Sharp Talk, a popular Papua New Guinea social media group hosted its 1st seminar at the National Research Institute Conference Room on 12 September 2013.  Speakers ranged from government officials, private sector representatives, academics, high school students and international organization officials.  They include Ganjki Wayne, Deborah Telek, David Kitchone, Lydia Kailap, Kimberly Buka, Serah Sipani, James Lunge and Douveri Henao.  The seminar was moderated by Nou Vada and Martyn Nymorong.  The seminar was attended by an equally diverse lot of sharpies.

The speakers and discussions that followed agreed the following areas must be of critical importance when discussing the development of Papua New Guinea:

  • While the growth of Sharp Talk as a tool of public interaction has been unprecedented, it must now consider other mediums such as talk shows on radio and television as well as print formats to bring information to the larger populace.  There was also talk on having build up sessions until the next seminar;
  • population and in particular the rising ratio of youth’s and young people must be the focus of development in Papua New Guinea;
  • the focus on infrastructure by the government is essential however without the development of human capital, it will lead to major gaps in development;
  • there must be immediate action by government, private sector and civil society on the social issues of violence and the lack of services and opportunity for children and young people;
  • corruption is a major challenge for the development of Papua New Guinea and a primary source lies not on the elected leaders but from a public service;
  • the development of Small Medium Enterprises has the ability to shift reliance on the economy’s reliance on the extractive industry;
  • small scale agriculture and its application in rural Papua New Guinea has the potential to absorb unemployed youths, food security and reliance of the extractive industry;
  • the youth will be the leaders of tomorrow so it must be a priority by all to prepare them for this important task.

The key message that came out from the Seminar was solutions to address the young people and the youth of today.  Representing possibly half of our population, action must be taken to provide opportunity and a mindset that they are a critical resource for our nation.   Sharpies were encouraged to keep the discussions live in 2014 on this important issue.

The organizers thanked all that attended and looks forward to PNG at 39 on 11 September 2014.


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