Four Samoan Associate Ministers were sworn-in Tuesday to support the workload of Cabinet ministers.

The larger Ministries such and Public Works, Environment and Agriculture now have two Associate Ministers.

Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa said the appointments share the workload in assisting the Cabinet Ministers and also give the Associate Ministers experience in the work of Cabinet other than being ordinary Members of Parliament and Members of Parliamentary Committees.

Fuiono Tenina Crichton of Falealupo is the Associate Minister for the Ministry of Communications, Information and Technology and the office of the Legislative Assembly. He replaces Magele Sekati who has been shifted to be the Associate Minister of Finance.

Maiava Fuimaono Tito of Falealili 2 is the second Associate Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. He shares the workload with Associate Minister, Vaele Iona Paiaau Sekuini who also holds the important role of Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee.

Laumatiamanu Ringo Purcell is the second Associate Minister for the Ministry of Works, Infrastructure and Transport, working together with fellow Associate Minister, Niuava Eti Malolo under the MWIT Minister, Olo Fiti Vaai.

Faleomavaega Titimaea Tafua is the Associate Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment and Samoa Tourism Authority to work alongside the Minister, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster.

Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa congratulated the new Associate Ministers and noted that the additional appointments reflect the Government’s focus and drive to deliver projects and reforms for the people and country as had been outlined in her governments manifesto.

Meanwhile, the United States new Ambassador to Samoa, Tom Udall has praised and congratulated Samoa’s democracy after “hitting tough spots” in the April 2021 general elections.

After presenting his credentials to the Head of State, Tuimaleliifano Vaaleto’a Sualauvi II, Udall via a zoom press conference said Samoa just showed how vital and strong its democracy is in the recent election.

“Democracy requires engagement so each generation has to make that engagement and make that commitment and that’s what I think Samoa has done and shown to the people of Samoa and to the world that you can hit some tough spots in democracy but you come out of it stronger and so I congratulate your Government on that,” he said.

“It’s not said in any way that we want to interfere with the government of Samoa. Our objective and my objective as a diplomat is to work with Samoa as equal partners to move forward together on shared values and issues that we care about,” said Udall.

“We share those values, we share the values that flow from democracy about freedom of speech and freedom of religion and one thing I would say to the young people both in Samoa and the United States and around the world is that democracy is not a spectator sport.”

Before taking on the role of Ambassador, Udall had known that Samoans were friendly people.

“We just had the Superbowl, and we had a Samoan as the Emcee, wonderful person, presents a great personality and I think all Samoans all over the world are really known for their generosity,” he said.

“But the thing that really hits me is how we’re both very proud Pacific nations and knowing that we want to work together, share common values about democracy, about freedom of speech, about freedom of religion and all of those things are important to both countries and so I really look forward to getting to know the Samoan people much better as the circumstances develop as I’m able to get there,” he said.