Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu has urged people to make use of information and technology (IT) laboratories that are  being built in their areas.

Speaking during the launching of the ICT Community Learning Centre lab in Laloki, Central province on Friday, 11 November 2022, Minister Masiu urged the surrounding community to use this  facility for positive development such as business, sports and education opportunities.

“ICT is the way for the future and the country wants to embrace this development and move into the modern era and this facility is amongst the first 15 already in place.

“It is  an effort by my ministry through the National Information and Communication Authority (NICTA), to make PNG an  educated and knowledgeable society using ICT,” Minister Masiu said.

Minister Masiu said through his Ministry of ICT, Parliament has passed the Digital Government  law that begins the pathway to a digital PNG.

“I am determined as the minister to deliver ICT infrastructure such as this throughout the country and in this program also roll out digital services, security and safety and an ICT knowledgeable society,” he said.

Meanwhile the Department  of ICT recently held   its inaugural Digital Transformation Officers (DTO) conference with  departments and stakeholders to begin the  implementation of  the new law.

The  digital  transformation officers will now  coordinate with  the Department on ICT and digital transformation matters.

Minister Masiu  however  said  the key focus of  the  ICT Learning Centre in Laloki is  to integrate ICT into the socio – economic construction of Laloki Ward 1 development priorities; the development needs of the customary landowners, and the development needs of residents (settlers) to improve their livelihoods.

“The community of Laloki Ward 1 are empowered with ICT skills at Laloki ICT Lab enabling them to create income generating opportunities using reliable, accessible and affordable internet services and collectively participate in a shared community prosperity.

“This project is in response to the National Education and National ICT Policies, Global/Industry Trend and learning needs for teachers and students to address 21st century workforce skills gap within our locality including women in the informal sector, out of school youths and unemployed young adults.

“All our local capacity-building programs utilizing the Laloki ICT Lab will start in 2023 and this is good and I want you, the community to embrace this and use it for positive purposes.”

Minister Masiu also  thanked  the owners of this lab for the initiative to work with NICTA to establish this facility.

“Your passion in the ICT area has developed into this and we all hope it will play a big part in the development of your passion and also to the community,” Minister Masiu concluded.

The new ICT Community Learning Centre Laboratory will benefit between 1500-3000 people in the community including SME business, education and local landowners.

Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu officially opens the Laloki ICT Community Centre Laboratory, witnessed by  Central Governor Hon. Rufina Peter (left), Member for Hiri – Koiari Hon. Keith Iduhu (second from right) and NICTA CEO Mr  Kila Gulo-Vui.