The final preparations for the annual Samoa Conference are underway with the event at the National University of Samoa set for September 4-6.
The discussions will revolve around the theme “our heritage our future” and will strive to promote sustainable development through leadership, innovation and collaboration.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.), Seve Dr Folotolo Seve and Anita Lafai jointly spoke about what the public can expect next week and the significance of the conference to Samoa.
There will be three main speakers at the conference: Te papa Museum senior curator (Pacific Cultures) Sean Mallon, former Auckland University of Technology’s professor of Pacific Studies, Tagaloatele Peggy Fairburn- Dunlop and botanist Art Whistler from the University of Hawaii.
“There is a list of people speaking on different issues so we’ve grouped the papers having submitted them into different thematic areas.
“One of which is climate change, also another session on education, literacy, leadership, different themes , even development and innovation so there will be local presenters – a lot of them will be from the university but some of them will be from government ministries and organisations,” he said.
The side event at the three-day conference includes an art exhibition and a youth rally.
“The art exhibition theme in Samoan means ‘as of the land‘, which very much falls into the culture, heritage sub-theme of the conference. It will be launched on Tuesday evening at 6.00 pm and its going to feature displays of artworks from established and emerging local artists”
On Wednesday there will be a student and youth rally, which is an all day event at the fale Samoa from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. According to Seve, the aim of the rally is to give young people a platform to contribute to discussions relating to the theme of the conference.
“They will discuss issues relating to Samoa’s development today and sustainability and they will be very much involved. It’s also a platform for them to showcase their talents in terms of critically evaluating the different issues that concern our society,” he added.
The cost to attend all the sessions and events will be $100 tala per day for working adults and $60 tala per day for students. For those wanting to attend just a half day there is a 50 per cent discount rate. The conference dinner will be held on Wednesday, September 5 with tickets going for $100.