I.C.T. at the National University of Samoa
Last Tuesday, as part of the Faculty of Science seminar series at NUS, a special seminar was delivered on “Innovations in ICT” , to provide a backdrop to the ICT Sector Plan currently being developed.
The presenter was Tony Willenberg who is currently the Team Leader for the ICT Sector Planning Team hired by the Samoa Technical Assistance Facility to develop the ICT sector plan.
The seminar was well attended by the public, and dignitaries such as the Minister of MCIT, the Minister of Education as well as His Worship the Chief Justice.
During the seminar it was explained how long it takes for major innovations to occur, some examples of other countries’ I.C.T. development trajectories (e.g. Singapore), and the technological shifts that are once again upon us and why some of our biggest gains in productivity may occur by doing some straightforward things using ICT.
During the presentation the presenter Tony Willenberg provided 15 examples of ICT innovations that Samoa could utilise today.
These examples ranged in complexity.
Most will not only reduce expenditure for civil society, the Government and the private sector to use and benefit from ICT, but some will also lay a foundation to take further beneficial steps for Samoa’s future.
The presentation fielded a handful of good questions from the audience and received two valuable points of feedback, these being:
1. Need for the Sector Plan to have clear strategies for (a) e-Government and (b) “sunrise industries” or what we take to mean: new industries.
2. Need to understand scope of the IT skills pool available locally and what will be needed from abroad to back implementation.
A highlight of the seminar was provided by the Minister Afamasaga Rico Tupai who then laid out the government vision for the ICT sector.
The Minister laid out the need for a plan to utilise the considerable ICT infrastructure developments with strategic and well planned applications.
With the deployment of the Tui Samoa submarine cable, Samoa will be looking to expand its provision of ICT services to the region at bold competitive rates with Samoa envisioned as the regional hub in terms of connectivity.
The government’s bold vision also includes the establishment of a national data centre to provide service to national data needs and beyond.
The vision was well received by the audience and the seminar ended with the Vice Chancellor of NUS Professor Fui Leapai Asofou Soo conveying the note of thanks to the Hon Minister, the presenter and the audience