Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has praised Ba province for holding the Adi Salusalu Festival to raise funds for education.
The Prime Minister also praised Ba leaders for their hard work and commitment towards nation building.
Bainimarama made the comments while opening the annual festival at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.
He said everyone was contributing towards a nation for all Fijians.
"This is what government wants to encourage so that we can build a better Fiji based on equality and common friendship", he said.
"I'm also glad that the festival brings together all those from Ba and those who have made Ba their home".
Digicel Fiji chief executive Maurice McCarthy, whose company gave $20,000 in sponsorship, said they supported Ba's education initiative.
"In the life of every child, three important institutions play a crucial role in shaping its outlook and future prospects. These are the family, the school and the community. They educate, train and shape the young both formally and informally into a valuable adult," McCarthy said.
"Education correlates with nation-building. Both of them complement each other. A nation cannot be built without education. With education, professionals are nurtured that will enhance nation-building. "
"To continue to build a nation, education is critical, because education shapes the attitudes and behaviours and values of citizens. These are qualities that are needed for nation-building and it is only education that will bring those mechanics," added McCarthy.
There are 42 contestants vying for the Adi Salusalu crown. The festival ends this Saturday.
By Reginald Chandar