Solomon Islands is on course to improve its digital future as the country’s National E-Commerce strategy was discussed with improvements at a recent two-days validation workshop in Honiara attended by government policymakers and private sector representatives.
Over the two days’ workshop, participants have exchanged ideas and shared perspectives and looked at all aspects of an enabling environment for e-commerce, from digital payments and last-mile logistics to digital entrepreneurship and MSME financing.
Participants have also identified clear indicators to track collective progress over the next five years and have refined some key pilot projects that will kick-off strategy implementation and build momentum across the government, private sector, civil society and development partners.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, Moses Virivolomo expressed his confidence that contributions from the workshop have made the strategy more practical, realistic and achievable.
He said the world is going digital and we are part of the global village, which is turning into a global digital village.
“We must embrace e-commerce and the digital economy to support all Solomon Islanders, including our youth, women, and those living in rural areas,” PS Virivolomo said. “I can feel the excitement and enthusiasm for e-commerce development in our country. The digital future for Solomon Islands is promising,”.
Virivolomo updated the workshop that the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, continues to implement projects that will improve connectivity across the country.
“We are rolling out pilot telecentres in Malaita and Choiseul Bay that will provide Internet access and computer labs to community members. We hope these telecentres will provide more than digital connectivity, however; we hope they become places to hold meetings, discuss new ideas, and in the future they could even turn into e-commerce hubs,” he said.
I addition, Virivolomo said “in today’s world, we must move beyond just thinking about digital connectivity. We need to think about how to use this connectivity to improve people’s daily lives through useful digital tools and services”.
PS Virivolomo thanked the Government of Australia for their generous financial contribution to this project. Similarly, he also thanked the Government’s technical partners – the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Capital Development Fund for their continuous support to the project.
Once this National E-commerce Strategy is fully validated and adopted by the Government, efforts will be shifted to strategy implementation in partnership with donor support.