Samoa PM Receives Honorary PhD From National University

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Tuilaepa makes first public appearance after return from New Zealand

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, April 3, 2014) – The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Fatialofa Lupesolia’i Sailele Malielegaoi was this morning conferred the Honorary Doctor of Economics by the National University of Samoa.

The university Chancellor Reverend Dr. Otele Perelini presented the Prime Minister with the gown and cap and conferred the title after the blessing by Archbishop Alapati Mateiliga.

The university Vice Chancellor Professor Fui Le’apai Tu’ua Ilaoa Asofou said the NUS’s decision was based on the Prime Minister’s services both on the international and local levels.

"Tuilaepa had headed various international executive committees," said Professor Fui.

"He has also played a key role in the development of the local economy hence the University’s decision."

Tuilaepa had served in the European Economic Community, Chairman of the Asian Development Bank, a Deputy Director of Economic Development, served as an MP since 1982 and had been Prime Minister since 2009.

In accepting the degree, Tuilaepa acknowledged the honour.

He also spoke on the history of the National University of Samoa which is celebrating 30 years since establishment from very humble beginnings in 1984.

He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorates degree from Victoria University last year.

It is the Prime Ministers first official public appearance since returning on Tuesday night from New Zealand where he had been under medical observation for a week.

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