Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has declared that he will not be deterred by misconceptions and fear-mongering surrounding the “debt trap” rhetoric.

Sogavare made the statement during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Solomon Islands National Broadband Infrastructure Project (SINBIP), which aims to improve telecommunications and internet services in the country.

The SINBIP is fully funded by a concessional loan of approximately US$65 million from the Exim Bank of China, with an interest rate of one percent. An independent financial review conducted by a New Zealand expert showed positive financial evaluation indicators for the project. The review highlighted the project’s good direct economic benefits, with a strong ability to recover investments.

Sogavare emphasized that the government is committed to securing the future of the country and its people.

“We will not be deterred by misinformation such as debt traps. No amount of fear mongering will distract us from our march towards a better and brighter future for our people,” he said.

“We are friends to all and enemies to none. As such, I invite all our development partners to intensify our engagement, collaboration and cooperation so that Solomon Islands can achieve its 2030 Agenda,” he added.

He invited all development partners to intensify engagement and collaboration to achieve the country’s 2030 Agenda. The construction of the first three pilot mobile towers will begin soon, followed by additional tower construction in other provinces. The government aims to complete the first 25-30 mobile towers before the Pacific Games in November 2023.

The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of the project for the country’s economic and social development, stating that governments must invest in their national broadband networks. He noted that high-speed broadband has proven to stimulate innovation and drive economic growth. The project will also connect remote islands and rural areas, providing telemedicine, distance education, and other services that benefit the entire population.

By contrast, the current telecommunication network in Solomon Islands is expensive, outdated, and has limited coverage. Sogavare underlined the need to improve access to high-speed internet for government agencies, businesses, public institutions, and households to boost the national economy and enhance people’s lives.

With GCU