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The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the chair of the Bank’s Board of Directors Takehiko Nakao will arrive in Apia today for his first ever visit to Samoa.
He will meet with senior Government officials including Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi to discuss the ADB assistance programs, and visit projects supported by the Manila-based multilateral financial institution before leaving the country on January 9.
President Nakao is also scheduled to is scheduled to join the Prime Minister to commission the Tafitoala and Fausaga Small Hydro Plant, which was established by the Samoa Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project, which is co-financed by the ADB, the governments of New Zealand and Samoa, and the European Union.
Tuilaepa and Nakao are then expected to hold a joint press conference where the ADB President will also view the latest achievements of the ADB-financed renewable energy and agribusiness projects.
The ADB continues to play a significant role in assisting the Samoa Government to progress its development goals.
According to information from the bank’s website, poverty in Samoa has fallen in urban centers, child mortality has been reduced, and the Government has placed greater emphasis on environmental sustainability.
“Primary school education is now almost universal for children in Samoa, while gender disparity in both primary and secondary education has been eliminated.
But with limited natural resources and a narrow economic base, Samoa’s economy remains vulnerable to external shocks.
“The A.D.B. has supported the Government’s efforts to reform the economy, placing a focus on improving the business environment for private enterprise.
The Pacific Approach 2016-2020, which is ADB's operational framework for the Pacific, serves as the country partnership strategy for Samoa and 10 other Pacific island countries.
“The country operations business plan (COBP) 2017-2019 is aligned with the Pacific Approach and ADB's midterm review of Strategy 2020.
“It is also aligned with the Strategy for the Development of Samoa, 2012-2016, which places priority on macroeconomic stability, sustainable tourism, a reinvigorated agriculture sector, revitalised exports and the provision of an enabling environment for business development.
“Improved public sector management and the private sector are seen as key drivers for growth,” stated the website.
Due to the increase in programmes focused on 11 Pacific island countries — to enhance the impact of its growing programme of assistance in the sub-region — an office was opened in Samoa.
The Bank’s overall assistance to the Pacific has doubled every five years since 2005, and now stands at $2.9 billion. Total assistance is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2020.
In 2017 the Bank’s Board of Directors approved a loan of up to $2 million to develop solar energy capabilities and coverage in Samoa. Nakao and the Prime Minister will visit the solar energy facility. The second site visit will be to the Fiaga Powerplant.
Samoa is the first country in the Pacific to install battery energy storage systems and micro grid controller. The $22.7 million facilities housed at the Fiaga Power Station compound, allows the storage of electricity that is automatically injected to the grid, when there is a sudden increase in demand or sudden loss of power generated.
The micro grid controller is a computer-based system. It will automatically control and regulate the operation of not only the two new battery systems, but also all the Electric Power Corporation power plants and independent solar farms.
The project is part of the Power Sector Expansion Project funded by the Asian Development Bank, Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA), Government of Australia and Government of Samoa.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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