ICDP and Pacific Connect join ‘Together for a Digital Pacific 2018’ Conference

| June 14, 2018

Photo: The ICDP Team with the Hon. Afamasaga Lepuia’i Rico Tupa’i, Minister for Communications and Information Technology (centre) and Tua’imáló Asamu Ah Sam, CEO, Ministry of Communications and ICT (far left)

 

Delegates from ICDP recently travelled to Apia, Samoa to attend the ‘Together for a Digital Pacific 2018’ conference co-sponsored by the Samoan Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The conference brought together people from government, business and academia in the Pacific to promote regional connectivity and collaboration in technologies to capitalise on infrastructure investments.

The conference emphasised the importance of leveraging the opportunities of increased connectivity, for encouraging a digital economy and assisting private sector to adapt new technologies that build on existing strengths, generate employment and make businesses more competitive.

This theme resonated with ICDP in terms of its responsibility to deliver Pacific Connect under its own theme of ‘Australian-Pacific Connections for the Digital Future’. ICDP worked with the Samoan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and UNDP to provide several speakers for the conference and to hold a Pacific Connect Workshop on Day 2 of the conference.

The Pacific Connect workshop – ‘Exploring Practical Concepts for Digital Innovation’  – was attended by the Samoan Minister for Communications and Information Technology the Hon. Afamasaga Lepuia’i Rico Tupa’i and Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa Ms Sara Moriarty, as well as senior representatives from Samoa and the region from business, academia and not-for-profit sectors.

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce Pacific Connect, explore collaboration opportunities designed to bring Australian and Pacific expertise together to initiate and contribute to sustainable economic activities and, at the same time, build and strengthen relationships between Australia and Pacific current and emerging leaders.

The workshop resulted in the identification of some very exciting initiatives that participants agreed could be further progressed at a future dialogue, and through working with key stakeholders in Samoa to crystallise concepts.

In particular, ICDP sponsored two artists from Australia – Daniel Stricker and Jedda Culley – to engage with Samoan individuals, businesses and institutions in the arts, fashion and culture fields to discuss collaboration opportunities in virtual reality and augmented reality immersive experiences, and art to market propositions.

The emphasis is on working with and nurturing local talent and an overall premise that invites the globe to experience the strength and diversity of contemporary knowledge, culture and identity of Samoa and the Pacific in the most empathetic way through music, art, fashion, dance and technology.

All in all the days spent in Apia, whilst busy, were very constructive and rewarding for the ICDP team. The conference and workshop enabled the sharing of ideas and generated excitement around future collaborations as well as helping to establish new relationships whilst strengthening existing ones.

We look forward to providing more updates in this space and sharing the positive outcomes and experiences of working with talented, enthusiastic and driven Pacific Islanders from all sectors.

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Tina Briggs

Tina Briggs is the programme coordinator for the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships.  She has extensive experience in project management across government, private, and not for profit sectors and has worked in international development with the Kenyan and Botswanan Red Cross.