World Bank Vice President predicts job growth in I.C.T.

By Ilia L. Likou 01 March 2017, 12:00AM

The Vice President of the World Bank for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, is optimistic about the future of Samoa in terms of Information Technology.

 In fact with proper planning, she believes sector can provide at least 1500 more jobs for Samoans.

“Scenarios outlined in Pacific Possible suggest that by taking full advantage of I.C.T industry opportunities facilitated by world-class connectivity, Samoa could net between approximately 1,500 and 4,000 jobs,” she said. 

“We don’t have to look far to see that – the I.C.T. revolution is happening right here, right now, and Samoa is certainly working hard to position itself as a leader in the sector. Let’s continue working together to bridge the digital divide and to make it possible in the Pacific.”

 Ms. Kwakwa made the point when she spoke at the launch of the Savai’i component of the new $57.4 million submarine cable system, which promises to deliver “affordable high-speed internet access to Samoa.”

“I congratulate everyone involved for working so hard to get the project to this point – particularly the establishment of the Samoa Submarine Cable Corporation, which is up and running to deliver the cable this calendar year – an ambitious goal I am sure we can meet,” she said.

“The Government of Samoa has also played a very proactive role in fostering relationships with regional neighbours in the delivery of the Tui-Samoa Cable – a testament to the cooperative spirit we see in the Pacific.” 

“We all know how vital internet and telecommunications connectivity is to development – enhancing everything from economic and business opportunities, healthcare, education, disaster resilience and response, and even agriculture.” 

“At the ground breaking ceremony for the Upolu cable landing station a couple of weeks ago, the Deputy Prime Minister spoke of giving students access to information we take for granted in developed countries; facilitating global trade for local Samoan businesses both big and small; and improving government services.”

For the World Bank, the Vice President said Samoa is a proud partner.

“We are proud to continue working with the government of Samoa – our longest partner in the Pacific region – and development partners to expedite the delivery of faster, cheaper connectivity,” she said. 

“Through continued close collaboration to bridge the digital divide, I have no doubt we will make the Deputy Prime Minister’s vision a reality. With the significant increase in resources available to Samoa through the International Development Association – the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries – more projects with a similar transformative impact will be possible.” 

Thanks to the generosity of donor countries and funds raised by the World Bank through capital markets, I.D.A. resources for the Pacific we will see a threefold increase to almost US$900m.

“In this context, I.D.A. resources dedicated to Samoa are expected to increase significantly. We are already working closely with the government to identify priority areas in which these resources could have significant impact for the people of Samoa.”

The Tui Samoa Cable project aims to deliver low-cost broadband services to Samoa and strengthen the regulatory and legal environment for information and communications technology. 

It is expected to deliver Samoa a wide range of improvements to public services, including an e-health patient information system to improve patient care within the Samoan health system, as well as significant benefits to education, business, tourism, agriculture, as well as disaster planning and response. The cable is expected to reach land in Apia and Savai’i in early 2018.

By Ilia L. Likou 01 March 2017, 12:00AM

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