PM Opens Siva Afi 19th Annual International Competition

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#Speech The Prime Minister’s keynote address at the official opening of finals night for the 19th International Siva AFI Competition.

It gives me great pleasure to address you all tonight at the Finale of the 19th International Siva Afi Competition 2020. We give glory to the Good Lord, as he continues to bless our Beautiful Samoa .

The Government has been working hard unswervingly in keeping our country afloat, especially the Tourism Sector that has been adversely affected the most. Following the enduring effects and setbacks we face, the focus now as it has been over the past 9 months since the pandemic, is domestic tourism.

The Government through the Samoa Tourism Authority has supported various local programmes to help sustain businesses, and promote their products and services for the local market.

With the tremendous support we have seen from our very own people towards tourism businesses in these trying times, it is a positive step towards paving the way to recovery. The Tourism Industry has created initiatives of events and activities to go compliment the favourable drop in room rates, and one of the ongoing initiatives is what we are witnessing here today.

The 19th International Siva Afi Competition 2020 has been a major event in supporting our Teuila Festival and international events, through sustaining the talents of our youth over these many years.

Unique to Samoa, Fire knife dancing is a tradition rooted in our culture, and a means of maintaining Samoan identity with other cultures. It has promoted Samoa throughout the world, and has blessed many families with their talented youth granted work opportunities to continually perform and entertain overseas.

This year, the International Siva Afi Competition 2020 in adapting to the current situations and further supporting our communities, have taken the competition to the big Island of Savaii, with one of the preliminaries held there, at the superb backdrop of the iconic natural tourism site of the Taga Blowholes.

I congratulate Leota Lene and Claire Leota and Siva Afi, and wish all the competitors the very best tonight, with well wishes for an even bigger event next year for your 20th year of celebration.

The Finale for the 19th International Siva Afi Competition 2020 is officially opened.

Soifua ma ia Manuia

Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoa Prime Minister.