Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 January 2014

Ulrich Sumptoh from Central Pentecost (UMP) is the new Mayor of Port Vila. Leimara Malachi (VP) his deputy. All 17 councillors were present yesterday and the vote took place by secret ballot.

Following the announcement this week that the new citizenship provisions of the Constitution are in place, Daily Post has news today that an office of the Vanuatu Australian Connection Inc is providing families in Australia with information concerning dual citizenship. These are the families of those persons ‘blackbirded’ to work on Queensland sugar farms.

The restriction on buses entering the CBD of Port Vila has been put on hold according to the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC) and Port Vila Efate Land Transport Assn (PVELTA). "Technical issues" with the decision to have such a trial emerged.

Of particular interest in today’s Daily Post is a letter from Jimmy Andeng concerning the seminar a week ago in which the former trade economist Dr Dan Gay saw CRP as a failure from any point of view. Dan Gay said that in the wake of the introduction of CRP, Vanuatu "had a major recession" instead of the 5.8% growth in GDP predicted at the outset. Jimmy Andeng, however, points out certain successes of CRP which are unlikely to be contested by Gay, but Andeng has entirely different reasons to Gay’s for the Asian Development Bank leaving the country. This certainly needs further clarification. The one point I would make (as writer of the Post story, although I did not make this point therein, nor did it emerge in the seminar) is the depressing manner in which CRP left agriculture, field assistants greatly reduced in number. Ministers of agriculture only now seem to be trying to redress the shortcomings in agricultural development. This is surely an area in which there should have been more consultation with the stakeholders, the essence of Gay’s argument.

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One Comment on “Vanuatu daily news digest | 25 January 2014”

  1. Kun says:

    Before commenting i would like to make it clear that i have not read Mr. Adeng’s comments thus may not do justice to comments from Mr. Guy and Mr. Andeng. However, I would say that the outcome of the CRP was somewhat mixed. It is true that then economy when into recession during the implementation of the reform, however it did turn things around. Between 2003 and 2009 the economy was never better which show government running budget surplus. The consolidation of government revenue was more coordinated,as before CRP each line ministries operate as a government within the government by making their own revenues for their own operations. whilst this approach was okay for some the ministries that are not collecting any revenue really struggle to provide their services. I would agree that there might be lack of consultation and other things that would have made the outcome much better. Off course there are things that are made worst off such as the agriculture extension. on the other hand a few things have improved as well. NBV and VNPF were in dire strait before CRP and now they have contributed immensely to the economic development of the country. A lot of process and procedures have been put in place to make the government more accountable and transparent. Despite this a few institutions have been slack off in continuing this pace of reforms bringing some arm of government to pre CRP days. In order for things to improve it calls for continuous reforms and not just a one off process. It is also a pity that some institutions do not embrace the reforms and to tailor it to suit vanuatu’s context to make it work better. Simply there is lack of ownership of the reform process, hence things when back to were they were before. Before i finish may i reiterate that reform must be an ongoing and it must be own by the government and the people, so lets not point fingers, but work together to chart vanuatu’s development path.

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