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Fri. March 24, 2023
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The Recent Development of Samoa
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The country of Samoa is located in the continent of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Netherlands. Samoa recently gained independence from New Zealand in 1962. 80% of the land is rural, while 20% of the land is urban. The population of this country is 0.2 million residents. The official language of Samoa is Samoan and English according to their constitution. The economy of Samoa is based on agriculture, tourism, and light manufacturing. Additionally, Samoa receives grants from the United States, the United Nations, the Commonwealth, and other foreign entities. The currency that Samoa uses is called tala which is controlled by the Central Bank of Samoa which was established in 1984. The average life expectancy for men is 67 years old, while women’s life expectancy is 72 years old. Approximately two-thirds of Samoans are agricultural workers or farmers. On the other hand, twenty percent of workers are in the service sector like tourism or government. Their government is a mix of parliamentary democracy and Samoan customs with one legislative house. They have a prime minister appointed by the head of state.

Samoa’s government constructed a four year development plan that ranged from 2016/2017-2019/2020 with the theme of “Boosting Productivity for Sustainable Development”, which coincides with their goal of “Improved Quality of Life for All”. There are four priority areas that Samoa is focusing on: economic, social, infrastructure, and environment. In the economic sector, they seek to stabilize their financial sector to support economic growth. Secondly, they seek increased food, nutrition, and income security through creating agricultural partnerships with chains to increase farming and fisheries production. Economically, they want to maximize gains from domestic and foreign trade that can boost income for people’s livelihood. Additionally, they seek developing the tourism industry to engage visitors with the Samoan people and culture. Lastly, they seek to increase the role of the private sector towards development. The outcomes of these initiatives illustrate that the government service support to the private sector improved to encourage employment which increased awareness to the community about the private sector. Secondly, they have an increased number of foreign investment certificates. Lastly, the management capacity of the public sector increased due to this plan.

Socially, they aim to have health services that are inclusive to all Samoans. Secondly, they aim to have all Samoans educated with access to everyone through pre-school initiatives. Due to this initiative, the level of literacy increased along with the number of students graduating. The education and training opportunities increased for disadvantaged groups where 100% of the education provided met the standards provided by a Samoan quality assurance team. Education was increased by 12% for males and 5% for females. 95% of children were able to complete year 8 of school, which is a drastic change. They want to improve quality of life and empower communities to lead inclusive development. The village governance and accountability approved in Samoa and more women were able to join these village councils. Sexual violence and community safety increased. The climate and disaster resilience plans were created for the village's safety.

The third priority area that Samoa decided to focus on is the infrastructure of the country. They seek to focus on Samoans having access to clean water that is affordable for all. Due to the emphasis of importance of water supply, the quality of the water supply increased and this was managed by preserving reservoirs that hold necessary water. This also was able to improve the sanitation among people regarding hygiene practices and wastewater systems. It was found  that 95% of the households were more sanitized after the change in water supply. Lastly, there were measures taken to strengthen flood mitigation plans where drainage networks are maintained and work well. Apart from water, Samoa aimed to make  all of their land, sea, and air transport networks safe and reliable. The outcome for this initiative was that the port and airport access and capacity was increased. All of the airports, roads, and ports follow  the  International Safety, Security, and Construction standards. Lastly, there were climate and disaster plans put into place for planning and relevant utility services. Another infrastructure initiative was to have reliable internet services that can aid Samoa in communication, data management development and all  parts of their economy. The result of this initiative was an international implementation of connectivity improved because of partnerships established. Many more Samoans gained access to the internet and access to speed increased. Ultimately, climate and disaster management was integrated into the Information Communication Technology planning for future crises. Specifically, Samoa aimed to be more climate effective by having a renewable energy source that is self-sufficient with reduced reliance on research and development. They were able to achieve this goal by implementing a renewable energy investment and generation increase that was 100% capacity for renewable energy by 2017. Additionally, the road to transport energy policy planning was improved along with the access to electricity becoming stable in Samoa.

The last priority area that Samoa wrote into their plan was the environment. Specifically, a focus was placed on improving environmental sustainability and disaster resilience. Due to this initiative, the conservation of environmental resources improved which includes key habitats and at-risk species. Certain areas of forest and marine sites became protected due to implementation of protection plans. The new buildings that were constructed became 100% approved of sustainability for disaster and climate standards. Samoa also created climate and disaster planning in all of their action plans above to ensure a proper response and recovery.

In conclusion, the development of Samoa is in transition, however, the action plan that was created was very helpful for Samoa being able to improve their country. Other countries would benefit immensely from following a similar plan because it is inclusive to all residents. Additionally, none of the initiatives that Samoa listed involved intruding on their resident’s rights.

Kennedy Murray is a senior attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Her major is political science and her past experience in this subject is a fall internship with the House of Representatives. Post graduation, she plans to attend law school.

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