Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afahas been named as the Pacific person of the year 2021 for Islands Business magazine, a fijian owned company.
Established more than 30 years ago, Islands Business International is the premier publishing group in the Pacific Islands region.
Fiame shares the achievement with Fiji’s policewoman and now Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, Unaisi Vuniwaqa.
The island business says it could not separate two people, Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa
Fiame impressed for her conduct during Samoa’s prolonged election controversy and the hope she represents for many Samoans.
Meanwhile Unaisi Vuniwaqa continues her climb through the upper echelons of the United Nations after hitting the glass ceiling in the Fiji police force.
Her willingness to start from the bottom as a peacekeeper, and work her way up despite previously having held a senior position in Fiji, is a lesson in humility and determination for us all.
Fiame the only female government leader in the region, and Samoa’s first female Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa was also named as one of BBC's 100 women of 2021.
The BBC reported that there are fewer women in politics in the Pacific Islands than in any other part of the world, as per the UN Women. However, this year Samoa elected a woman as its head of government - only the second Pacific Island nation to do so.
Fiame is only the region's second elected woman leader, behind Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands from 2016 to 2020.