BY LYNTON AARON FILIS
TAIWAN and East West Centre (EWC) is extending the Pacific Islands Leadership Programme (PILP) for another five years.
A new MOU was signed earlier this year between Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EWC after seeing strong positive feedbacks from the PILP participants that the arrangement has been benefitting for the participating countries for the last six years.
The new agreement extends the PILP initiative until 2022; with the aim to empower a further 102 young leaders over the five years.
Following the PILP’s successful visit to Solomon Islands last week, EWC President PhD Richard R Vuylsteke said said EWC wants to support the programme because there is positive feedback from participants and successful stories about individuals’ development in their respective countries and workplaces.
Mr Vuylsteke also adds, Taiwan has been doing this programme for more than 20 years now particularly in South America, Central America, Africa and Pacific, and they are totally dedicated to helping people.
“I think Taiwan is doing a great job here and other places and I’m excited EWC can partner with them to do more,” Vuylsteke said.
Deputy Counsellor for Taiwan Embassy in Solomon Islands Mr Oliver Weng said the PILP has impacted many Pacific islands young leaders thus has impressed MOFA to extend the programme to 2022.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands His Excellency Roger Luo said 23 applicants from Solomon Islands are applying for the training this year.
He also adds, interest to apply for the PILP training is growing each year.
“We wish PILP programme will facilitate cordial corporation links among our Pacific allies, USA, and Taiwan which could benefit development of the pacific countries and their people,” Mr Luo said.
Luo said the PILP is a good initiative and useful programme which built capacity building of many young leaders and envisions new generation’s future across the pacific nation.
PILP was proposed by Kurt Campbell, then assistant secretary for the US Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in November 2011.
Later the same year Rajiv Shah, then administrator of the US Agency for International Development negotiated to run this programme.
The programme comprises courses spanning such topics as education, green energy, health care, industrial development and international cooperation.