Makereta Konrote has resigned as Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Economy, effective from 15 March, citing new challenges.
Konrote steps down after 18 years at the ministry, joining as a graduate trainee and departing as the PS, a position she held over the last five years.
Shiri Gounder who currently heads the ministry’s fiscal policy unit will assume the role in an acting capacity from 16 March, according to a Fijian Government statement.
In the same statement, Konrote said the ministry is in good hands of dedicated Fijians focused on Fiji’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of my 18 years with the Ministry, the last five have been the most memorable and rewarding. Watching the Ministry expand its functions, pursue more sophisticated and complex policies, and improve on its deliverables has been the highlight of my career. It has been a great privilege to work on behalf of my country. I want young people, particularly young women, who are considering entering the Civil Service to know that it can be a deeply fulfilling career of service to your fellow Fijians,” Konrote said.
“I especially thank the team and my colleagues for their support as well as the Minister. We have come a long way under his leadership.”
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum wished Konrote well in her plans, acknowledging her contributions to Fiji’s economy
“As a key part of our economic team, she’s helped make history many times over, including Fiji’s historic nine-year unbroken stretch of economic growth and unprecedented expansions to our network of social safety,” Sayed-Khaiyum said. “Among her lasting legacies are her intrinsic involvement in restructuring and reforming the civil service, mainstreaming climate action across government planning, and centralising major capital projects through the Construction Implementation Unit. She has also helped develop a team of qualified and capable experts who will inherit the Ministry’s mantle of prudent economic management and world-leading climate action. As a friend and colleague, I wish her, her husband, and her daughter all the best.”
Gounder, who has worked with Konrote for nine years and regards her as a mentor and close friend, said that with her guidance, the ministry has implemented a number of reforms.
“We’re already in the midst of a seamless transition to ensure we continue with the responsible management of government finances and uphold consistency in our economic policies. We obviously have a serious challenge before us with the prolonged economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “As we prepare for the 2021-2022 National Budget, I look forward to working intimately with the private sector, civil society, and members of the public through our nationwide consultation process.”