Samoa. During the year, the government had a protracted conflict with villagers over the right to land, a historical dispute issue in Samoa. According to COUNTRYAAH, Apia is the capital of Samoa which is located in Polynesia. The residents of Satapuala occupied an area outside the country’s international airport Faleolo. The village had been relocated when the airport was built in the 1940s, when New Zealand ruled over the island and the villages’ traditional ownership of land was violated. The land now belongs to the Samoa government, and the village has for years tried in court in vain to regain the right to part of the land.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Samoa country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
In August, the conflict turned violent when villagers armed with machete, stones and kerosene bottles blocked the road from the airport to the capital Apia. Tourists were hindered and the flight canceled. A large police raid was forced out and was able to disperse the villagers with warning shots.
Several ministers and other top politicians were accused of corruption in the run-up to the elections in the coming years. The Speaker of Parliament was called in, and the opposition leader accused the government of increasing poverty in the country by putting tax money on bad investments, such as the bankrupt Polynesian Airlines. According to the opposition, the number of child sellers and beggars in the streets increased.
At the 1986 census the population of the part of the archipelago that forms the state of the Western Samoa (the eastern section is a possession of the United States) was 157,200 residents, of which 112,200 on the island of Upolu and 44,900 on the island of Savaii.. Apia, the capital and main port, had 32,200 residents in the same year. In the decade 1980-91, the average annual growth rate of the population was 0.7%.
Agriculture employs over 60% of the workforce, although it is mainly aimed at satisfying the needs of local food (cocoa, copra, taro, bananas). The traditional manufacturing activities were joined in 1992 by two factories, with the contribution of US and Japanese capital, which respectively produce articles of clothing and metal threads, destined for export. Tourism (about 50,000 visitors a year) makes a significant contribution to the national economy, also supported by remittances from emigrants and financial aid from New Zealand. Since 1989, offshore banking activities (whose peripheral location responds to the intention of circumventing the strict regulations of European and North American countries) have had a notable boost.
In the rankings drawn up by the United Nations, the Western Samoa are among the most underdeveloped countries in the world, and among those most indebted to foreign countries (140 million dollars in 1991). An economic adjustment program launched in the mid-1980s in an attempt to reduce inflation and the burden of interest on debt, and to stimulate the economy with interventions in the field of infrastructure, was nullified by the disastrous effects of two cyclones that hit the archipelago in 1990 and 1991. Subsequently, measures were taken to attract foreign investment, with the aim of reducing dependence on imports and expanding the production base destined for exports.