JICA’s Resident Representative paid a final courtesy call to Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa this week as he farewells Samoa after three and a half years of service.
Mr Hoshino Akihiko departs Samoa on Sunday 15 May after serving his full term as Resident Representative and Head of Office in Samoa.
Mr. Hoshino says being posted in Samoa has been the highlight of his career, and he has enjoyed good collaboration with the government of Samoa.
“Three and half years later, my experience of Samoa have been extraordinary. By far the best experience because my work here covered a combination of developments.”
Mr. Hoshino arrived in 2018, just nine months before the measles outbreak, and the first state of emergency for Samoa was declared.
His tenure has been a time of perpetual State of Emergency status for Samoa with the global Covid-19 pandemic that followed the measles.
One of Mr. Hoshino’s first assignments, was to assist in bringing in Japan’s Emergency Medical Team personnel to assist with the measles outbreak.
JICA have always prioritised assisting vulnerable communities in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and Mr. Hoshino was determined to do just that, his motto being to “leave no one behind”.
Moreover, in spite of the tremendous challenges later with COVID19, Mr. Hoshino made sure JICA kept its objectives in focus:
” To contribute to the promotion of international cooperation as well as the sound development of Japanese and global economy by supporting the socioeconomic development, recovery or economic stability of developing regions”
Some of the major projects that have been implemented during Hoshino’s tenure in Samoa include the ‘Reconstruction of the Vaisigano Bridge’ and the ‘Construction of the Pacific Climate Change Center’ at Vailima.
Some of JICA’s work is visible, such as improving water access and waste management for communities. Some may not be so visible, such as closed-door negotiations and international relations, strategic policy support and capacity development.
Mr. Hoshino said it was a great honor for him to serve in Samoa, adding that he leaves the country with warm impressions.
He highly valued the partnership with the Samoan Government, the evidence of which are the effective joint programs.
“JICA will continue to stand by Samoa and the Samoan people, to assist the implementation of improvements and new developments, and overcome the difficult challenges,” says Mr Hoshino.
Mr Hoshino did the rounds to bid farewell to devekopment partners and key stakeholders in the past two weeks. Mr. Hoshino thanked and acknowledged the invaluable support shown by each office in cooperation with JICA Volunteers over the years.
Mr. Hoshino said that the technical expertise provided by JICA Volunteers and Project experts have been an incomparable contribution to JICA Projects around the country.
“Samoa has been the home for JICA Volunteers for 50 years now. The volunteer’s experiences, knowledge, and technology has allowed us to strengthen the reach and quality of our activities and support programs.”
All our best wishes to you Hoshino san! Thank you for your heart of service and love for Samoa.