A roadshow aiming to promote a cyber-safe slogan in every household in every community is underway this week, themed – “Samoa e, Mataala!”
The slogan calls for Samoa to stay alert, and for every citizen, parent, educator and policy maker to ‘stay awake’ and remain on top of the issues, risks and dangers while capitalising on the benefits of digital technology.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is partnering with CERT NZ with support from Cyber Safety Pasifika, NetSafe, Samoa’s Ministry of Police and Prisons, Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Office of the Regulator to roll out this initiative and are currently in Savaii.
The inaugural 7-day campaign is called the ‘Cyber SMART Samoa Roadshow’ funded by CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government.
In a press statement, MCIT CEO Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua Fonoti extended the Ministry’s appreciation to CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government for its partnership.
“This iniative was developed during bilateral discussions earlier this year, and we acknowledge and thank CERT NZ and the New Zealand Government for the policy and logistical support that is helping us to delivery this “first of its kind” iniative,” said Lefaoalii.
“This highlights a significant lift in our cyber relationship and underscores our commitments as nations to support a Cyber Safe Samoa.”
“Through this partnership we hope that Samoa can become the first Pacific Nation to recognize information and partnership as a source of strength in all aspects of social, political, and economic growth.”
The inter-agency approach with key partners will ensure the delivery is a bespoke, culturally responsive programme that will cover all high schools in Savaii with sessions targetting both students and parents through Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).
“The roadshow highlights the importance of an all-eco-system approach to increasing Samoa’s Cyber resilience.”
The sessions will focus on lifting the profile of Samoan Ministries and their role within the Cyberspace. The sessions will also educate students on ethics, with a focus on how to navigate and use technology wisely.
“The PTA sessions will also focus on current cyber trends in Samoa, informing of incident log processes, cyber safety tips, upskilling their capability to help their children navigate the matters that may arise while online and how to support and supervise their children in their use of technologies and online services,” adds Lefaoalii.
MCIT has also gauged the support of church ministers from various denominations as part of the roadshow.
“Church ministers and elders are supporting this initiative by hosting evening sessions for their respective communities.”
All agencies involved will provide valuable cyber related information at the evening sessions, and hopes to identify key members of the community that can be supported as established Cyber Smart Samoa advocates in Savai’i.
“Furthermore, we will also discuss cyber incident processes, challenges arising from internet usage and high mobile phone penetration.”
On the policy development side of the iniative, one of the key outcomes of the roadshow is a report which will support the development of cyber legislation for Samoa.
“The legislation will aim to enhance and support Samoa’s ability provide effective incident handling processes and address cybersecurity matters,” adds the CEO.
The team will be working through the weekend, with the report expected to be presented to Members of Parliament during their session on Monday 7 August 2023.
“The roadshow aims to draw attention to everyones responsibilities online, local, national and at the international level. In addition, the importance of data, especially personal information, in shaping the future,” the MCIT CEO concludes.