As 2019 draws to a close I have been thinking about what next year might herald for the Solomon Islands with the advent of the Coral Sea Cable and how it will likely revolutionise connectivity across the county.
Given the remoteness of many communities, I wonder how the government will develop ICT skills proficiency to facilitate better access to education, at the primary and secondary school level, but also in the tertiary education sector.
I see great advantage for education in remote communities through ICT if only power supplies are available and reliable.
Because of the hitherto lack of broadband services and poor connectivity, I rather suspect businesses have not yet invested sufficiently in e-commerce trading and perhaps when more businesses do enter into e-commerce trading there will be more evidence of what Solomon Islands has to offer in the supply chain. I think particularly of how tourism could benefit more from on-line services.
Media services in the Solomon Islands have been impeded in developing by poor connectivity and notably websites have suffered and there still appears much to be done to improve existing media websites. Perhaps, now broadband connectivity is imminent, local ICT tech savvy people with foresight to see the advantages that ICT education and business development can bring will develop the necessary software skills to create websites and companies might then stop outsourcing their needs to firms outside the country.
To summaries, I believe the arrival of broadband internet services should focus the attention of the Solomon Islands government, if not already being planned, on the following:
Education on ICT in universities, high schools and primary schools.
Capacity building on e-commerce for public servants in relevant ministries.
Raising knowledge about existing opportunities for small and medium enterprises to engage in e-commerce.
Raising consumer awareness about e-commerce Integrating the e-commerce dimension in existing trade promotion activities, and
Capacity building on e-commerce for small and medium businesses.