Across its four regions and 22 provinces, Papua New Guinea contains an impressive diversity of linguistic, ethnic and cultural groups. From the coasts of autonomous Bougainville to the rocky peaks of the Bismarck range in the highlands, and from the dense quarters of the National Capital District to the remote and less-inhabited tributaries of Western Fly Province, these areas – even within themselves – show a high degree of geographical, cultural, and political variety. Among the most dynamic patches is the province of Morobe, on the north-east coast, due north of Port Moresby. This region is PNG’s industrial heartland, as well as a thriving commercial hub. Its capital, Lae, is also an educational centre and the staging point for transport into the highlands and beyond. Through its port, Lae connects the farm and mineral produce of the interior with the busy shipping lanes of the South Pacific. With abundant natural resources and a strategic location, Morobe is likely to benefit considerably from PNG’s economic growth in the near to medium term.
This chapter contains a viewpoint from David J Alcock, CEO, Mainland Holdings; and an interview with Kelly Naru, Governor, Morobe Province.