“Our cohesion, unity of purpose and faith are our greatest assets to help us face the New Year with confidence..”

"We welcome and encourage the creativity of our people, and their wisdom to initiate ideas and solutions to enhance economic growth and to continually build our resilience."

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As people around the world gather to welcome in the New Year; I take this moment to wish everyone in Samoa a happy New Year.

On reflection of the past year we are greatly encouraged by the growth of the economy at 8 percent by the end of the financial year 2022/2023. This notable increase signifies a momentous recovery on an annual basis, effectively reversing the economic downturn experienced over the past three fiscal years; the economy is currently in a phase of sustained growth.

Although our challenges have been numerous and tough over the past twelve months, I know that we have the courage and determination to rise up and meet them.

We have accepted the uncertainties that remain but we are willing to usher in a new dawn with commitment to our priorities set out in the Pathway for the Development of Samoa.

We welcome and encourage the creativity of our people, and their wisdom to initiate ideas and solutions to enhance economic growth and to continually build our resilience.

Government remains committed to improving public health and education and human resource development through capacity building and institutional strengthening. I acknowledge the reviews and launch of most of the sector plans during the year. These are fundamental to the successful implementation of our development priorities.

Equally important is our emphasis on a strong, diversified, and sustainable economy focusing on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, business innovation, information technology, labour mobility and community development.

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Good governance and transparency at all levels of our society will ensure responsible custodianship of our resources to generate maximum benefits for our country.

We continue to uphold democratic principles as prescribed in our Constitution and the rule of law.

Relevant amendments to some existing legislation and policies will happen in future, to ensure that government is able to respond to the needs of our people, and shifts in governance and security dynamics in the region and beyond.

Community participation and support are essential to our call for resilient community developments. The one million Tala project for district developments continues to date. Government will ensure that all districts are supported with relevant capabilities and knowledge for effective coordination of assistance to district development initiatives.

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2023 produced notable results for our international teams and players. Team Samoa performed excellently in the recent Pacific games in the Solomon Islands. We also congratulate all other representative teams that flew the flag high in various tournaments throughout the past year.

Government will continue to support sports development and nurturing of our athletes through encouraging regular and planned programmes for sports competition domestically as well as effective governance and management of sports.

I thank the Heads of Government Ministries, Corporations, private sector and non-governmental organisations and all staff. The challenges of rendering public service can be complex at times, but your patience and highest regard of your service to our people, defines purpose and commitment to public service.

I am pleased to acknowledge with gratitude the ready support of all our development partners who are always with us to address our priority development needs bilaterally and regionally through planned consultations and sometimes as a result of drawn out multilateral negotiations.

The signing of the Samoa Agreement in November is a historical step towards strengthening genuine partnerships and international relations and more opportunities for our people.

The E.U. – A.C.P. Samoa Agreement commits the E.U. and A.C.P. member states to advance efforts for human rights and democracy, peace and security, sustainable economic growth, climate change, and labour mobility including regional priorities.

I thank the ministries, private sector and non-government organisations for delivering a successful signing event at very short notice.

We will be hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (C.H.O.G.M.) in October this year. This will be the first time the C.H.O.G.M. will be hosted by a small island developing state in the Pacific region. It will also be the first time the Head of the Commonwealth – His Majesty King Charles III will visit Samoa. In this regard, I wish to call on everyone’s support to ensure that our hosting of the C.H.O.G.M. will be safe and memorable.

The Head of State’s Christmas message called for unity in faith. As a nation founded on God, there shall be no other way but through our unity in prayer, to seek divine guidance in our daily walk through life and what the future holds for us.

I am happy to announce that our week of prayer and fasting will begin on Sunday, 7th January until the 12th of January, 2024.

Your favorite Café in town are on a break, and will be back on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.

Our cohesion, unity of purpose and faith are our greatest assets which will help us face the New Year with confidence and nurture hope and optimism for more inclusive progress and prosperity and resilience to the challenges ahead of us.

I wish you all a peaceful, blessed and safe New Year.

Join us at the fireworks celebration to herald in 2024!

Soifua.