$20m ADB investment in education for Pacific women and girls

Asian Bankers association representative Amador Honrado (right) with Asian Development bank’s Bredina Drollet and Temporary Alternate Governor Taina Iro attend the Opening Session of the Board of Governors at the Asian Development bank’s 52nd Annual Meeting at Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

ABOUT $20 million has been invested by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to boost education for women and girls in the Pacific.

ADB chief thematic officer Chiara Bronchi highlighted this while speaking at a panel discussion on opportunities and challenges for young women’s economic empowerment in the Pacific.

She made the comment during the ADB annual meeting in Nadi this week.

“We have a project which is linked to higher education in the Pacific, it’s about $20 million and some components of this project is really targeted to women and in particular, to increase young women and girls’ participation in learning information and communications technology (ICT),” she said.

“We have targeted Solomon Islands and we hope to bring at least 50 per cent of the girls into these courses and to be able to use ICT more regularly up to 2020.

“We also want to improve student services through gender-sensitive training for counsellors, you also need to have counsellors and this is really important.

“So career planning and career pathways are part of the program and this is organised with the University of the South Pacific.”

Ms Bronchi said they were also working to strengthen linkages between finance and entrepreneurship.

“With the deepening of the internet, mobile phones are also possible to reach out to remote areas. In Papua New Guinea, we have established a system which provides access to cash for women in rural areas more easily.

“We are also testing innovative approaches by piloting programs to really encourage women to participate as leaders in the economic communities and, therefore, we are focusing in Tonga and we are trying to replicate this in Fiji.”

More Stories