PAPUA New Guinea will be richer, safer and healthier in 40 years under a new plan launched with much pomp and pageantry in Port Moresby yesterday.
PNG Vision 2050, the brainchild of Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu, was launched by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
The launch programme started with a dawn ceremony at Independence Hill involving school children and the disciplined forces, followed by the tabling of the Vision 2050 document in Parliament, before its launch at the stadium in front of thousands of people.
Under the plan, it is expected that PNG’s real GDP will grow from around K12 billion next year to a whopping K200 billion by 2050 with the PNG LNG project coming on stream and the implementation of the land reforms.
The GDP per capita, or how much each Papua New Guinean should get from the nation’s income each year, should increase from around K2,000 to K13,000 after 40 years.
It is estimated that this is only the base case, meaning that the situation could be even better if other projects come on, and the different sectors perform effectively under the plan.
The final product was the result of the efforts of multitudes of Papua New Guineans from all walks of life, living in both the rural and urban areas, according to its authors.
The 60-page document maps out the future direction for our country and reflects the aspirations of the people of Papua New Guinea.
Vision 2050 is underpinned by seven Strategic Focus Areas, which are referred to as pillars: human capital development, gender, youth and people empowerment; wealth creation; institutional development and service delivery; security and international relations; environmental sustainability and climate change; spiritual, cultural and community development; and strategic planning, integration and control.To achieve the seven pillars, PNG should, by 2050, among other things, enjoy substantial natural wealth and have experienced growth in total output and real gross domestic product per capita.
It should also improve its Human Development Index ranking to 50 from 148 among the UN member countries; improve access to services and basic infrastructure and life expectancy from 57.9 to 77 years.
It should also offer free and universal basic education for all school-aged children from elementary to Grade 12 and offer 100 % literacy for the adult population over 15 years in the informal sector.
Papua New Guinea should also reduce HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, ensure referral hospitals are adequately equipped to international standards, establish one aid post per ward area and provide staff and improve the health conditions of health workers.
The Prime Minister said the document charted a new destiny for the people of PNG.
He admitted that 34 years after independence, PNG had deviated from its original course, and Vision 2050 would restore that.
He admitted there was a need for everyone to do much more to improve the human development index, which ranks PNG very poorly among other countries in the world.
Vision 2050 will be fully implemented towards the end of next year, to succeed the Medium Term Development Strategy.