Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa. It is a country that includes a group of islands belonging to the Polynesian archipelago in the south of the Pacific. From 1900 to 1914 they were known as German Samoa, and from 1914 to 1997 as Western Samoa. They were discovered in 1722 and achieved their independence in 1962. Apia is the capital city of Samoa according to simplyyellowpages.
There are two Samoas, the western and the eastern (American), located right in the middle of the South Pacific, between the Hawaiian Islands and New Zealand. Western Samoa is made up of two main islands. These islands were inhabited 3,000 years ago and are considered the heart of Polynesian culture. In 1768, the French navigator Louis de Bougainville came across Samoa and named the land the Navigator’s Islands because of all the Samoans sailing long distances in small canoes around its coast. During the 18th century, crops produced copra (palm coconut marrow) and cotton for export. The capital, Apia, became the main commercial center in the southern Pacific area. It belonged to Germany from 1899 to 1914 and to New Zealand from 1914 to 1962 when it became an independent state. The country stopped using the Western title of its official name in 1997, but people continue to call it that to avoid confusion with the other Samoa.
Government and politics
Samoa forms an independent Constitutional Monarchy. The 1960 constitution, which took effect formally after the country’s independence, is based on the parliamentary democracy of the United Kingdom, modified to take into account the habits of Samoa. The two great Samoan chiefs since independence have been appointed jointly from the position of head of state. The former head of state, Malietoa Tanumafili II, who died on December of maypole in 2007 at the age of 94 years, held this position since the death of the second big boss in 1963. His successor Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi has been appointed by the legislature for a 5-year term, the title O le Ao o le Malo has been maintained but by limiting the mandates of the Head of State to five years, Samoa has become, de facto, a republic.
Samoa is divided into eleven districts spread over the main islands of Upolu and Savai’i.
On Upolu Island (Includes minor islands):
- To Ana
On Savai’i Island:
Apia Harbor is by far the largest and busiest port in Samoa. International shipping of containers, LPG gas and fuels all dock here. Ferries to Tokelau and American Samoa leave from here.
Apia is served by a good road network, which is generally reasonably well maintained. Most of the main roads are paved, the unpaved roads are less used.
The Government of Samoa began the second phase of a major improvement of arterial routes throughout the urban area of Apia in 2012, with the gradual expansion of the city’s main roads.
The country does not have rail transport or trams, but does have an extensive private taxi and bus system. People often walk around the city, or even for some distances outside of it. There are few bicycles and motorcycles, but traffic congestion due to a large increase in vehicle ownership has required a major improvement in road infrastructure.
The Fagali’i airport, a small airstrip, which was used for domestic flights and some international flights to Pago in American Samoa, has been reopened. The main international airport, Faleolo International Airport, is a 40-minute drive west of the city. The main national airlines of Samoa are: Samoa Polynesian Airlines and Air, service from this airport.
Apia hosted the Pacific Games in 1983, for the first time in its history and that of the country. These games were held again in the city in 2007, where Samoa was third in the medal table. A number of 20,000 spectators attended the closing ceremony held at Apia Park.
The city also hosted the Oceania qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Qualifying matches began on 27 of August of 2007 and ended on 7 September 2007. All matches were played at the Toleafoa JS Blatter Complex, named after the president of FIFA Sepp Blatter.
Also in Apia the qualifications for the 2010 Olympic Judo World Cup took place in November of the same year. Judokas from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA participated in the competition .
In Apia, the 2012 ICC Cricket World League Eight Division tournament was held at the Faleata Oval, which consists of four cricket fields. National teams from: Samoa, Belgium, Japan, Suriname, Ghana, Bhutan, Norway and Vanuatu participated. It was the first time that a tournament was officially sanctioned by the International Cricket Council that had been held in the region.
Apia is home to many preschool, primary, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, with the only university that exists in the country, the National University of Samoa. Also, the School of Agriculture of the University of the South Pacific has a campus in Alafua, on the outskirts of Apia.
Holidays and traditions
The residents of Apia celebrate the New Year on January 2, since January 1 is reserved to commemorate independence. In addition to other Christian holidays, Arbor Day and National Women’s Day are celebrated.