By Mike Puia
AFTER four years and seven months serving as Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to the country, Mr Fred Yakasa is preparing to leave for his country a satisfied man.
Yakasa handed his responsibilities to Mr Joseph Konu who will be acting PNG High Commissioner until someone takes up the post.
The handing over of responsibilities was done at a brief ceremony held at the PNG High Commission Chancery on Tuesday.
Outgoing High Commissioner Yakasa said the incoming acting High Commissioner, Konu, is not new to the role.
He said Konu has been acting High Commissioner for sometimes.
Reflecting on the assignment he has completed, Yakasa said he took up the High Commissioner’s post in January 2014 at a “challenging time”.
It was a time when at least one PNG High Commissioner makes headline for the wrong thing. There was also this issue of the uncompleted PNG Chancery office in Honiara.
Prior to coming to the country, Yakasa said PNG image in the country went down to an unexpected level.
And so, Yakasa said his first task on taking up the post was to restore the integrity and reputation of his country.
He admitted it was a “big task”.
Yakasa said he is happy that he has done what he had aimed to achieve well.
He said a lot has been done to date ranging from signing of agreements, attending meetings, completion of the Chancery office, meeting important dignitaries, restoring respect to connecting with people on a personal level.
Yakasa said restoring PNG’s image has been his key focus adding he is happy that PNG’s image is now at a good level.
He urged his successors to look into trade as there are potentials PNG and Solomon Islands can benefit from this area.
Yakasa said he also wanted to see PNG investments increases here.
At least 25 PNG investments are in Honiara. One notable PNG investment is the capital is the Heritage Park hotel.
In response, the incoming acting High Commissioner, Konu, said he will continue with what the outgoing High Commissioner had left.
Yakasa will be given a farewell dinner on Friday.