‘Excellent Village Awards can aid economic development’

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Excellent Village Awards (AKC) can be used by participating villages to sustain the business growth of their local products and services in support of the country’s economic diversification initiative, said community leaders.

Muhammad Amir Hj Umarali from Kg Kiudang’s information bureau in Tutong District said recently that the AKC has brought positive outcomes in the economic and social development of villages.

But more importantly, through the AKC, villagers can open their minds to innovation and gain a better understanding of how to further improve their villages, he said.

At the national level, the biennial AKC offers large cash prizes as an incentive. However, Muhammad Amir said the villagers should further improve the development of their villages even after participating in the AKC.

Held by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the AKC aims to promote and enhance cooperation and the spirit of community service, foster a culture of self-help and independence and showcase successful villages as exemplary to other villages. It also aims to help the chairmen of the village consultative councils become more effective leaders .

Participation of villages in the AKC has been increasing since the first event was held in 2010. The first two competitions only saw 31 and 58 village consultative councils taking part, respectively. But the number rose significantly to 104 during the third AKC held in 2014, as the ministry had been monitoring the development of each village, including supporting the progress of the ‘One Village, One Product’ (OVOP) initiative.

Muhammad Amir said the AKC has benefited the development of home-grown products through the OVOP initiative, which should be continued and improved every year. He highlighted the importance of producing more innovative products or services and finding better ways to promote them, such as through online marketing.

“We should encourage the villagers to be more creative and make new products for the future development of our villages and country,” he said.

Kg Kiudang is among the four villages in Tutong District that have been selected to participate in the next AKC. The other three are Kg Lamunin, Kg Telisai and Kg Bukit. The award ceremony is expected to be held this year.

The Brunei Times