Consultation Workshop Program held earlier in the week in Suva.

Mr Tuitubou said our disadvantages were often associated with our small size, remoteness and being prone to natural disasters.

“These factors have a major impact on our small vulnerable economies leading to conditions which can threaten our very economic viability,” Mr Tuitubou said.

“We differ in the structure of our economies. Some are more advanced but we all depend on natural resources, particularly our seas.”

He said the lack of capacity, knowledge and technical know-how, strength and the capacity hindered our development and progress to creating an economy which included all Fijians.

“There has been a significant rise in Fiji of individuals suffering from NCDs and our resources and funding continue to be absorbed in providing health services to our citizens,” he said.

He mentioned that workshops provided us with an opportunity to understand, appreciate and utilise the existing skills and talents the youths that could be used for greater economic returns.

“Youths are the leaders. You bring about positive changes in society. We need to help you build your capacities and enhance your abilities to become entrepreneurs, to become the voice in the fight against NCD’s and climate change,” he said.

During the workshop, the participants were given opportunities to voice their concerns, opinions and gave stakeholders a chance to respond, share best practices, successful business ideas and achievements.