This week, the Young Professionals Network (YPN) of the Australia-PNG Network hosted an enlightening panel discussion in Port Moresby.
Focused on the swift digital changes in the Pacific region, the event spotlighted keynote speaker Steven Matainaho, the Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Esteemed experts and luminaries gathered to discuss the critical facets of digital evolution. Mihai Sora, Project Director of the Australia-PNG Network, set the stage, emphasizing the network’s commitment to nurturing transnational ties.
He highlighted the network’s digital footprint as a conduit for dialogue between individuals from Australia and Papua New Guinea via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
In his keynote speech, Secretary Matainaho stressed the importance of innovation as a catalyst for advancement. He elaborated on pivotal strategies that led to significant achievements, like the 2020 Digital Transformation Policy and the 2022 Digital Government Act.
When addressing the panel’s questions, he maneuvered through the complex realm of internet availability and its longevity in the face of political changes. Secretary Matainaho underscored the influence of wholesale data providers in moulding the digital scene and the importance of keeping a forward-looking perspective regardless of political dynamics.
The heart of Secretary Matainaho’s speech revolved around inclusivity. He underscored the importance of ensuring that the digital transformation journey is all-encompassing. From FHI360, Program Manager Sarah Pyawa shared how ICT solutions can transform PNG’s health domain.
Methuselah Wabiria from the BSP Financial Group shed light on the interplay between digital solutions and innovative strides in the banking realm.
Laurel Pentanu, associated with the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, introduced a distinct angle by discussing digital transformation’s influence on conflict resolution. She emphasized the role of digitalization in fostering communication and comprehension, highlighting social media’s potential to elevate voices and underscore societal principles.
The gathering highlighted the joint endeavours of Australia and Papua New Guinea to harness digital transformation as a vehicle for advancement, broad-based inclusion, and groundbreaking ideas.