MCC supports tourism on access to land for investment
Solomon Islands and the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Threshold Program, today presented the MCC-funded Accessing Land for Tourism Investment Facilitation (ALTIF) project, which is a partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and the MCC.
The ALTIF project which commenced in 2022 upon the signing of the Solomon Islands Threshold Grant Agreement between both the US and Solomon Island government, aims to address land access and investment facilitation issues that prevents the country from realizing its potential in the tourism sector.
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Culture and Tourism Barney Sivoro says that the Tourism Sector as identified by the government, is very important in helping with the country’s economic and development growth, however one of the biggest challenges they face is the lack of investable sites.
“Availability of land for tourism investors has been a major impediment for the sector’s growth so ALTIF aims to work through this impediment by focusing on registered land within targeted areas in the country in order to make attractive land for tourism investments available to investors”, said PS Sivoro.
The four years’ timeframe project will be headed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism through a High Level Task Force established in 2022 and is made up of a composition of other government ministries.
With about 80 potential sites already identified in the Western Province, where the project began, Sivoro said that they are looking to expand to other provinces.
Also speaking during today’s briefing, MCC Resident Threshold Director Charles Jakosa recalled that MCC in 2018 identified the Solomon Islands as a country partner however due to the global pandemic the project was then signed in January 2022.
“ALTIF was structured in way that will help to make more sites attractive to investments in a way that is responsive to the reality of life here in the Solomon Islands”.
“There are two components to this project. First, the land access activity will help the Solomon Islands Government to identify sites capable of attracting and supporting tourism investment; second, ALTIF will help investors succeed by ensuring social license with local communities to ensure tenure security”, said Mr. Jakosa.
Jakosa also highlighted that the project will also assist communities to be partners in land usage and be included in the decisions of the usage of land.
“The second component, the investment facilitation activity, will develop a portfolio of land parcels with opportunities for responsible investors.”
“It will also enhance the government’s capacity to respond to investor needs and identify potential projects that could yield the greatest benefit to Solomon Islanders by fostering local economic growth, including the expansion of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women”, he added.
Created in 2004, MCC is a small Development Agency in the US Government which is working with a total of 18 countries providing time-limited grants and assistance and working to reduce global poverty through economic growth.
Meanwhile, the MCC Threshold Program together with the Solomon Islands government are also partnering on the Forest Value Enhancement Project (FoVEP), which aims to generate more reliable, sustainable benefits from the country’s very own forest resources.