Vanuatu will join many countries around the world to celebrate ICT Days this year, under the theme, “Accelerating Digital Transformation in challenging times”.

The Vanuatu Government through the Ministry of Prime Minister, being the Ministry responsible for ICT and Broadcasting, has decided for the event to be commemorated in Luganville (King’s Town), SANMA Province, May 17 to 18, 2021 at Unity Park.

There will be no celebration in Port Vila.

The event is organised to coincide with the World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD), which is celebrated annually across the globe.

As part of the preparations towards this ICT event, a coordinating committee was established under the Office of Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), and the office of the Telecommunication, Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR), is led by the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO), Mr John Jack, of the OGCIO, under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Members of the Coordinating Committee had from 15th February till 19th February held meetings with stakeholders, business houses, such as NISCOL, Santo Hardware, URA, and different senior and junior secondary schools, including Santo East, Kamewa, Matevulu College, Aore, Lycee de Luganville, Sarakata Centre School, Banban Centre School, Maritime College and Agriculture College to promote the event.

In its meeting with SANMA Provincial Government, and the Luganville Municipality, both President Langi Malmal Tavue and Lord Mayor Patty Peter have confidently assured the Coordinating Committee in saying that SANMA and Luganville are ready to welcome and host the 2021 National ICT Days to be celebrated in Luganville’s Unity Park.

They both reaffirmed that through a firm relationship between these two local authorities, they will promote the 2021 National ICT Days, through their working and communication network so that people from Luganville and SANMA to actively participate to the event.

For Mayor Patty, he also noted that today, Vanuatu is not immune as many countries in the world are in a challenging time where, ICTs is used everywhere in business, in schools and in the community, “and we cannot go or do any business without ICT tools”.

He said that with the use of ICT tools, mobile phones including smartphones are the main tools use today to boost economy in this region. It helps speed the education learning of our children.”

Chair, Mr Jack said he is so happy with the outcomes of the meetings. He said he acknowledged the concerns and interests shown by stakeholders and business owners in Luganville from the challenges they face. He assured everyone that the coming event will be an opportunity to learn lessons from each other and to share experiences as to how the use of ICT tools has impacted the lives of people and their businesses.

Mr Jack was so impressed to see that everyone from businesses to school administrations were so excited and confirmed to the Committee, they are looking forward and to participate actively to the coming event.

He emphasised “2021 National ICT Day is an opportunity for ICT stakeholders throughout Vanuatu to continue to push for digital transformation by celebrating success stories, sharing challenges, lessons learned, case studies, good practices, solutions, strategies and policies to meet present and future challenges. Therefore, we seek support through sponsorship and participation from everyone to make this national event a success in 2021.”

Last year COVID-19 crises have not only highlighted the critical role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for continued functioning of societies but also brought to the fore the startling digital inequalities between and within countries.

OGCIO and TRBR are the leading institutions mandated to organise and coordinate the 2021 event of the National ICT Days.

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