Honiara, Solomon Islands (08 March 2021) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its digital transformation pilot initiative is supporting the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and provincial administrations to connect digitally and mitigate the adverse challenges of the COVID –19 pandemic.
The initiative provides access to necessary information and communication technologies and thus ensure business continuity and interrupted service delivery to their citizens.
Digital equipment and licenses of the related software were handed over to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) by the UNDP Country Manager Mr. Berdi Berdiyev on 08 March in Honiara, as a part of this initiative.
In re-affirming UNDP’s continuous support to its partners, Mr. Berdiyev said the pandemic has shown the importance of technology and in many occasions accelerated the digital transformation.
“We are pleased to support our partners to address the challenges they face in providing effective service delivery and contribute in bridging the digital gaps,” Mr Berdiyev stated.
He added that UNDP will continuously seek out and embrace existing and emerging digital technology in all aspects of its work to better serve its partners in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“UNDP is committed to working together with the Solomon Islands Government to ensure digital transformation leads to innovative solutions to the complex digital challenges facing this this country and will ensure our efforts in utilizing digital technologies are anchored in line with Agenda 2030.
Thanking UNDP for the support, Permanent Secretary of the MCILI Mr. Riley Mesepitu emphasized the importance of digital solutions to support the institutions that he leads to effectively carry out their mandates.
“MCILI has experienced a lot of inconveniences due to lack of proper digital equipment. Most of the time, we have to run around to places or even use one laptop just to be able to access important virtual meetings,” Mr Mesepitu stated.
He further added that MCILI comprised of important technical divisions and as a leading government agency on productive sector, the digital support was important and timely.
“This equipment will greatly support my ministry to actively participate virtually in all important meetings.”
According to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Solomon Islands were among the countries with the lowest fixed-broadband penetration in 2016 with 2 per cent. In 2020, UNDP launched the pilot digital transformation initiative aimed at bridging the digital divide in the Solomon Islands.
Funded by UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Asia and Pacific as a part of Covid-19 support, in partnership with the Solomon Island Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and Solomon Islands Government Information Communication Technologies Services under the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT), the initiative consists of cabling work to upgrade infrastructure in all provincial governments headquarters, purchasing and setting up radio antenna’s for selected remote location to boost connectivity, provision of digital equipment and availing Zoom licenses to a