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PROJECT Governance scholarship recipients
2022 PROJECT Governance graduate scholarship recipients (left to right): Charles Olovikabo, Alice Areori and Moia Afoa

The East-West Center welcomed the first cohort of PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows from the Pacific Islands to begin advanced studies in finance and law at the University of Hawaiʻi. 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 Hawaiʻi, all of whom are already accomplished professionals in promoting financial governance and accountability,” said East-West Center Chief Communications Officer and project lead Jake Hamstra. “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 inaugural PROJECT Governance graduate degree fellows are:

  • Moia Afoa, from Sāmoa. Afoa is a principal financial management officer of the Agriculture Sector Coordination Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. She is pursuing a master of science in finance, and 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.”
  • Alice Areori, from Papua New Guinea (PNG). Previously employed as project lead for Transparency International’s Building Elections Integrity through Partnerships Project, Areori is 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.”
  • Charles Olovikabo, from the Solomon Islands. Olovikabo is a senior legal officer at the Solomon Islands Law Reform Commission. He is pursuing a master of laws, and hopes to help establish a regional legal framework to combat corruption, and to enhance his “capacity to address issues broadly and progressively…to achieve social and economic development of the Solomon Islands.”
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