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East-West Center Welcomes First Cohort of PROJECT Governance Graduate Degree Fellows from the Pacific Islands East-West Center Welcomes First Cohort of PROJECT Governance Graduate Degree Fellows from the Pacific Islands

HONOLULU (Sept. 6, 2022) – The first three recipients of PROJECT Governance scholarships for graduate students from the Pacific Islands have arrived at the East-West Center in Honolulu to begin their advanced studies in finance and law at the University of Hawai‘i. The fellows join an international community of more than several hundred graduate students from around 40 countries and more than 50 fields of study who are in residence at the Center.

The initiative’s title stands for ‘Promoting Just, Engaged, Civic-minded and Transparent Governance in the Pacific.’ The next round of applications for the PROJECT Governance scholarship will begin later this fall.

“We are delighted to welcome our first three PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows to Hawai‘i, all of whom are already accomplished professionals in promoting financial governance and accountability,” said project lead Jake Hamstra, the Center’s Chief Communications Officer. “Thanks to our funders and partners, this scholarship program is an important means to help foster young leaders who are working to strengthen democratic institutions and support open and responsive governance throughout the Pacific.”

The first PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows are:

  • Ms. Moia Afoa, from Sāmoa. Principal Financial Management Officer of the Agriculture Sector Coordination Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; pursuing a Master of Science in Finance. She hopes to learn skills and best practices to help “ensure grants and loans received by the government are well managed and avoid risk that may hinder Sāmoa's economy.”
  • Ms. Alice Areori, from Papua New Guinea. Previously employed as project lead for Transparency International’s Building Elections Integrity through Partnerships (BEIP) Project; now pursuing a Master of Laws. She plans to put the degree to use in instating greater transparency, integrity, and voting access in PNG elections, and to “promote human rights in the electoral processes, like creating separate lines for women to vote freely.”
  • Mr. Charles Olovikabo, from the Solomon Islands. Senior Legal Officer at the Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission; pursing a Master of Laws. He hopes to help establish a regional legal framework to combat corruption, and to “enhance my capacity to address issues broadly and progressively… to achieve social and economic development of the Solomon Islands.”


About PROJECT Governance
PROJECT Governance is a five-year, US $20 million partnership between USAID and the Blue Pacific Alliance, a partnership between the East-West Center (EWC), The Pacific Community (SPC), CARE and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The initiative is focused on strengthening democratic institutions and promoting sound, just, and responsive governance in the Pacific by supporting financial-governance officials across the region through financial governance and media training, graduate study scholarships in finance, information systems, and law, and an online portal for shared digital tools and data.

HONOLULU (Sept. 6, 2022) – The first three recipients of PROJECT Governance scholarships for graduate students from the Pacific Islands have arrived at the East-West Center in Honolulu to begin their advanced studies in finance and law at the University of Hawai‘i. The fellows join an international community of more than several hundred graduate students from around 40 countries and more than 50 fields of study who are in residence at the Center.

The initiative’s title stands for ‘Promoting Just, Engaged, Civic-minded and Transparent Governance in the Pacific.’ The next round of applications for the PROJECT Governance scholarship will begin later this fall.

“We are delighted to welcome our first three PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows to Hawai‘i, all of whom are already accomplished professionals in promoting financial governance and accountability,” said project lead Jake Hamstra, the Center’s Chief Communications Officer. “Thanks to our funders and partners, this scholarship program is an important means to help foster young leaders who are working to strengthen democratic institutions and support open and responsive governance throughout the Pacific.”

The first PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows are:

  • Ms. Moia Afoa, from Sāmoa. Principal Financial Management Officer of the Agriculture Sector Coordination Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; pursuing a Master of Science in Finance. She hopes to learn skills and best practices to help “ensure grants and loans received by the government are well managed and avoid risk that may hinder Sāmoa's economy.”
  • Ms. Alice Areori, from Papua New Guinea. Previously employed as project lead for Transparency International’s Building Elections Integrity through Partnerships (BEIP) Project; now pursuing a Master of Laws. She plans to put the degree to use in instating greater transparency, integrity, and voting access in PNG elections, and to “promote human rights in the electoral processes, like creating separate lines for women to vote freely.”
  • Mr. Charles Olovikabo, from the Solomon Islands. Senior Legal Officer at the Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission; pursing a Master of Laws. He hopes to help establish a regional legal framework to combat corruption, and to “enhance my capacity to address issues broadly and progressively… to achieve social and economic development of the Solomon Islands.”


About PROJECT Governance
PROJECT Governance is a five-year, US $20 million partnership between USAID and the Blue Pacific Alliance, a partnership between the East-West Center (EWC), The Pacific Community (SPC), CARE and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The initiative is focused on strengthening democratic institutions and promoting sound, just, and responsive governance in the Pacific by supporting financial-governance officials across the region through financial governance and media training, graduate study scholarships in finance, information systems, and law, and an online portal for shared digital tools and data.