Minister Basil Appointed to Drive Technological Advancement in Communications, Information Technology and Energy
Approved for Release: 18 October 2017
Office of the Prime Minister,Papua New Guinea
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced a realignment in ministerial portfolio allocations with the appointment of Hon. Sam Basil MP as Minister Responsible for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.
The changes in portfolios will strengthen the National Government’s focus on key growth sectors that will have a direct impact on business development and community advancement.
“Minister Basil will be responsible for the energy and communications sectors that are crucial for growing a modern economy,” the Prime Minister said.
“I have great confidence in the minister’s capacity to meet both the challenges and opportunities that our country faces in these areas.
“There are clear synergies between the energy and communications sectors brought about by technological advances that are enabling Papua New Guinea to deliver positive change not only in urban areas, but also in rural and remote areas.
“The global energy sector is continually evolving with access to more cost-effective power generation and Papua New Guinea must be at the forefront of harnessing new technologies.
“Modern sources of energy production are more efficient and environmentally friendly, reducing the impact on local ecologies and reducing the causes of climate change.
“Through embracing renewable technologies, more energy can be harvested locally and does not require the same infrastructure that was needed with traditional energy delivery.
“We will continue to advance a balanced approach to energy production and supply, using existing technologies where appropriate and deploying new technology across the country.
“Strengthening our energy security and ensuring access to power for our people enables business to expand and helps our communities develop.”
PM O’Neill said similar to the energy sector, information technology has seen generational change in the way people communicate.
“As a developing country we must step deeper into the digital world and deliver access to better communications for our people.
“The Internet, smart phones and more secure platforms for communication are all part of the communications revolution that has been taking place in recent years.
“Papua New Guinea has already seen one of the most rapid up-takes of new digital communications in the world and we must increase penetration into remote areas.
“Through better communications, people around the country have access to information that changes lives.
“Doctors can access the latest techniques to better treat illnesses and injuries, teachers can deliver improved education for their students, and families can stay in touch regardless of distance.
“Several years ago APEC committed to achieve village access to the Internet as a baseline and we are working to achieve this goal.
“As Minister, Sam Basil will make sure there is increased consultation with our partners and global experts, and work through APEC to improve access to improved technologies that can be implemented at the local level.”
The Prime Minister thanked outgoing Communications Minister, Hon. Francis Maneke MP, for his service as Minister and expressed his appreciation to embrace the Cabinet reshuffle.
“Ours is a Coalition Government in which we must have representation in the Cabinet for all partners in the Government.
“There is a set number of Cabinet positions available, and I thank the Honourable Member, Francis Maneke, for placing the interests of the Government and the Nation above all else.
“He is a very capable Member and Minister and has a strong ministerial future in the years ahead.
“In our system of Government it is essential that we continue to evolve Cabinet and Ministerial allocations in the interest of ensuring consultation and diversity of representation.
“Together, in our Government, across districts and provinces, and agencies and departments, we will work together to deliver positive change for the people of Papua New Guinea.”