TechInPacific – The Executive Director of APEC, Alan Bollard says that their focus of discussions has always been about discovering digital solutions that fit Papua New Guinea (PNG). To implement this, Bollard is certain that trust and integrity will be the major points.
According to Bollard, PNG has always desired to implement an ‘overriding priority on digital opportunities’. However, he said that it is too much to ask as it is an economy with a lack of broadband access.
“There is very limited digital coverage outside Port Moresby so what we have been doing is focusing on technologies that can be used that are appropriate for PNG’s stage of development.’’
Bollard emphasized that some digital solutions will be needed to address remote access issues, especially in health and education sectors. Therefore, Bollard offers a technology based-solution which is a solar-powered identification box.
According to Bollard, a solar-powered identification box is found as an innovation for identification purposes. The identification will use thumbprints to proceed.
“You take it out to a village, power it up, people can put their thumbprint on it, it will work out a digital code and then deliver a digital identity, and a digital card, in a way that they can then use to open a bank account or for other government services—or potentially as a voting system. That has been developed by the PNG central bank,”
“It is very much a cheap, easily portable device and we hope that will help get more inclusivity in terms of being able to get bank accounts for small village traders or growers,” said Bollard to close his statement.