The National – Tuesday, July 5, 2011
By ABIGAIL APINA
FORMER prime minister and member for Kokopo Sir Rabbie Namaliu has voiced concerns over the huge number of jobless youths in the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Tolai Warwagira and 17th National Mask Festival in Kokopo last Friday, he said many jobless youths had resorted to illegal activities to make a living.
He said such festivals were tourism activities that could be used to keep jobless youths busy and away from illegal activities.
He said tourism was the fastest growing industry in the world.
“If this country can realise that tourism is the main generator for jobs in the world and work towards developing that industry in Papua New Guinea, we will minimise the number of jobless youths in the country,” he said.
Sir Rabbie urged the people of East New Britain to strengthen the festivals and make them an instrument in the tourism industry.
He urged the festival committee to include an agriculture and industrial component.
“Agriculture and tourism can create more jobs in the country than the mining industry,” Sir Rabbie said.
He told the organisers to be committed and disciplined towards the festivals.
“We say things but we do not translate what we say into action, this is where we fail because we lack commitment, discipline and appreciation of translating words into action,” he said.
Sir Rabbie said he was disappointed the province’s MPs were not available for the opening ceremony as the festivals created an opportunity for them to address issues affecting living standards in the province.