Three young Pacific Island emerging leaders – two from Fiji and one from Niue – recently visited the Tokyo-based Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), which is part of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Network to be briefed about PTI’s activities in the region and how they could help promote trade and investment and economic development.
The visit came at the end of the three young professionals’ completion of the Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State (Pacific-LEADS) programme.
The Pacific-LEADS programme emphasises the importance of fostering upcoming generations to play key roles in the future of Pacific Island Countries. It aims to provide study opportunities for government officials and other key personnel from Pacific Island Countries.
The trainees are given opportunities to study in master’s courses and complete an internship in government ministries or local municipalities in Japan. Pacific-LEADS is mainly supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has a significant presence around the island region.
The three trainees that visited were Dominiko Tavou Tabuaura and Simon Shiri Sat Narayan from Fiji and Kalavatagaloa Tanita Aileen Morrissey from Niue.
“The three trainees who visited PIC in August had an exchange of views as part of their training programme,” Reiko Takada, PIC’s Promotions Coordinator told Pacific Periscope.
After a briefing about PIC and the PTI network there was a detailed question and answer session about the organisation and trade and investment in the region.
“This was followed by a presentation about their own respective countries. It was very productive exercise for both parties,” Ms Takada added.
At the seventh Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting (PALM 7) in May 2015, the leaders of Pacific Islands Counties and Japan agreed to enhance cooperation focusing on several areas. Among these was this Pacific-LEADS programme in recognition of the importance of fostering upcoming generations, who will play a key role in creating the future of these countries. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the launch of Pacific-LEADS at PALM 7.
While participants mainly tend to be government officials and civil servants of Pacific Island countries, private sector professionals as also those from the education sector have also been selected for the programme.
Participants from the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have been included in the programme since 2015 and have pursued educational qualification in education, health, environment, engineering, international relations and business administration at prestigious Japanese university as part of the programme.