Information and Facts About Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a tropical South Western Pacific Island country that makes up the eastern half of the Island of New Guinea, considered the second largest island in the world. Port Moresby is the capital city of Papua New Guinea with latitude of 09° 30' S and longitude of 147º 10 E’. Papua New Guinea’s Time Zone is GMT+10:00.
Papua New Guinea’s population currently stands at 5.1 million people with around 15 percent of the population living in the 10 major urban areas. Papua New Guinea national census is done every 10 years with the last one conducted in 2000. The capital of Papua New Guinea is Port Moresby with a population of 255,000 people at the 2000 census but is currently estimated to be over 500,000 largely due to movement of rural population into Port Moresby for better life and access to basic government services. The second largest city is the industrial city of Lae in the Morobe Province.
There are over 800 different languages that is the vernacular or mother tongues of the people of Papua New Guinea.English is the official language, while Tok Pisin and Motu languages are national languages.
People, Culture and Lifestyle
Papua New Guineans are probably some of the happy people you will ever meet on earth. Papua New Guineans will greet you with a friendly smile and are quick to shake hands. There is no sense of urgency in getting things done whether household chores or going to gardens although things get done eventually. This could probably be due to the abundance and availability of life’s basic needs such as food, water and shelter that our ancestors have enjoyed and presently available. However, this attitude is slowly changing especially in the urban areas where money is the key to survival.
Majority (about 90 -95%) of the people who live in rural areas live a subsistence life where their daily needs such as food is met from gardening, fishing, hunting and domestication of livestock such as piggery and poultry.
Papua New Guinea has some of the unique traditional customs and folklore on Earth. The number of different languages spoken is an indication of the many tribes and their traditional cultures which includes traditional songs and dance that goes with body painting and decoration and arts and crafts.
History and Politics
Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia on the 16th day of September 1975. The country has a well-entrenched democratic system of government. The National Government comprises three independent branches: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Executive power is vested in the National Executive Council or Cabinet which comprises the Prime Minister and Ministers.
There are 19 provinces, each governed by a Provincial Government which have similar constitutional arrangements to the National Government and have concurrent power with the latter in areas such as agriculture, business development, town planning, forestry and natural resources. National laws, however, take precedence over provincial laws. In 2009, two more provinces were created by the Parliament of Papua New Guinea bringing the total number of provinces to 21 now.
Papua New Guinea currency depends on the exchange rate movements. Since 2006, the currency has been trading between US$0.30 and US$0.34 and AUD$40 and AUD$45. Kina (symbol is K) and Toea (symbol is t) pronounced "toy-ah" is the legal Tender. Kina (equilavent of dollars and pounds) comes in K100 (green), K50 (orange), K20 (red), K10 (blue), K5 (pink) and K2 (pale green) and K1 (which is a coin) while Toea (equivalent of cents and shillings) comes in the form of coins ranging from 50t, 20t, 10t and 5t. 2t and 1t were phased out in 2007 and no longer recognised as legal tender.
The major economic sectors in Papua New Guinea are: Agriculture and Livestock, Forestry, Mining and Petroleum, Tourism and Hospitality, Fisheries and Marine resources, Manufacturing, Retailing and Wholesaling, Building and Construction, Transport and Telecommunications, and Finance and Business Trade.
The waters around PNG are rich in marine life and are virtually untouched. Within the 200 mile economic zone are large varieties of fish, including migrating schools of tuna. Forest products are one of PNG's major exports but the timber resource of the country again remains largely untapped.
Papua New Guinea's main imports are sourced from Australia, Japan, the United States of America, Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China and Hong Kong. The main destinations of PNG exports are Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter from PNG Peles! It's All About Papua New Guinea by registering here.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 09:46|