The Acting Prime Minister, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa opening the Broadband for Enhancing Pacific Lives Forum this morning
By Natu Samuelu Tafunai
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 25 JULY 2017: The first Commonwealth Forum to focus on using broadband to enhance the lives of Pacific peoples opened at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building Conference room in Apia this morning.
“This Forum will assess and review how communities are affected and manage to achieve social economic and environmental sustainability through the use of the broadband,” says the Acting Prime Minister, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa in her opening address.
She acknowledged the role the broadband has played in transforming and enhancing the lives of Pacific people and communities.
The Forum is held under the auspices of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Forum and represented by the Secretary General Shola Taylor and s attended by the Minister of Telecommunications of Tonga, Hon. Sione Veikoso, the Vice Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Prof Rajesh Chandra and high level officials in the Telecom and IT industry and providers from over twenty Pacific Island countries.
Samoa’s Minister of Communications, Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai said the forum is for Pacific Islands to look at ways to work together and share resources in developing broadband systems and networks.
“Most of the time our people cannot have the opportunity to speak in forums like this in other countries and that’s why we applied to the Commonwealth so that Samoa can host this year in order to have this chance to share our thoughts and opinions on such issues. This is especially so now that we are working on our marine cable and we are talking about the advantages of these things not only for Samoa but to the whole Pacific,” said Afamasaga.
The Form will also discuss ways to protect people from the abuse of the internet.
“This is one of the main issues in Samoa as what makes people worry about technology,” said the Minister.
“The forum will also look at both sides of this problem and see how can overcome it,” he said.
The major issues on the three day agenda include Enhancing of Pacific Lives, Broadband Policy and Regulation, Disaster Management, Safety in Cyberspace and Universal Broadband Access.