Over 1000 people attended the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Showcase held at the seafront, Port Vila on Friday, 18th May when Vanuatu celebrated for the first time World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).
The day commenced with a march along the Lini Highway and finishing at the stage at the water front.
The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated each year to mark the anniversary of the signature of the first International Convention in 1865 which led to the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The Honourable Prime Minister decided to use the event to raise the level of knowledge of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to everyone. 30 organisations participated demonstrating their products and services with applications clearly useful to every man, woman and child.
Fred Samuel the Government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) praised the Government for the vision of drawing together the different parties working on ICT into a single office reporting into the Prime Minister. He said “the GCIO will lead the development of Policy as well as oversee implementation. ICT will impact every part of Government delivery and it is important that this is led from the highest level of the Office of the Prime Minister”. He concluded by thanking AusAid for supporting the development of the ICT capacity and institutions.
The ICT Showcase was recognised by the ITU Secretary General, Dr Hamadoun I. Toure, by preparing a special message which was broadcast at the event.
In his opening address the Honourable Prime Minister said ” Vanuatu is still at an early stage in the use of ICT products and services. Widespread adoption will greatly assist Vanuatu to achieve the vision of a Healthy, Wealthy and Educated Nation. That adoption will only accelerate when every man, woman and child understands the value of using ICT products and services in their everyday life. In order to promote this understanding, this ICT Showcase will demonstrate many of the practical applications of ICT in such areas as land registration, environment, banking, public administration, transport, commerce, and education for the benefit of citizens, consumers, and businesses at large. This event is significant as it supports the vision of “ICT for All” based on the Priority Action Agenda (PAA) 2006 – 2015 and the Planning Long Action Short (PLAS) as approved by the Government of Vanuatu.”
The Prime Minister gave a special thanks to the Secretary General, Dr Touré, of the International Telecommunications Union, for the special message in support of Vanuatu.
The Prime Minister paid particular attention to Women and Girls in ICT, a theme of ITU for this year by saying “I am delighted that Vanuatu is blessed with many women and girls who have either joined the ICT sector or are using ICT to further their own businesses or careers. A group of selected women and girls will be appearing at various times on the stage to talk about their success stories and how ICT has helped them to achieve their goals and aspirations. I urge you to listen and learn from their experiences.”
Before formally opening the ICT Show and touring the exhibition stands the Prime Minister concluded his opening address by saying “I wish to thank Mr. Alan Horne, the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR) and his staff, as well as Mr. Fred Samuel, the Government’s CIO, and his staff, who have worked hard to organise this event on behalf of Government.”
There were 15 women and men who presented their experience with ICT . One presenter Merian Numaki emphasised “My own use of ICT at Tanna Evergreen Resort has increased our occupancy and cut costs enabling the resort to prosper and employ more people.”
There were two competitions running during the day in addition to smaller competitions being run by different exhibitors. Over 500 entries were received for the main competitions for 15 prizes. The big prize of the day was won by Ms Leimalu-Ines Tapasei who won 30,000 vatu of internet and TV service from Telsat. Leimalu was one of several hundred who answered more than 20 questions correctly about ICT. This involved the competitors visiting all stands to discover the answers.
The Prime Minister concluded the day by saying “I am delighted to see the strides the iGov team are making and I urge them to work with vigour to assist all of Government adopt ICT systems to offer better and more effective public services. The need for education has been a major theme of the show; Education of every man, woman and child in the benefits of ICT in their everyday life but particularly ICT to assist in education of our children. I am taking away from today a strong message that Government has to place a priority in ensuring the Policies and Budget support the adoption and use of ICT throughout our schools. I was delighted to meet Damien Hophand, my old friend from Rensarie. Damien told me that since internet was installed at their school there has been an information explosion and renewed enthusiasm in students and teachers alike in the education process. He is confident that as a direct result of the internet the numbers of students taking exams and their marks will increase. I was particularly pleased to see the stand of the Disabilities. It is important that Government pays attention to this important sector of the community and ensures that action is taken so that ICT can assist each and every person who is disabled.”
The Prime Minister concluded by saying “I have to congratulate the women and girls involved in the ICT sector and the private sector in their participation and activities to promote ICT. I urge all women and girls to learn from the examples we have heard today. It is good to see the suppliers and operators raising the awareness of the benefits of ICT for all in particular to women and girls, please also pay attention to those with disabilities.”
Alan Horne, the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator, thanked his team and all the volunteers who had made the event a success. He said that TRR, are asking all the exhibitors to complete a questionnaire to seek feedback as to how the 2013 ICT Showcase could be improved.
For more information contact: Dalsie Baniala, TRR,
on Phone: 27621