This year, for the first time, PacIGF will be hosted virtually in 10 Pacific countries from 6-9 September 2021.
Nine Pacific countries - Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu - will be streaming the PacIGF 2021 event live from University of the South Pacific hubs.
Due to COVID-19 in Fiji, social distancing protocols means participants will be streaming from their homes and workplaces.
The PacIGF 2021 takes a multi-stakeholder approach to identifying the challenges faced by Pacific Island nations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Forum will discuss opportunities and emerging technologies, digital connectivity and transformation, security and inclusion and diversity.
Key speakers at the event range from Pacific Ministers and senior officers, information, communications and technology (ICT) country managers, business entrepreneurs, leading company CEOs and directors, development specialists, telecommunication regulators and many more.
The internet has revolutionised the world and the Pacific like never before. Statistics show that there has been a massive increase in activities online regionally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to lockdowns and social distancing. More than ever, the internet has become the center for business, marketing, communication and networking, community connectivity, education, and telehealth.
Andrew Molivurae, Chairman of the Pacific Chapter of the Internet Society's (PICISOC) Board said, “We look forward to a productive and innovative event with our key speakers and participants at this year’s virtual PacIGF 2021. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to interact with the Pacific region’s ICT leaders at PacIGF 2021.”
Sarai Tevita, ICT Director at the National University of Samoa said, “We are excited and look forward to joining the rest of the Pacific community at the Pacific Internet Governance Forum 2021 and encourage people to register now for next week’s event.”
“Good internet access is a human right and an ongoing issue in the Pacific region. COVID-19 restrictions have pushed digital transformation and use at a fast rate. Making sure that Pacific people and communities are aware of what we are getting ourselves into, and that we utilize the internet in a safe and secure manner is a priority,” she continued.
Belinda Delana, a student at the University of the South Pacific, in Fiji said, “The internet has helped me greatly during this pandemic. Given that I am a university student it helps me stay connected with my lectures and tutors, and accomplish studies successfully.”
“I’ve been blessed to be able to stay connected with friends and families given the lockdown restrictions we face. But being online comes with responsibility and I’ve realized the importance of security for women online and how important it is to combat gender-based violence issues,” she added.
This year’s PacIGF 2021 is sponsored by the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Top-Level Domain (APTLD), United Nations Internet Governance Forum and Secretariat (IGF), University of the South Pacific (USP), Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the Internet New Zealand and Asia Foundation.
Interested participants can still register online on https://aptld80.com.fj/reg/ and watch the discussions wherever they are in the Pacific and the world.
Photo Credit: SMART Sistas Caption: Digital inclusion and productivity makes sure no one gets left behind in the Pacific.