Minster for Information and Communications Technology, Timothy Masiu highlighted the success of the Summit, which included speakers from the private and public sector who covered topics of importance.
He said the three days event was fruitful with real-time interactions of audiences and speakers via social media.
Minister Masiu said much was achieved during the Summit with focus on social and economic development and to help the growth will be through change in ICT SMEs and entrepreneurs.
“Throughout the various presentation and interaction that I watched, I noted the comments and calls on and from the ICT SMEs and entrepreneurs, for change. SMEs have the huge potential to bring about economic prosperity for PNG.
“As we face these challenging economic times, it is incumbent on us as government to take decisive efforts to empower ICT SMEs, as they go through the incubation and start up process,” he said.
When concluding the summit, the ICT Ministry is making two major interventions:
- NICTA and the Department of ICT to work in close consultation with MSME Council, the SME Corporation, and the Business Council to establish an ICT Incubation Centre commencing March of 2022.
Minister Masiu said the ICT Incubation Centre should be a place for our intending ICT Entrepreneurs to incubate their ideas where they will be supported with office space, internet, cloud based services, and business-related training.
The Department of ICT will further discuss on initially piloting of the incubation centre at the Department.
- Support of the ICT Incubation Centre, DICT will finalize and sign respective MoUs with the MSME Council and the Business Council.
“I am glad to say that we have already been in discussion with Business Council and so immediately after the closing of the Summit, DICT and the Business Council will be signing a MoU,” he said
Minister Masiu said these are my two immediate ministerial interventions, however in moving forward, he will be expecting a draft National ICT Policy 2022 to be taken to Cabinet in the early part of 2022.
The National ICT Policy 2022, should not only take into account findings from this Summit, but also set direction towards empowering the SMEs.
Meantime, he stressed the need for us to review the Universal Access Service program currently administered by NICTA.
“I expect UAS priority areas to be revised to support not only our SMEs through the incubation centre but also emergency services such as St John Ambulance.”