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U.S. Secretary of State meets with Papua New Guinean women entrepreneurs and young leaders

May 22, 2023

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with three women entrepreneurs who participated in the U.S.-funded Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). This program gives women business owners the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses. 


Secretary Blinken met with Priscilla Meakoro, the owner of a local skin and haircare company that manufactures milk and aloe vera oil from local ingredients farmed by women for use in their products. He also met with Bonnie Naua, the founder of Saroni Tailoring whose designer collections have been on the runways of four local fashion shows, and Elisa Haiara, the owner of a digital printing and business promotion solution, E-Products Limited, which has expanded from one to two shops with a third in the works. 


Next, Secretary Blinken met with four Papa New Guinean alumni of U.S.-funded education and professional exchange programs who had the opportunity to either study at universities in the United States, participate in virtual programs, or gain skills through a professional development visit. There are over 600 alumni of U.S.-funded exchange programs in Papua New Guinea, including these four young leaders. The U.S. is proud of our people-to-people ties with Pacific Island countries and committed to our education, professional, and cultural exchanges.

Alumni of GlobalUGRAD and IVLP Yanamlyn Yana, Vilousa Hahembe, Vernon Gawi, and Jeanele Ewande with Secretary Blinken