The seven candidates who will undertake their Masters studies in Japan this year. Photo credit: SIBC.

The seven candidates who will undertake their Master studies in Japan this year, posing with two JICA staffs. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) office in Solomon Islands has farewelled seven Solomon Islanders who will undertake two years of Masters degree studies at various Japanese Universities this year.

The seven candidates were accepted to pursue Master studies in Japan under the Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of State (LEADS) program funded by JICA.

The Pacific LEADS program was established after Japan hosted the seventh Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) in 2015.

The program aims to promote young leaders who play a vital role towards resolving development challenges in the Pacific as well as to further strengthen relations between their countries and Japan.

Speaking to the candidates at a brief event for the participants, JICA Resident Representative in Solomon Islands, Kyoji Mizutani encouraged them to fully utilise this opportunity.

“Dear participants please utilise this opportunity, don’t waste the time in Japan, you are representing the Solomon Islands. Ladies and gentlemen health and safety is important so be careful about keeping a good condition for better studies. We will wait for your return with Masters degree certificates with healthy smiling faces. May you return to work in your Ministries for the people of Solomon Islands.”

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of his other colleagues from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Jonathan Matamaru Tafiariki says recipients hope to assist the ministry after their studies.

“During our studies we hope that once we achieve what we are going for, the Masters program, we hope to return with something that will help guide the Ministry with the goal it is promoting, so the more we get out and learn new things and expose to a new environment, we hope to learn new ideas that can help promote or even try to achieve government plans for the people.”

SIBC News understands, all seven Pacific LEADS candidates are from government ministries including the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Ministry of Forestry and Research, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.

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