SPC Niue workshops emphasise importance of ICT in development
Friday 17 February 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji ––
A recent SPC mission to Niue focused on raising awareness among parliamentarians and senior government officials regarding the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in development. These activities were deemed important and timely by Niue officials as the Niue government is in the process of developing its first national ICT policy.
The mission, which took place in early February, was jointly organised by the Niue Parliament, Telecom Niue and the SPC Economic Development Division’s Pacific ICT Outreach (PICTO) Programme.
Led by PICTO Manager Siaosi Sovaleni, the mission commenced with a session for members of the Niue Parliament. The session focused on raising awareness among members on the importance of ICT as a tool for development, especially in addressing challenges in sectors that are key to national economic development, such as education, health and tourism. The session also covered key ICT issues such as cybercrime, social networking and cybersafety.
Honourable Speaker of the House Ahohiva Levi welcomed SPC’s intervention to empower legislators in an area that is one of the key drivers of economic development.
‘It is important for legislators to be well informed of the potential of ICT as an enabling tool for development and achieving the ultimate national goal of improving the livelihoods of Niueans,’ he said.
A two-day workshop was also held for senior government officials in Niue that emphasised the significance of ICT in achieving development goals.
The workshop was opened by the Secretary to Government, Richard Hipa.
In his opening remarks, he said, ‘this visit is relevant and timely for Niue as the country is currently developing its first national ICT policy. It is vital for senior government officials to share experiences and collaborate in identifying the ICT priorities for Niue. More importantly, it is important to ensure that ICT policies and strategies are needs-based and feasible for Niue.’
The workshop discussed examples of ICT applications in key sectors of development, in particular poverty alleviation, agriculture, education, health, gender, government and governance, and disaster and risk management. Attendees also discussed challenges in the effective application of ICT for development, especially in the Pacific.
The content of the workshop was based on the UNESCAP/APCICT (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development) flagship training programme called Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders. The programme has been widely endorsed in a number of countries in the Asia/Pacific region and has been translated to a number of languages.
Running in parallel to the workshop for senior officials was the ICT training for members and staff of the Niue Parliament. The training provided an opportunity for members and staff to bridge any gaps in their ICT knowledge and to enhance efficiency in their respective roles.
The SPC mission was a part of the European Union-funded project ‘ICT Access for the Poor: Improving access to ICT by informing and engaging Pacific ACP Legislators’.
For more information, please contact: Siaosi Sovaleni, PICTO Manager, EDD, SPC, Suva, Fiji (email:
(Photo: SPC Niue workshop participants)