PM: economic development is one of the prerequisites for democracy

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Prime Minister  Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said that economic development is one of the prerequisites for democracy and influences democracy in many ways. 

She made the comments at the plenary of the  Second Democracy Forum, which she attended virtually. 

Fiame said economic growth creates the conditions for democracy namely: urbanization, widespread of education and literacy, wealth, and heightened awareness of the importance of the protection of rights and issues of public affairs by simply increasing the level of income in a society. 

“We are also aware that democratic regimes revolve around institutions and policies which lay the foundations, through which principles of freedom and equality are designed and followed, which in turn have a positive impact on the economy. From our view of the world around us, we know that the more well-to-do a nation is, the greater the chance that it will sustain democracy. 

“Since we graduated out of least developed country status in 2014, after progressive increases in income per capita, performance continues to improve aside from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of other global challenges.

“And while the increase in Gross Domestic Product may be the primary method of measurement, there is much more, at play such as forming or greatly changing productive relationships, the influences of technological advancements, equity of opportunities, a people-centred approach to development amongst other factors which bring about a transformation in the economic structure of a country.” 

The Prime Minister further noted that important for small islands states like Samoa, we would welcome the support of the international community for the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) tool, currently being finalised by the United Nations that provides the unbiased justification we need for International Financial Institutions to apportion concessional financing to help  prepare and recover from crises beyond our control.

“Political stability matters significantly for economic development.
“Hence, this was the imperative coupled with the intent to fully restore our democratic processes following our general elections in 2021 and the transition to our current administration which aided us greatly to meet the onslaught of the COVID 19 pandemic, the pervasive impacts of climate change and other ensuing global crises which have reached our geographical isolation.”