New Head of Pacific Immigration Development Community pays courtesy visit


Immigration and border security in the Pacific was at the center of discussions between the newly appointed Head of Pacific Immigration Development Community and Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa, during his courtesy visit to the Country. 

Akuila Ratu met Fiamē this week.

Mr. Ratu acknowledged the assistance and support of the Government of Samoa as the host country to the PIDC since the establishment of its headquarters in Apia in 2016. Ratu also used the opportunity to discuss with the Prime Minister important matters relating to immigration and border security in the Pacific. 

The PIDC, formerly the Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference, was set up in Fiji in 1996. However, in 2016, the Organisation obtained its legal entity status as a regional organisation upon accepting Samoa’s offer to host its headquarters in Apia.

The organization has grown in terms of its mandate and strategic objectives. In 2018, following its strategic review, the organisation’s name was changed to ‘Pacific Immigration Development Community’ to reflect the order and scope of its strategic architecture. 

The PIDC connects Immigration Offices in 21 member countries and fosters strong networks to discuss border issues of mutual interest. It enhances regional cooperation on border security by facilitating quality immigration and border management advisory support. The organization works closely with other regional law enforcement agencies, including the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP). 

Ratu is the longest-serving staff of PIDC, having worked with the Secretariat since 2007.

He has worked closely with Immigration directors across the membership on fortifying partnerships, capacity, and professional development, strengthening immigration legislation and immigration policy reform, and bolstering information sharing. Mr. Ratu was the Deputy Head of the PIDC Secretariat before his current role. He takes over from Maumalo John Alama, the Head of PIDC Secretariat from 2016 to 2022. 

Mr. Akuila Ratu is a Fijian national and a University of the South Pacific graduate. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from the University of York in the United Kingdom. 

The Prime Minister congratulated Mr. Akuila Ratu on his new appointment and wished him well.