Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu has emphasized during the 17th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that lack of energy resources have become a great challenge in parts of the Pacific region and also in Africa, and this has hindered the progress of digital connectivity.

Speaking at the Forum hosted at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)/UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Minister Masiu said this was one of the many challenges that were taken into consideration in order to progress digital transformation.

Minister Masiu has been passionate about connectivity since becoming Minister responsible for ICT in November 2019.

“ I have made connectivity to be front and center of my efforts,” he said.

“We face many challenges in our efforts to bring connectivity to all regions but lack of energy resources is one of our major challenges and one that is shared by many in our region and in Africa, because without reliable power, it is difficult to bring connectivity.”

Minister Masiu said access to ICT networks, services, and connectivity will have little or no value to potential users if they are unable to afford or own modern “smart” digital device to become active members of the digital society.

“Papua New Guinea also faces other challenges in affordability of broadband services and the utilization of these services.

“All of these challenges are included in the Meaningful Connectivity goals that we have
adopted.

“Affordable, accessible, and reliable infrastructure are the foundation to achieve an inclusive digital transformation and our National Broadband plan and the new Universal Access AS policy will lead us in the right path to meeting our country’s Sustainable Development Goals and the goals set out in Agenda 2030,” Mr Masiu added.

Minister Masiu told participants that the Department of ICT and the Regulator, National Information and Communications Authority (NICTA) recently launched the National Broadband plan, which laid out key roadmap for achieving full connectivity.

“The Broadband workshop held recently will assist in achieving targets set out by the Broadband Commission, such as making broadband affordable to all and that is the reason why the term Meaningful Connectivity was adopted.”

The High – Level Panel Discussion of the IGF forum commenced on Monday 28 November 2022 and will end on Friday 2 December 2022.

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