Friday, August 18, 2023
In a gesture bridging the past and the future, Hon. Timothy Masiu, Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT), commemorated the construction of a traditional lagatoi by presenting a state request to the Boera village of Motu-Koitabu with the presentation of a pig and some food . Accompanying the Minister was Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Mr Steven Matainaho, NBC Managing Director Mr Kora Nou, and NBC Board Director Mr Chris Mora.
The event marked the initiation of the building of a cultural icon that will hold prominence at the Inaugural Pacific ICT Minister Dialogue, slated from August 28th to 29th, 2023.
This traditional lagatoi, emblematic of the historical connectivity between Pacific neighboring countries, will play a central role in the upcoming dialogue. The Minister’s generous gesture, including the offering of a pig and food, marks the commencement of this remarkable symbol’s creation.
Facilitated by Mr. Oala Moi, Principal Legal Counsel of DICT, the presentation ceremony underscored the profound significance of the impending ICT Ministers’ Dialogue and the integral role the lagatoi will play in this extraordinary event.
Ward councilor Hon. Daure Kohu thanked Minister Masiu and the team for choosing the people of Boera to build the iconic lagatoi that will play a key role in the important meeting of the Pacific leaders.
Mr. Steven Matainaho, Secretary of the Department of ICT, reiterated the Ministry’s dedication to fostering connections at all societal levels, exemplified by the recent establishment of an ICT center in Kwikila.
Minister Timothy Masiu unveiled crucial details about the forthcoming Pacific ICT Ministers’ Dialogue, a platform hosted by the government of Papua New Guinea under the leadership of Prime Minister Hon. James Marape. The event will convene 18 Ministers representing Pacific Island Forum countries and territories at the distinguished APEC Haus in Era Kone, National Capital District, on August 28th, 2023.
A highlight of the event is the anticipated “Lagatoi Declaration,” to be signed by all attending Ministers, including Minister Masiu. This declaration finds its roots in the legendary Edai Siabo and the Hiri tradition, drawing inspiration from the rich heritage of Boera village.
Beyond symbolism, the Minister announced plans for a cutting-edge ICT Center to be erected in Boera village, affirming the government’s commitment to digital inclusivity and equal access to technological resources.
As the event culminated, Minister Masiu disclosed that the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) would become the custodian of the lagatoi. Come December 1st, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the PNG National Broadcasting Corporation, the lagatoi will find its permanent home at the NBC headquarters in 5 Mile, National Capital District. Minister Masiu eloquently expressed, “The lagatoi will breathe life into our historical means of communication with our people and neighbors.”
The impending Pacific ICT Minister Dialogue converges tradition and technology, offering a momentous occasion that unites the Pacific’s rich heritage with the advancements of the digital age. With Minister Masiu and Secretary Matainaho at the helm, this event stands as a testament to Papua New Guinea’s unwavering dedication to progress, connectivity, and the preservation of cultural legacy.