Sanma provincial government Secretary General (SG), Sakaria accessing internet after TC Pam

ICT Day will be History in Many Ways

This week will mark a significant moment in the history of technology in Luganville and Vanuatu as first ever ICT day celebration heads up to Santo in Sanma Province, north of Vanuatu.

Preparations of ICT day venue food stalls at Warwick Le Lagon, Port Vila. Photo/Roxane Vichot‎
Preparations of Pacific ICT day venue food stalls at Warwick Le Lagon, Port Vila. Photo/Roxane Vichot‎

In Port Vila, today is also starting day for Pacific ICT Conference 2015 hosted at Warwick Le Lagon’s Farea Pacifik Conference Centre and will run for 2 days according to schedule on the ictdays.gov.vu website.

The conference sessions day 1 will focus on enabling environments for ICT ennovation, ICT innovation challenges, e-Government and m-Governance, ICT innovation in the financial sector, ICT application for response and recovery after TC Pam, and universal access and school connectivity.

In day 2 participants will discuss around cyber crime legislation, ICT in disaster management, data for innovation especially Geographical Information Systems, beyond cloud computing, and finally concludes with the Pacific ICT Award ceremony for 2015.

The celebration in Luganville today and tomorrow also has similar aims to provide opportunity to reinforce relationships among all players of the ICT ecosystem, including public administrations, private sector companies, entrepreneurs, non-for profits, as well as all the people living in the northern region.

TVL will be rolling out their new fiber-optic link in Luganville’s central business district today, while Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is facilitating a workshop on Web 2.0 and Social media, currently underway at Vanuatu Agriculture College.

Megan Singleton, award-winning travel writer, blogger, editor and NZ Herald travel columnist is also in Vanuatu this week to conduct a social media training for Vanuatu tourism operators, and on Saturday 16th May she will be in Luganville.

In Port Vila, participants to the Pacific ICT Day conference will also join other members of the , Telecommunications Union (ITU) to celebrate ITU’s 150th anniversary and World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD) 2015 theme “Telecommunication & ICTs: Drivers of Innovation”.

With all the events, history and innovation in mind, the decision to stage the ICT day in Luganville is about throwing the innovative ways of thinking in a decentralization manner, and in Luganville yesterday, many ICT engineers, marketing and ICT institution representatives, heads of ICT organisations arrived from Port Vila to attend this first ever ICT activity in Luganville today.

Luganville is the second largest town in Vanuatu with about 14,000 people mostly from 4 provinces – Torba, Sanma, Penama and Malampa, and the provinces hold more than half the population of Vanuatu.

After Tropical Cyclone Pam, many corporate businesses and service delivery in Luganville were disrupted and many residents were heavily affected after the network outage in Port Vila which is the only distribution hub to the northern region, and the issue is the main concern for Luganville when we are discussing ICT today at La Plage, and discussion panel for Pacific ICT conference at Le Lagon in Port Vila.

Sanma provincial government secretary general accessing internet after TC Pam
Sanma provincial government Secretary General (SG), Sakariah Daniel accessing internet after TC Pam

After 13th March, I was stationed at Sanma Emergency Operation Centre’s communication room, operating a satellite internet and phone through a BGAN by Immarsat terminal and we were serving the Police and other government institutions, banks, shipping agencies, which is really a life saving exercise.

Today at La Plage, we expect the echoes and sentiments of disaster applications and management after TC Pam, so visit OGCIO booth, CNS, YTS, E-Tech, Digicel and TVL are among the booth holders showcasing their applications and products until 16th May 2015 in Luganville.

An opportunity for public to experience today is TVL will be providing a free 2mbps link for public access in their booth at La Plage and the event will be very educational.