acBy FIDELIS LUCIO DWU journalism student
THE Mona festival in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was launched last week.
Mona is a special type of traditional canoe which was used in the past for trading and was very useful for Buka people.
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Michael Ogio officiated the launching and expressed his gratitude to ABG Tourism Minister and Member for Paitt, Lawrence Bele, for taking the initiative to introduce the event to attract tourists.
The festival is part of the tourism industry in Bougainville which aims to revive its cultural activities to attract tourists from all over the country and the world.
ABG Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Joseph Watawi, described the launching as a humble ceremony and the beginning of tourism activities in the region which would greatly boost the economy in the future.
Mr Watawi also urged people to break barriers and secrecy of nature and culture to help the tourism industry in the economic recovery of the region.
He said the ABG aimed to improve the agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries.
Mr Watawi also urged youths to do away with their attitudes and create an environment which would be attractive to tourists.
The Mona festival will run from Dec 17-19.
Monas from villages in the Hagogohe constituency will race across the famous Buka passage.