Digital transformation celebrated amid challenging times

Monday was the World Telecommunication and Information Society day (W.T.I.S.D.), which was celebrated with the theme of Accelerating Digital Transformation in Challenging Times.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T.) confirmed that Samoa would not be celebrating this year due to the state of emergency restrictions and border closures, but it does not necessarily lessen the importance of the special day and the initiative towards the Governments digital transformation programme.

Chief Executive Officer of M.C.I.T. Fualau Talatalaga Matau Matafeo said the Ministry was not going to hold a special celebration but would continue with their internal strategies and policy development, awareness and education campaigns, capacity development and other I.C.T. initiatives and developments.

The activities and developments form part of their support to the International Telecommunication Union’s W.T.I.S.D. 2021 celebration, especially its theme which coincides with all the work implemented in their Communications Sector Plan.

“The W.T.I.S.D. 2021 theme focuses on the drive by Member Countries to continue leveraging Telecommunications/ICT's by developing conducive digital policies and strategies to adapt and respond timely and effectively to different challenges including COVID-19 crisis, but also to report national progress with special focus on the targets that particularly contribute to digital transformation in the framework of the Connect 2030 Agenda,” said Fualau.  

“In addition, for other Sector Members, Associates and Academia to continue to facilitate cooperation and partnership in areas such as innovation, infrastructure, investment and capacity development to advance digital transformation for all and also to share their technology-driven strategies, considering the possible opportunities and/or challenges of digital transformation.”

The C.E.O. added that it was important for the rest of the digital community to raise awareness, respond and adapt to new challenges through ICTs, etc.

“So this year’s theme reflects a holistic approach and inclusive roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in a Community towards Digital Transformation.”

As noted by Fualau, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day has been celebrated annually every 17 May since 1969, to mark the founding of the International Telecommunication Union and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.

He said the W.T.I.S.D. is an opportunity for the Union’s membership to continue to push for digital transformation by promoting national strategies on ICT development, smart and conducive policies to encourage investments, cooperation, and partnership.

He also acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies and the urgency of accelerating digital transformation and advancing the goals and targets of the Connect2030 Agenda, to leave no one behind.

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