Minister of Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka this morning launched the National Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Policy and the National Broadcasting Policy in Honiara.

Speaking at the launch, Agovaka said the proposed National ICT Policy aims to achieve a vision of a peaceful, united and progressive Solomon Islands communicating and informed by technologies open to all.

The National ICT Policy identifies 40 strategies,to achieve nine objectives, amongst them is ensuring that ICT communications is accessible and affordable for the people of Solomon Islands. Also, to enact or amend laws, and establish or reform administrative and enforcement bodies, to create an environment that supports the secure, cost-effective and productive deployment and use of ICT in the country.

The new Broadcasting Policy according to Agovaka identifies 31 strategies to achieve a vision of a peaceful, united and progressive Solomon Islands participating in, enjoying and learning from broadcasting that is accessible to all.

Key reforms proposed under the draft National Broadcasting Policy are amongst others the development of a broadcasting sector, effective regulation of the broadcasting sector and establish policy, laws and institutions that are effective to protect and promote thewelfare of Solomon Islands audiences in the context of domestic broadcasting.

According to Agovaka, after the launch of these policies, the government would embark on the development of a new legislation to govern the growth of ICT like cyber crime legislation, embark on certain legislative and administrative review, subsequently update various outdated practices and ensuring a thorough and effective implementation of these policies which should yield tangible benefits to the people of the country.

The programme is jointly hosted by the Government and the Information Technology Society of Solomon Islands.

ITSSI Interim President Marlon Houkarawa said with the changing technology trend, the introduction and creation of the National ICT Policy and the legal framework is therefore crucial for Solomon Islands.

He said that the emerging world of information technology is one in which data is king, social platforms evolve as a new source of business intelligence, and cloud computing finally delivers on IT’s role as a driver of business growth.

Houkarawa said the IT Society, therefore, can comfortably pledge to render technical assistance and guidance within its current capacity, where ever it can, to support the implementation of the government’s ICT policies.

ITSSI is collaborating with the Ministry of Communications and Aviation and the Telecommunications Commission of Solomon Islands to host the national workshop on promoting ICT literacy for all in Honiara.  The program will run for three days.