19 Jun 2009

Samoa politician cautions about donor reliance

1:45 pm on 19 June 2009

Samoa's veteran MP Le Mamea Ropati has issued a warning in parliament that eagerness for development funds might result in Samoa becoming a puppet of donor organisations.

He pointed to the unprecedented amount of more than 66 million US dollars the government is borrowing for the 2009/2010 budget.

Le Mamea says since there are no plan to raise taxes, Samoa will rely on loans from other countries and organisations like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Union.

He has advised the government to be alert in case Samoa becomes a puppet.

He has cautioned that the push to borrow may result in these organisations having authority over Samoa and pulling the country in directions it doesn't want to go.

He says this may affect land ownership as there are already indications that the ADB wants to change Samoa's land tenure system.

The Samoa Observer reports that Le Mamea also warned against the influence of experts and consultants, saying Samoa is guided by the wisdom of elders.