A total of 32 students have graduated from the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute’s (PNG NRI) annual flagship training program, the Economic Policy Analysis Course (EPAC), last Friday 13 November 2020.

After eight weeks of intensive training, the students, including officers from various government departments and agencies and private sector graduated with diploma certificates in the PNG NRI’s 30th EPAC graduation ceremony.

The course helped the students improve their understanding of key government economic policies and other policies that impact sustainable economic growth and development of PNG.

Officiating at the graduation ceremony was Fr Jan Czuba, Secretary for Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology who congratulated the students and challenged them to go out to their various work places and use the skills and knowledge they gained to serve the country.

“Great minds have purpose. Others have wishes. You, as graduating students of PNG NRI, have great minds. PNG NRI has given you great minds. Use your skills to serve the country,” Fr Czuba told the students.

In an opening remark, PNG NRI Director Dr Osborne Sanida said the PNG NRI mission was to generate research information that would lead to informed decision-making in order to improve the welfare of our people.

He said PNG NRI operates on the “3 i mantra” or motto: inquire, inform and influence.

“Inquire is to dig out information and understand the issues that affect PNG with relevant analytical tool, inform is to disseminate our research findings to key stakeholders who are in the decision-making positions and the general public and influence is to make an impact by ensuring that information received by decision-makers actually used to make good decisions in order to make positive changes to the lives of our people.”

Dr Sanida said as part of its mandate to inform and influence public policy makers, PNG NRI has been conducting this program.

He urged the students to conduct good inquiry, inform and influence policy-making wherever they go.

PNG NRI Council Acting Chairman Wilson Thompson said: “We want to contribute to the country through this program.”

He said PNG NRI was not trying to make money but to influence and support the government.

Also present at the ceremony were PNG NRI Deputy Director, Research, Prof Eugene Ezebilo and EPAC coordinator and Economic Policy Research Program Leader Dr Francis Odhuno.

The course was conducted by senior researchers and lecturers of the PNG NRI. It was started in 1989 and will continue to run in the coming years.

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