Solomon Islands Dialogue to be held this week

Current and emerging leaders from Australia and across the Pacific will meet this week in Honiara, Solomon Islands, to attend the Solomon Islands Dialogue hosted by the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP). The Dialogue, held in the Heritage Park Hotel on 22-23 November, will see delegates discuss how improved digital connectivity in the Solomon Islands can enable a greater choice of educational opportunities to Pacific Islanders, with a focus on future employment. The Pacific is undergoing an unprecedented technological transformation, making it an ideal time to discuss and plan our region’s digital future.

Under the theme of ‘Australia-Pacific Connections for a Digital Future’, the Pacific Connect program has seen ICDP work with regional partners and local leaders to host a series of Network Dialogues throughout the Pacific, notably in Port Moresby, Suva and Apia. This latest Network Dialogue in the Solomon Islands rounds out a busy first year of Pacific Connect since its implementation at the 48th Pacific Islands Forum.

Proceedings begin on Thursday 22 November, when Delegates meet for a Welcome Dinner. Pacific Connect is delighted to announce that the Welcome Dinner will be attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Manasseh D. Sogavare. The Solomon Islands and Australian Governments are increasingly fostering people-to-people links through digital connectivity, with a submarine cable, funded by Australia, set to connect the Solomons to high-speed internet for the first time from next year. During the Welcome Dinner, Mr Sogavare will present the keynote address.

On Friday 23 November, round table discussions will bring the delegates together to identify challenges to solve, select practical projects to take forward and, ultimately, develop them through long-term collaboration which is supported by Pacific Connect mentors and its Alumni Community.

The Dialogue will be co-facilitated by Peter Kenilorea Jr, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade in the Solomon Islands, Dr Ian Watt AC, Chairman of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships, and Peter Fritz AM, Group Managing Director of TCG, Chair of Global Access Partners and ICDP Strategic Advisor.

You can stay up-to-date with developments from the Dialogue through our Twitter account (and the hashtag #digitalpacific), which we will be live-tweeting from. Photos from the event, Dialogue documents in addition to blogs exploring the delegates’ experiences from the event, will be published on ICDP’s website and social media channels; including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.