LED Workshops for BTC, TUC and ETC

Participants and invited guests to the LED workshop for BTC and TUC

Participants and invited guests to the LED workshop for BTC and TUC

Kiribati’s Vice President and Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon. Teima Onorio, officially opened two workshops on Local Economic Development (LED), in September. One was held at the Betio Town Council (BTC) from 10th to 11th September, attended by Councillors and official of BTC and TUC. The other was held at Abaokoro for ETC Councillors and officials, from 15th-16th September. Both workshops were aimed at building the capacity of BTC, TUC and ETC in the planning and implementation of LED in their communities.

The BTC workshop

In her opening remarks at the BTC LED Workshop, the Vice President and long-time Board Member of CLGF, welcomed the initiative by CLGF and financial support by the EU that has allowed the workshop to take off in Kiribati. She also thanked the Councillors and senior staff of the Councils involved for attending and advised that the workshop would provide participants with relevant skills and knowledge on LED that would contribute to growth and reduce poverty in their communities. She also challenged the Councils to review their related legislations, including the Business Bye-law, to make them supportive to LED. By citing LED cases in other Commonwealth countries that involve women and creative ideas such as reuse of waste, she encouraged the participants to widen their visions on LED.

The Director of CLGF Pacific, Karibaiti Taoaba, who flew in from Fiji to participated in the BTC workshop said that Kiribati, Cook Islands and the Marshalls have been selected to pilot the EU-funded LED projects. She also highlighted many achievements in local government over the years, such as the increasing number of women leaders and the increasing capacities of Councils to generate revenue and create savings and long-term investments. The LED will no doubt contribute to these.

The Taiwan Ambassador, Donald Lee, who was one of the speakers during the BTC opening, spoke on the relevance of LED and the need for development partners to provide partnership, since LEDs usually involve local communities. He revealed that his government is keen to work with Local Government authorities to put in place projects that benefit the local communities, especially on the outer islands.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives (MCIC), Tessie Lambourned, also participated at the BTC workshop and told the participants that her Ministry has resources that relate to LED and would be happy to assist KiLGA and the Councils with LED.

ETC workshop on LED

The ETC workshop was held a week after the BTC one at the Council Guesthouse in Abaokoro village. All members of the Council, including church and women representatives and one of the three MPs, attended.

It was officiated by the Vice President, Hon. Teima Onorio, who travelled by boat across the Tarawa lagoon to convey her words of encouragements to the Councillors.

These three Councils that will implement LED pilot projects were selected by KiLGA’s Executive Board because of their close proximity to KiLGA, which will coordinate the project.

The main expected outcome of the workshop is a Strategic Plan for LED projects by the three Councils and a successful implementation of LED pilot projects, amounting to €5,000, also funded by the European Union. The key LED development proposal by the Council is a livestock venture aimed at producing eggs and pigs for marketing in urban Tarawa.

There are plans to involve other outer island Councils, including those in the Line Islands, once the pilot projects in these three Councils are completed, and acquitted successfully.

Participants at the ETC LED workshop

Participants at the ETC LED workshop

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