| Office of the Bougainville President
BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government says it is making headway part way in its first 100 days in office with progress in the economic and development sectors as well as in its relations with the Marape government.
President Ishmael Toroama’s overarching theme over this period has been ‘Innovation and Change’ with a strong focus on raising revenue and steadying the government’s course ready for post-referendum consultations with the national government.
Yesterday President Toroama reported to parliament that his meeting with prime minister James Marape last week was a success.
“Both the prime minister and I reaffirmed our commitment to the ongoing peace process and the need for constructive dialogue,” Toroama said.
“We discusses issues from past joint supervisory body meetings including the drawdown of powers, intergovernmental financing arrangements, transfer of the national government’s shareholding in Bougainville Copper Ltd and the prime minister’s commitment to a one-line budget for the Autonomous Bougainville Government.”
The president said his inaugural trip to Port Moresby allowed him to meet with Bougainville’s development partners, diplomatic missions and the PNG Ombudsman Commission.
The focus of these relationships will be on development aid, not on furthering Bougainville’s political aspirations.
President Toroama met with the US Ambassador Erin Elizabeth Mckee, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing, European Union Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos and Japanese diplomatic staff as the Ambassador Kuniyuki Nakahara was in isolation.
“I am more than convinced of the need for an overall aid coordination strategy within which Bougainville’s donor priorities will be articulated,” President Toroama said.
“Such an aid strategy must be rooted to my six-point strategy on Bougainville’s development and political journey.
“There is much to be done, especially on the political and economic fronts,” he said.
“I expect all Bougainville ministers and the bureaucracy to support the initiatives I undertake to better organise and move Bougainville forward."
He said the six-point strategy will not have much impact unless people take ownership through maintaining law and order.
Toroama also provided an overview of several key achievements include the reconciliation of the landowners of the Manetai limestone project area, the Tonolei integrated forestry and agriculture project and the Bana special economic zone project.