2nd National Markets Convention kicked of this Wednesday, 19th of April 2023 and will end tomorrow 21st April 2023, with the theme “Building Back Better Markets:The Frontier of PNG’s Economic Recovery.”
The convention was hosted by UN women which had 250 participants, including representatives of market vendors associations, market management authorities, including representatives from the provincial and local governments from the 14 market locations in Papua New Guinea.
The market also attracted visitors from other neighboring Pacific Island countries.
Foreign delegates from Market for Change programs in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu where part of the participants.
This convention provided a platform for market vendors to reflect on the support they received during the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure they return to pre-pandemic income levels.
It also showcased progress made towards restoring incomes, inspires local governments to improve operations, reflect on lessons learned, and to promote community-led models of market management and operations.
UN Women is providing technical support for these markets in terms of hygiene, safety, women’s participation, advocacy and leadership, market conditions, operations, and management conducive to vendors’ earnings as well as accountable governance.
Dr Joanne Loundes, Deputy Australian High Commissioner to PNG, applauded the convention, saying, the market sector has a central role in driving Papua New Guinea’s economic growth.
“Australia is pleased to support UN Women and its work in PNG’s markets sector, to advance gender equality and women’s access to economic opportunities.”
“Local communities also have a fundamental role in designing and delivering long-term, sustainable change and this community-led development is further strengthened when it’s backed by all levels of government.”
Present at the 2nd National Markets Convention was Mr. Richard Stephen Howard Jr., UN Resident Coordinator, Papua New Guinea, He highlighted that there is a need to enhance the existing market structures and align them with the goal of bolstering the country’s economy.
“This requires establishing robust cooperative management while also granting women the freedom to advance.”
“Empowering women is crucial to driving economic growth and by shifting power dynamics, we can create an environment that promotes women’s empowerment and leadership,” he added.
Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries shared her thoughts on the convention, Ms. Sana Dokopa, president of Gordons Market Cook Food Vendors Association. Sana said, “When the Safe Market Project came in 2013, they grouped us into an association and talked with the authorities of the National Capital District.
We were put into a recognized market and now I have a space at Gordons Market to sell my goods.”
Sana added that the informal economy is a steppingstone to change families, change the country, and achieve Vision 2050 of the country.
Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion, Honourable Jason Peter, stated that this convention provides an excellent chance to collaborate and safeguard market space.
He emphasized the need to carefully consider all the contributions made during the three-day event focused on the women’s market convention.
This 2nd National Markets Convention is supported by the governments of Australia and Japan in collaboration with the government of Papua New Guinea.