3 Oct 2008

Solomon Islands urged to tap into talent of its own people based overseas

2:27 pm on 3 October 2008

A Solomon Islands academic says his country needs to better utilise its highly skilled, qualified and mobile people who have moved overseas.

Paul Roughan, who is a research fellow in Pacific studies at Canterbury University, says Solomon Islands could benefit from a greater transfer of knowledge from neighbouring countries like New Zealand.

Mr Roughan recently co-founded the Islands Knowledge Institute, a non-profit research body based in Honiara which is pushing numerous capacity-building projects among Solomon Islanders.

He says that too often Solomon Islanders based overseas are overlooked when it comes to efforts to rebuild governance, peace and development.

"What we're trying to do is to turn that around on its head a little bit and say: well, they're Solomon Islanders, without exception interested and willing to engage in assisting in whatever way they can, whatever capacity they can. We're trying to turn the question into: how can you arrange things so that you can actually engage with the skills, talents, capabilities, connections of Solomon Islanders everywhere."

Paul Roughan