25 May 2006

Solomons PM policy focus to help rural areas

3:52 pm on 25 May 2006

The prime minister of Solomon Islands says he wants to improve the lives of indigenous people in the country and foster greater rural development.

Manasseh Sogavare unveiled his government's policy statement in Honiara yesterday.

Mr Sogavare says the conflicts of the past can be traced back to a lack of development and opportunities in some areas.

He says his "Grand Coalition for Change" government intends to change the way services are delivered.

"The development strategies have been very heavily top-driven, donor-driven kind of strategies that have not really reached the rural area and so if there is a message that needs to come out very strongly it is that fact that we are making a very big policy shift and we would like donors to come on board and get that policy implemented."

Mr Sogavare says the government also wants to create an environment of trust which would see investors start putting money into the rural sector.