Friday 15 May, marked the first year the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) joined with communications providers in Samoa to commemorate the Information Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) World Telecommunication & Information Society Day.
Rev Alesana Afamasaga a pastor from EFKS Lefagaoalii Savaii lead the ceremony with a prayer.
A message was delivered from Dr Hamadoun Toure, the Secretary General, of the International Telecommunication Union and viewed via the screen.
Hon. Safuneituuga Paaga Neri, Minister for Communications and Information Technology delivered the main speech of the day and welcomed all participants.
The celebration marked the founding of the ITU organization when other nations of the world gathered in the sharing of resources in the field of Telecommunication and Information Technology. This celebration falls on the 17th of May each year.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Protecting children in Cyberspace”. The theme remains a strong message to all of us to stay alert and get prepared to preserve our children from approaching unnecessary online information.
Our children nowadays are fast learners, doing research and I.A. on electronic information via internet. They are intelligent, determined, sensitive and responsive at their young age. If we open opportunities for children to access internet, they can become vulnerable to criminals and sex offenders, therefore we need to be aware of the risks and prepared to ensure the protection of our children. This was the strong advice from the Hon Minister while she delivered her speech. Later a recorded message was delivered in large screen format from International Telecommunication Union’s General Secretary to discuss this issue further.
This celebration was also extended to acknowledge some achievements in the recent development of the Telecommunications and ICT Sectors for Samoa such as:
- Telecommunications Act 2005 (with amendments)
- Establishment of the Office of the Telecom Regulator
- ICT Strategies 2005-2009
- Rural Connectivity Project (Feso’otai Centers)
- Increase number of Internet Cafes in Apia and other Centers
- Mobile Competition
- International Gateway Liberalization
- Landing of Submarine Cable that provides more bandwidth and high speed communications
These achievements close the distance between Samoa and to Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas and other parts of the world, making us all neighbors.
The Hon. Minister also acknowledged the support of International Service Providers;
- Samoa Tel Ltd
- Digicel Samoa Ltd
- Lesa’s Telephone Services Ltd (LTS)
- Computer Services Ltd (CSL)
- iPasifika Ltd
- Samoa Information Technology Society (SITS)
Each provider operated interactive booths on the day where participants could ask about the latest technologies and protection available to internet users. People could access the internet from these stalls and view the best Samoa has to offer in technological advancements such as high speed broadband connection.
After the Hon. Minister’s speech and morning tea, schools participated in an exciting debate to discuss the topic of the day. Robert Louis Stevenson College, St Mary’s College, Pesega College and Seven Day Adventist College competed in the debate. Each School received prices and a certificate afterwards, but Pesega College won the debate.
Mr Tuloa Fetufou Aiono said a word of thanks to all who were participated especially students for their great effort as well as Service Providers.
For more information on this world wide initiative visit http://www.itu.int/wtisd/index.html .