I had the privilege of being briefed in detail on Papua New Guinea's Vision 2050 at the Vision Centre within the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council along with Mr. Cyril Gare, a Wewak-based freelance journalist.
PNG V2050 is about setting PNG on the right course towards becoming a smart, wise, fair, healthy and happy society by the year 2050. It is the first time since independence that such a long-term vision has been set. It is made up of 7 pillars and is consistent with the country's National Goals and Directive Principles which are enshrined in the Constitution, and the Eight Point Plan which was launched at independence.
The seven pillars of PNGV2050 are:
1. Human capital development, gender, youth and people empowerment;
2. Wealth creation;
3. Institutional deveolopment and service delivery;
4. Security and international relations;
5. Environmental sustainability and climate change;
6. Spiritual, cultural and community development; and
7. Strategic planning, integration and control.
The vision is backed up by the PNG Strategic Development Plan 2030, which is a 20-year rolling plan which seeks to make Vision 2050 become a reality.
Both PNGV2050 and the PNGSDP 2030 are home-grown, and have been written after wide consultation with stakeholders, especially people in the country's 89 districts.
I came away with the very strong impression that at least we now have a sense of direction as a country. But what also became clear is that there is a great need for visionary political leadership and prudent management to make a dream of a smart, wise, fair, happy and healthy society become a reality.
I also came away with the strong impression that the 2012 National Elections will be very crucial to the country. It is essential that the right people get into Parliament. With the expected large amounts of money from the LNG and other resource projects, PNG has the opportunity of becoming the kind of society envisaged by Vision 2050, but only if we have people with the political will and administrative prudence to get things right for once.