Promoting a digital economy and connectivity priority for Samoa


The COVID 19 situation, forcing border lockdowns and State of Emergency restrictions further emphasizes the importance of digitalization for SIDS, to build resilience and meet sustainable development goals.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa before the UN General Assembly said Samoa will continue to prioritize the need to invest in digital technologies and to promote a digital economy and connectivity.

“This is key to stimulating business opportunities and increasing productivity and growth in more traditional sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

“Investment in innovation and digitalization for Samoa, can enable more efficient delivery of health and education; improve connectivity between rural and urban communities; advance economic empowerment for women and youth; and assist with more efficient public service delivery.”

She said to fully realize the benefits of a digital economy, Samoans must be able to connect with and trust the technology; an enabling business environment must be in place, and investment in education, skills, and digital literacy is paramount.

“The availability of fast, reliable, and affordable internet services to government, the business community and the public is crucial.

“In the agriculture and health sectors, we are investing in digital solutions for contact tracing and for information sharing between farmers.

“We recently launched our e-Health System to improve medical record keeping and strengthen health information and vital statistics.

“More importantly, as we expect increasing health security threats, this e-Health System will be vital to protecting health and wellbeing and enhance the resilience of our population.”

Adding that Samoa’s experiences with COVID-19 and ongoing fight with climate change reinforce its conviction of the importance of technology and online distance learning to provide access to quality education for all.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that, while pursuing these home-grown solutions, we do not end up creating a disparity between those who can and cannot access and afford these solutions.

“But I am convinced, that embracing technology and knowledge sharing for our people, will be powerful drivers for change, innovation, and welfare.”