St Helena : Presentations Made on Strategic Objectives
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 28.08.2003 (Article Archived on 11.09.2003)
Thirty people attended a meeting on Strategic Objectives.
Presentations Made on Strategic Objectives
After attending many meetings to discuss strategic objectives, the six strategic objectives groups were invited to a meeting of Executive Council on Tuesday of this week to present the results of these meetings.
Approximately 30 people were in attendance with Government officials, persons from the private sector and persons from non-Government Organisations including the Civil Society.
Acting Governor John Styles welcomed those in attendance and thanked everyone for the time and commitment they had put into the process. He went on to say that it has been recognised that the Island has been in decline for some years, but he said that change is just around the corner with constitutional reform, economic development through air access, and strategic planning. "Today is a major step in St Helena’s future" he said, "Future SHG spending will be heavily influenced by this strategic planning exercise."
The Acting Governor also acknowledged the amount of work Members of Legislative Council had put into this process.
The Chairmen of each group then made presentations, and a lot of questions were asked. The Government Economist Adrian Green also asked the Chairmen to say what recommendations needed immediate action.
Many recommendations have been made including the need to promote the private sector, to put more into education and vocational training, and to encourage St Helenians to return home to take up employment. Other recommendations included preparing and planning ahead for the developments that will come, developing the tourism sector, educating people about citizenship and being aware of health and safety. With the proposed ministerial system of Government, a need has also been identified to provide relevant persons with the necessary training. Educating people about human rights was mentioned and under education it was felt that the system should be changed so that qualified teachers would not see the need to move away from the classroom and into managerial roles for a promotion.
A number of recommendations were cross cutting, whereby different groups identified the same need. This was the case with developing vocational training, something that came under the objective: Improve the Standard of Education for the people of St Helena, and: Promote and Develop a Sustainable Workforce. More than one group spoke about the private sector, and the problems associated with the population decline.
Even though there is a separate objective focusing on a healthy community in a safe environment, under the objective Improve the Standard of Education for the People of St Helena, mention was made of educating people about health. The education group also suggested further development of business skills training in schools, the results of which would have a positive affect on St Helena’s economy.
Groups also looked at the effects of an airport and what different departments would need to do in preparation for this. This included addressing infrastructure needs including power, water, roads, safety and security as well as the requirements of the health service and others.
The Government Economist will now be preparing a report on the findings of the groups and this will be presented to Executive Council. Once this report has been finalised, and recommendations approved, heads of department will have another look at their budgets to ensure that the recommendations of the groups have been taken into consideration. The report will be circulated to all members of the groups.
When SHG enters discussions later this year with the Department for International Development on the amount of money the Island needs, for the next three years, the outcome of the strategic planning exercise will be used as a basis for negotiation."
Following this a strategic plan will be written for St Helena.
Commenting on how SHG has involved members of the public, the private sector, and non Government organisations in the process, Acting Governor John Styles said: "This is a permanent feature of how SHG is going to work." He also said that what had been done is "A magnificent piece of work. We must ensure in future discussions that we further strengthen our engagement with the private sector and non Government Organisations, particularly Civil Society groups"
Public Relations/Information Office
Office of the Chief Secretary
14 August 2003