Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff


Samoa's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa'i, has revealed a delay in the start of operation for the country's new Tui Samoa submarine cable, which was scheduled to begin last month.

The minister has told Radio 2AP a technical hiccup in the connection of the cable in Wallis and Futuna as well as in Savusavu, Fiji has caused the delay.

But Afamasaga said the cable would be operational in mid-February, which allows time for local communication companies such as Digicel and Bluesky to make arrangements to make use of the new cable.

The minister said another separate project, the Manatua submarine cable, which will also connect Samoa, is expected to start soon and is scheduled to be completed in the middle of next year.

(Source: RNZI)


Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says he would be happy if news organizations were made to reveal sources.

He was commenting on the Criminal Libel Law, which was passed by Parliament in less than an hour just before Christmas.

Tuilaepa told TV1Samoa that it would be good if media organizations were forced to reveal their sources, as it would force them to get their information from officials and not from what he called 'office boys'.

"The official information about government comes from this office, not from office boys," he said.

The Pacific Freedom Forum has called on the Samoa government to hold consultations on the best way to address issues, which the law is intended to address.

(Source: RNZI)


The death toll from the dengue fever outbreak in Samoa has increased to five.

The figure was confirmed by Samoa's Ministry of Health, which says the number of people affected by the mosquito-borne disease has increased from 1,700 to 2,446 since October.

The Ministry said people under 19 were the age group most affected by the outbreak.

About 700 cases have been confirmed among children between the ages of 5 and 9.

More than 500 children between 10 and 14 years of age have also been affected, as well as 400 children and infants between the ages of 1 and 4.

The most affected areas were in Faleata, Vaimauga and Leauvaa on Upolu Island.

The Ministry said it was continuing its awareness campaign to advise the public on preventative measures.

(Source: RNZI)


A Fiji company says new technology to make the tuna fishing industry more transparent could be difficult for some Pacific island states to implement.

The firm, TraSeable, is involved in trialling the blockchain technology that tracks tuna from when it's caught to when it's sold.

Founder and managing director Ken Katafono said strengths of the technology are that it's difficult to hack and no one person or entity holds all the data.

But Mr Katafono siad it was likely to be hard getting all countries to buy in and provide key data.

He said slow internet speeds could also be a problem.

"Pacific island countries they are at different areas of development and they have access to different resources and infrastructure. I think implementing technology like this can be challenging for some of them that don't have good internet connections."

Ken Katafono said while there's a lot of work being done by regional agencies in the Pacific in terms of digitising fisheries data, there's still some way to go.

He said the technology, that is essentially a digital ledger, was still at a pilot stage but was expected to be commercially available this year.

(Source: RNZI)

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