Delegates from the region attending the ‘Green Infrastructure, Poverty Eradication and Building, Repairing and Maintenance and Housing’ Symposium were today urged to explore ways to allow for the private sector to drive infrastructure development in small island states such as Fiji and the pacific islands.
This was highlighted by the permanent secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, David Kolitagane as he opened Symposium in Nadi.
In addressing participants, Kolitagane highlighted the critical need for improved infrastructure planning, better implementation and available funding for infrastructure development.
He said that there is a need to close the infrastructure gap given the increasing demand due to population and urban migration increase.
“According to a recent global report on infrastructure gap by the World Bank, global population is expected to increase by 25% in 2040 which is an additional of 2 billion people on planet earth”, said Kolitagane.
“The report further states that urban migration is expected to increase by 45% and a forecast funding of 94 trillion is needed to finance the infrastructure demand with 2 trillion of the Oceania region.
Kolitagane said Government’s commitment to Fiji’s infrastructure development is reflected in the increased budget dedicated to the road, water and energy sector.
“In the past 10 years (2007-2017/18), budget allocated to the road sector has increased by 8 folds (800%), energy by 7 folds (700%) and water by 2 folds (200%).
Furthermore, he said, government has provided enabling policy and legal framework to support infrastructure development, which has seen an increase in private sector investment.
He added that government through its political will has seen an increase in infrastructure development.
Meanwhile, Kolitagane encouraged participants at the symposium to share ideas, enhance new networks and use smart technologies for better infrastructure planning and development.