Friday 8 December 2023
Mr Jim Betts, Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts Secretary, and Mr Steven Matainaho, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Papua New Guinea, sign the MoU on cooperation in ICT.
Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) have renewed commitment to collaborate on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), aiming to improving the region’s digital economy and safety while fostering a thriving ICT sector in PNG.
This week saw the signing of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on ICT cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Jim Betts, Secretary of Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, signed on behalf of Australia, while Mr. Steven Matainaho, Secretary of PNG’s Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), represented PNG.
The MoU builds upon an earlier agreement established in 2020 and outlines collaborative efforts to:
- Enable a thriving digital economy: Both nations will work together to create an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship through digital technologies.
- Ensure digital safety: This includes initiatives to combat cybercrime and promote responsible online behavior.
- Build capacity for the PNG ICT sector: Australia will provide technical assistance and training to support PNG’s development of a skilled workforce in the ICT domain.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by senior officials from both countries, with Mr. Russel Woruba, Deputy Secretary of DICT, and Mr. Richard Windeyer, Deputy Secretary of Australia’s Department of Infrastructure, also present.
The MoU establishes a framework for regular dialogue and collaboration between the two governments. Annual meetings will be held to discuss telecommunications issues and priorities, allowing for the sharing of best practices and the development of joint initiatives.
The MoU has already facilitated engagement on various fronts, including:
- Telecommunications consumer protections
- Broadcasting and media regulation
- Spectrum management and carrier licensing
PNG has taken a leading role in promoting regional ICT cooperation this year, hosting the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity Policy and Regulatory Forum for Pacific and the Pacific ICT Ministers’ Dialogue in August. The resulting Lagatoi Declaration on Digital Transformation of the Pacific, signed by both Australia and PNG, highlights the region’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions for its telecommunications and ICT needs.
This renewed MoU emphasizes on Australia and PNG’s strong partnership in the digital space. By working together, both countries can leverage the power of ICT to create a more inclusive and prosperous future for the Pacific region.