Tuvalu 2002

Tuvalu in 2002 was a small country made up of nine islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. It had a total population of 11,000 people who lived mainly on the islands of Funafuti, Vaitupu, Nanumea, Nukufetau and Nui. The main industries were fishing and copra production. According to computerannals, the government was a parliamentary democracy with an elected Prime Minister and Cabinet. The official language was Tuvaluan, but English was also widely spoken. Tuvalu had few natural resources and its economy relied heavily on foreign aid from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Education was free for all citizens up to secondary school level and the literacy rate was estimated to be around 95%. Healthcare services were provided by the government at no cost for all citizens. Despite its limited resources, Tuvalu had made great strides in the areas of health care, education and infrastructure over the past decade. In 2002 it became one of only three countries in the world to gain access to high-speed internet connection through an international submarine cable system known as Tui-Samoa Cable Link. This development opened up new opportunities for Tuvaluans to communicate with people around the world as well as access valuable information online such as news sites or educational materials. Tourism also began to play an important role in Tuvalu’s economy in 2002 with visitors coming from all over the world eager to experience its unique culture and environment.

Yearbook 2002

Tuvalu. In August, Parliament elected former finance minister Saufatu Sopoanga as new prime minister. The nomination was preceded by parliamentary elections where 9 of the 15 members were re-elected.

According to Countryaah website, national day of Tuvalu is every October 1. The government is considering suing the United States and Australia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions that cause global warming. Tuvalu claims that climate change threatens to submerge the country within 50 years. Several small islands have already disappeared due to rising sea levels. New Zealand has agreed to adopt a 30-year plan to receive Tuvaluans who become homeless as their islands sink.

Tuvalu Border Countries Map

In December, the EU decided to grant Tuvalu € 3.3 million in aid by 2007. The money will go to education and environmental projects in the outer islands.

Tuvalu Country Overview

Visas and admission
Finnish citizen does not need a visa for Tuvalu for a trip of less than 90 days. The passport must be valid for 6 months after leaving the country.

Every person participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well.

Many dive trips require more extensive insurance. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Currency: Tuvalu’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD). € 1 is about 1.55 AUD. Credit cards are not accepted in Tuvalu.

Check that your basic vaccinations are valid (tetanus, polio and diphtheria and MPR). Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for the trip.

Always check the vaccination requirements at the health center or the Vaccination Advice of the Tourist Clinic

Time difference
10 hours

current Electric current 220 V / 50 Hz. Sockets similar to e.g. Australia.

We stay in safe areas during our trip, but general caution within common sense is desirable throughout the trip.

For more information on traveling in the country, see the English Foreign Office’s travel bulletin, for example .


During the 1990s, a fundamental theme of political debate in the country was represented by relations with Great Britain. Although the Parliament had rejected in 1992 the proposal to transform the institutional structure of the country into a republic (Tuvalu is a ‘special member’ of the Commonwealth), in the following years the prime minister K. Latasi, elected at the end of 1993, showed himself determined to scale back trade and relations with Great Britain. In fact, in 1995, on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of independence, the Union Jack symbol was removed from the national flag. The initiative, however, did not meet the favor of the population and in February 1997the original flag was restored. Latasi himself, placed in the minority, was defeated in the 1998 elections and became Prime Minister B. Paeniu, who had already held this office from 1989 to 1993. Forced Paeniu to resign due to the lack of confidence of the Parliament, he was succeeded in April 1999 by I. Ionatana.