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Monday, October 29, 2007

Solomons government appoints first ever woman to become Secretary to Cabinet

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

The Solomon Islands government has appointed the first female in the nation's history to become the Secretary to Cabinet.

Ms Ruth Liloqula, a Solomon Islander with impressive academic and professional achievements in agriculture and administration was appointed to the top public service post and will soon take her Oath of Secrecy before the Chief Justice.

Ms Liloqula first graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Tropical Agriculture from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1977 and later in 1984 with a Masters in Science in the Biotechnology of Crop Protection majoring in Nematology from Britain’s Redding University.

Ms Liloqula was also the first Solomon Islander to hold the posts of Government Plant Pathologist and Director of Research in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ms Liloqula’s on-the-job performance won her a scholarship of merit to study Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering at the Colorado State University in the United States of America.

After the completion of her study in USA, she returned to Solomon Islands and held the post of Officer-in Charge of Research and later promoted to localize the Director of Research Post. In 1998 Ms Liloqula was promoted to the Under Secretary post in Ministry of National Planning and Development and in various government ministries up until 2004 when she was promoted to the post of Permanent Secretary Ministry of Police, and National Security.

She also served in various Ministries as Permanent Secretary prior to her appointment to the top public service post.

Speaking after last week’s swearing in of four newly appointed Permanent Secretaries including herself, Ms Liloqula said her appointment manifested the Grand Coalition for Change Government’s recognition of the talents and value that Solomon Islands women add to decision-making.

She said the Sogavare-led government was the first government in the history of Solomon Islands to have more female permanent secretaries and therefore ought to be commended.

Ms Liloqula meanwhile encourages all Solomon Islands women to work together to improve their status.

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