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Fiji: Mobile Apps Workshop to Boost Pacific IT Influence
Source: radioaustralia.net.au
Source Date: Monday, November 26, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Fiji
Created: Nov 27, 2012

A Fiji initiative is hoping to boost information technology across the Pacific by teaching young Pacific Islanders to create mobile phone apps.

Around 100 youth from eight Pacific Island countries have gathered in Fiji for two weeks of training in mobile development and information technology leadership.

PasifikaNexus hopes the program will help develop young entrepreneurs with an interest in shaping information communications technology in the region.

The head of PasificaNEXUS, Sala Tamanikaiwaimaro, had told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat, it's also an opportunity for Pacific Islanders to develop applications that are useful and relevant to them.

"It's one thing to have fibre-optics and telecommunication towers, but if indigenous local content is not generated, it doesn't generate local traffic and empower communities," she said.

"For a long time the Pacific youth have been consumers - buying apps from different parts of the world.

"But this is the first time that they'll be designing and creating innovative content-creation...so what's going to be exciting about it is we don't tell them what they'll be designing, but they will select."

The workshops have also looked at international policy issues for the Internet, including e-commerce, freedom of expressions, human rights, privacy and data protection.

She says it's been an important exercise for those attending to realise that they can become leaders in shaping policy without needing an official title.

"Things that are produced from the training sessions will be sent to the regulators in the region and will be shared with the internet community...in the Asia Pacific and also around the globe.

"Young people in the Pacific are breaking ground, so it's really quite exciting."
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