This week, a roadshow with the theme “Samoa e, Mataala!” aims to promote a cyber-safe slogan in every household and community. The slogan emphasizes the importance of staying vigilant about digital technology’s challenges and risks while capitalizing on its benefits. It calls upon citizens, parents, educators, and policymakers to remain attentive and informed.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is collaborating with CERT NZ, with support from Cyber Safety Pasifika, NetSafe, Samoa’s Ministry of Police and Prisons, Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture, and the Office of the Regulator, to implement the ‘Cyber SMART Samoa Roadshow’ initiative. Currently conducted in Savaii, the 7-day campaign promotes cyber security throughout Samoa. CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government fund the initiative. In a press statement, MCIT CEO Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua Fonoti expressed gratitude to CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government for their valuable partnership in this effort.
The initiative was conceived through bilateral discussions earlier this year. We express our gratitude to CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government for their invaluable policy and logistical support in bringing this pioneering initiative to fruition,” stated Lefaoalii.
The community consultations mark a notable improvement in our cyber relationship, emphasizing our shared commitment as nations to bolster Cyber Safety in Samoa.
This partnership aims to position Samoa as the first Pacific Nation to acknowledge the significance of information and collaboration as a foundation for strength across social, political, and economic development.
By adopting an inter-agency approach with key partners, we guarantee a tailored and culturally sensitive program encompassing all Savaii high schools. The sessions will specifically target students and parents, engaging them through Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).
The roadshow emphasizes the significance of adopting an all-eco-system approach to enhance Samoa’s Cyber resilience.
During the sessions, there will be a specific focus on elevating the profile of Samoan Ministries and their roles in Cyberspace. Additionally, students will be educated on ethics, learning how to navigate and use technology responsibly.
Furthermore, the PTA sessions will address current cyber trends in Samoa, explaining incident log processes, sharing cyber safety tips, and enhancing their ability to assist their children in dealing with online matters Lefaoalii said
As part of the roadshow, MCIT has actively sought the support of church ministers from different denominations.These church ministers and elders support the initiative by hosting evening sessions in their communities.
During these evening sessions, all participating agencies will offer valuable cyber-related information. The aim is to identify key members of the community who can be nurtured and supported as established Cyber Smart Samoa advocates in Savai’i.
Additionally, the roadshow will include discussions on cyber incident processes, challenges stemming from internet usage, and the prevalence of mobile phone penetration.
Regarding the policy development aspect of the initiative, a crucial outcome of the roadshow will be the production of a report. This report will play a pivotal role in supporting the development of cyber legislation for Samoa.
According to the CEO, the legislation aims to strengthen and reinforce Samoa’s capability to offer effective incident-handling processes and tackle cybersecurity issues.
The team will work diligently over the weekend to finalize the report, which will be presented to Members of Parliament during their session on Monday, August 7, 2023.
The roadshow’s primary aim is to emphasize the responsibilities of individuals at all levels online, local, national, and international. Furthermore, it underscores the significance of data, mainly personal information, in shaping the future. The MCIT CEO concludes by highlighting these crucial aspects of the initiative.