First woman Finance Minister ready to lead

Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molioo is a lady on a mission: to repair the state of the nation's finances. 

And with national debt exceeding more than $1 billion and a budget for this fiscal year nearly one month overdue she has her work more than cut out for her. 

Mulipola is the first woman in national history to be appointed to lead the Ministry of Finance for Samoa's XVII Parliamentary term. 

The Member of Parliament for Palauli No.1., said she is humbled by the appointment. 

An auditor and accountant by profession, Mulipola is also the former Deputy Country Manager for FEXCO Samoa Western Union. 

The 53-year-old is also a Board Member of the Samoa Victim Support Group but made her first foray into the political realm this year under the banner of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party. On the 9 April election she unseated the seat's incumbent M.P., Afoa Faleulu Mauli. 

Mulipola takes over the Ministerial post from former Member of Parliament and former Finance Minister from Savai'i, Sili Epa Tuioti who was defeated in April's election by another female newcomer, Matamua Vasati Pulufana.

"To me, it's humbling, really," said about the scope of work that lies ahead on her political kpurmey

While Mulipola understands that the role comes with a lot of responsibilities, she is "confident" that with the support of her Ministry and party, she will carry out her duties to the best of her abilities. 

"I know it won't be easy...But the only added benefit for me as a woman is that maternal instinct and how we handle situations," she said.

"We (mothers) have a way of smoothing out things and bringing people together and we handle and overcome challenges. That's going to really help me with this new role."

As for her role as Minister, Mulipola said she is now focusing her energy on learning about the processes and principles used to guide the nation's fiscal policy.

"Today was our first day and we have been working around the clock trying to familiarise ourselves with the processes and everything," she said on Tuesday.

"As you know the priority right now is the budget so there is a lot of work and adaptation to be made and I am picking up things as we go forward. 

"I am also looking at all the legal implications of things because you know, this is a new Government. 

"At the moment, we are familiarising ourselves with the processes and especially analysing how things were done by the previous government and see how we can smoothly pick things up. 

"I mean we also have our own values and principles that we need to follow. 

"Whatever it is, I am comforted and I am confident that we will deliver our best with the support of our Ministry and the encouragement from our party. 

"We're coming in with the same belief and goals we had planned from the beginning and will do our best to serve Samoa and to deliver what is outlined in our manifesto. 

"We have the trust and support of each other and that's why I am confident.

"For me, I will always remember that quote: The secret of success is to do common things uncommonly well. It's the simple things and everyday things and the way you view and deals with those things that matter most. 

"It helps make a big difference."

Last year before the election she told the Samoa Observer that had agonised over the decision of whether to enter politics.

But her desire to help and serve her family, villages, and constituency, shifted the balance of her decision in favour of entering standing for elected office.

Mulipola said when she first entered the sittings within the village council as a matai, where she observed and saw that there was a great need for help to better the lives of people in her villages and constituency. 

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