Developments in this digital era have been at the forefront of discussions at the T.A.T.T.E. Building for the past two days.
It is where Samoa has been hosting the inaugural Digital Pacific Conference under the theme “Together for a Digital Pacific 2018.”
The two-day seminar allows participants to exchange views and share experiences about digitalization of governments and economies and how this can contribute to prosperity and sustainable development.
The Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i said the meeting in Samoa is critical for the Pacific to keep up with what’s happening in the rest of the world.
“We have here nations who have already started digitalizing their services we have New Zealand, Australia, Estonia and other countries around the world who have done it. Now it is time for the Pacific to start the conversation, it is time for Samoa,” he said.
“We are saying that it is time for the Pacific to start the conversation and to start action on digitalization of all services.
“So today speaks to that and it is the embodiment of the hope for the United Nations and our Samoa pathway that was developed back in 2014 when we had the S.I.D.S. conference here.”
Afamasaga also highlighted the benefit for having digital services in any nation; he explained that it is a win-win situation for not only the government but also the people.
“The benefits of this, it will fast-track business developments, it eliminates time and cost to our people. So it reduces the cost significantly for our people and time consuming for them.
“But at the same time it drops and saves the cost for the government as well. So there is a lot of development. We need to catch up to the world now, we cannot be left behind.
“For Samoa itself we are in development of our National ID and that National ID tries to strengthen the development of digitalization and make things easier and saves cost and save time for our people.”
Pacific Small Island Developing States, from the largest to the smallest, we face a common, but unique set of developmental challenges, such as small size and narrow resource and export base, exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks, vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, remoteness from most large markets and reliance on remittances.”