Western Samoa

Western Samoa
Western Samoan.
an independent country comprising the W part of Samoa: formerly a trust territory of New Zealand. 219,509; 1133 sq. mi. (2935 sq. km). Cap.: Apia. Cf. Samoa, American Samoa.

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Western Samoa Western Samoa:Geography Location: Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand Map references: Oceania Area: total area: 2,860 sq km land area: 2,850 sq km comparative area: slightly smaller than Rhode Island Land boundaries: 0 km Coastline: 403 km Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm International disputes: none Climate: tropical; rainy season (October to March), dry season (May to October) Terrain: narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rocky, rugged mountains in interior Natural resources: hardwood forests, fish Land use: arable land: 19% permanent crops: 24% meadows and pastures: 0% forest and woodland: 47% other: 10% Irrigated land: NA sq km Environment: current issues: soil erosion natural hazards: occasional typhoons; active volcanism international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea Western Samoa:People Population: 209,360 (July 1995 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 40% (female 41,503; male 42,844) 15-64 years: 56% (female 55,683; male 61,065) 65 years and over: 4% (female 4,323; male 3,942) (July 1995 est.) Population growth rate: 2.37% (1995 est.) Birth rate: 31.74 births/1,000 population (1995 est.) Death rate: 5.88 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.) Net migration rate: -2.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.) Infant mortality rate: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.38 years male: 65.99 years female: 70.88 years (1995 est.) Total fertility rate: 4.04 children born/woman (1995 est.) Nationality: noun: Western Samoan(s) adjective: Western Samoan Ethnic divisions: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4% Religions: Christian 99.7% (about one-half of population associated with the London Missionary Society; includes Congregational, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Latter Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventist) Languages: Samoan (Polynesian), English Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1971) total population: 97% male: 97% female: 97% Labor force: NA by occupation: agriculture 60% Western Samoa:Government Names: conventional long form: Independent State of Western Samoa conventional short form: Western Samoa Digraph: WS Type: constitutional monarchy under native chief Capital: Apia Administrative divisions: 11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano Independence: 1 January 1962 (from UN trusteeship administered by New Zealand) National holiday: National Day, 1 June (1962) Constitution: 1 January 1962 Legal system: based on English common law and local customs; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal Executive branch: chief of state: Chief Susuga Malietoa TANUMAFILI II (Co-Chief of State from 1 January 1962 until becoming sole Chief of State on 5 April 1963) head of government: Prime Minister TOFILAU Eti Alesana (since 7 April 1988) cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the head of state with the prime minister's advice Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly (Fono): elections last held 5 April 1991 (next to be held by NA 1996); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (47 total) HRPP 28, SNDP 18, independents 1 note: only matai (head of family) are able to run for the Legislative Assembly Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Court of Appeal Political parties and leaders: Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), TOFILAU Eti Alesana, chairman; Samoan National Development Party (SNDP), TAPUA Tamasese Efi, chairman Member of: ACP, AsDB, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IMF, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, SPARTECA, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WHO Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Tuiloma Neroni SLADE chancery: 820 Second Avenue, Suite 800, New York, NY 10017 telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196, 6197 FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797 US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: the ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Western Samoa embassy: 5th floor, Beach Road, Apia mailing address: P.O. Box 3430, Apia telephone: [685] 21631 FAX: [685] 22030 Flag: red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation Economy Overview: Agriculture employs more than half of the labor force, contributes 50% to GDP, and furnishes 90% of exports. The bulk of export earnings comes from the sale of coconut oil and copra. The economy depends on emigrant remittances and foreign aid to support a level of imports much greater than export earnings. Tourism has become the most important growth industry. The economy continued to falter in 1994, as remittances and tourist earnings remained low. Production of taro, the primary food export crop, has dropped 97% since a fungal disease struck the crop in 1993. The rapid growth in 1994 of the giant African snail population in Western Samoa is also threatening the country's basic food crops, such as bananas and coconuts. National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $400 million (1992 est.) National product real growth rate: -4.3% (1992 est.) National product per capita: $2,000 (1992 est.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 14% (1994 est.) Unemployment rate: NA% Budget: revenues: $95.3 million expenditures: $76.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.) Exports: $6.4 million (f.o.b., 1993) commodities: coconut oil and cream, taro, copra, cocoa partners: New Zealand 34%, American Samoa 21%, Germany 18%, Australia 11% Imports: $11.5 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.) commodities: intermediate goods 58%, food 17%, capital goods 12% partners: New Zealand 37%, Australia 25%, Japan 11%, Fiji 9% External debt: $141 million (June 1993) Industrial production: growth rate -0.3% (1992 est.); accounts for 16% of GDP Electricity: capacity: 29,000 kW production: 50 million kWh consumption per capita: 200 kWh (1993) Industries: timber, tourism, food processing, fishing Agriculture: accounts for about 50% of GDP; coconuts, fruit (including bananas, taro, yams) Economic aid: recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $18 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $306 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $4 million Currency: 1 tala (WS$) = 100 sene Exchange rates: tala (WS$) per US$1 - 2.4600 (January 1995), 2.5349 (1994), 2.5681 (1993), 2.4655 (1992), 2.3975 (1991), 2.3095 (1990) Fiscal year: calendar year Western Samoa:Transportation Railroads: 0 km Highways: total: 2,042 km paved: 375 km unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, earth 1,667 km Ports: Apia, Asau, Mulifanua, Salelologa Merchant marine: total: 1 roll-on/roll-off cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,838 GRT/5,536 DWT Airports: total: 3 with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 2 Western Samoa:Communications Telephone system: 7,500 telephones local: NA intercity: NA international: 1 INTELSAT (Pacific Ocean) earth station Radio: broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0 radios: 70,000 Television: broadcast stations: 0 televisions: NA Western Samoa:Defense Forces Branches: no regular armed services; Western Samoa Police Force Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP

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▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Western Samoa occupies an island group in the South Pacific Ocean. Area: 2,831 sq km (1,093 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 167,000. Cap.: Apia. Monetary unit: Western Samoa tala, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 2.44 tala to U.S. $1 (3.84 tala = £ 1 sterling). Head of state (O le Ao o le Malo) in 1996, Malietoa Tanumafili II; prime minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana.

      In the April 1996 elections, there was a swing against the Human Rights Protection Party government of Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana. The government survived, but three Cabinet ministers and the speaker lost their seats. (For detailed election results, see Political Parties, above.) With the support of independents, Alesana retained the prime ministership by 34 votes to 14. Issues that had told against the government included the introduction of a value-added goods and services tax and a 15% cut in public service expenditure to bail out the financially troubled and mismanaged Polynesian Airlines. (BARRIE MACDONALD)

      This article updates Western Samoa (Samoa).

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Western Samoa occupies an island group in the South Pacific Ocean. Area: 2,831 sq km (1,093 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 166,000. Cap.: Apia. Monetary unit: Western Samoa tala, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 2.50 tala to U.S. $1 (3.95 tala = £ 1 sterling). Head of state (O le Ao o le Malo) in 1995, Malietoa Tanumafili II; prime minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana.

      In February 1995, after a petition (with some 80,000 signatures) opposing the new value-added goods and services tax was submitted to Parliament, the government laid sedition charges against two leaders of Tumua ma Pule, an organization of traditional chiefs and orators. The case was dismissed by the Supreme Court in June. An Audit Office report, severely critical of the government and alleging mismanagement and corruption, led to the dismissal of the Controller and Chief Auditor.

      After a 6% contraction in 1994, the government anticipated 5% economic growth in 1995 and 1996. Inflation, 18.4% in 1994, was expected to be less than 10% in 1995. The government took control of Polynesian Airlines and injected $30 million to keep the company afloat. Two-thirds of aircraft leases were terminated, and route sharing with Air New Zealand was introduced as part of a recovery plan.

      Western Samoa joined other South Pacific Forum nations in protesting against the resumption of French nuclear testing in the region. (BARRIE MACDONALD)

      This updates the article Western Samoa (Samoa).

▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Western Samoa occupies an island group in the South Pacific Ocean. Area: 2,831 sq km (1,093 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 164,000. Cap.: Apia. Monetary unit: Western Samoa tala, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 2.54 tala to U.S. $1 (4.04 tala = £ 1 sterling). Head of state (O le Ao o le Malo) in 1994, Malietoa Tanumafili II; prime minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana.

      Throughout 1994 the government of Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana faced resistance to the value-added goods and service tax introduced at the beginning of the year. Following public demonstrations in March, the government announced that as a compensatory measure it would eliminate import duties from a range of food items and drugs and reduce duties on other items by two-thirds. Despite this concession, public opposition continued.

      Resistance to the new taxes was heightened by difficult economic conditions. Despite a partial recovery of agricultural exports after Cyclones Ofa (1991) and Val (1992), exports in 1993 totaled only half those of 1988. Exports of coconut products fell especially sharply, from 19 million tala in 1988 to 3.4 million tala in 1993. Exports of taro, the other major agricultural export, were reduced by a blight that could be eliminated only by the forgoing of an entire growing season. The export value of car parts assembled from imported components had increased in recent years, but even so, exports in 1994 were expected to pay for only 4% of imports (down from 20% in 1988). The deficit was covered by foreign aid and by remittances from Western Samoans working overseas. (BARRIE MACDONALD)

      This updates the article Western Samoa (Samoa).

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Western Samoa occupies an island group in the South Pacific Ocean. Area: 2,831 sq km (1,093 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 163,000. Cap.: Apia. Monetary unit: Western Samoa tala, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 2.55 tala to U.S. $1 (3.87 tala = £ 1 sterling). Head of state (O le Ao o le Malo) in 1993, Malietoa Tanumafili II; prime minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana.

      The economy was still recovering from the effects of serious cyclones in each of the previous three years, but after declines in gross domestic product in both 1991 and 1992, growth of 4% was anticipated for 1993. Exports, at 14 million tala, were at their lowest level for decades, while imports remained high because of postcyclone reconstruction. In the agriculture sector, domestic supplies as well as exports had been affected by cyclone damage and a serious outbreak of taro blight. In light of all these difficulties, the Yazaki automotive wiring plant assumed particular importance. It accounted for 80% of export earnings in 1992 and, with 1,400 workers, was the largest employer after the government.

      Western Samoa introduced its first full broadcasting facility in 1993, with both local programs and satellite transmissions from New Zealand. There was concern over new libel legislation that could force journalists to reveal sources in defamation cases and could restrict the publication of court evidence concerning third parties to an action.

      There was some tension within the ruling Human Rights Protection Party when three members were expelled. Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana offered to resign, but he was asked by his colleagues to remain in office.


      This updates the article Western Samoa (Samoa).

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