11 thoughts on “Your Adventure Starts Here

  1. Doesn’t the bit with the people in it look a lot like the apple ipod thingy??? Advert?

    I don’t like it, it’s too bright….

    I thought the Visa Debit cards attracted large fee’s and therefore, might not be the best options for all PNGeans?

  2. Yeah you’re right, does look ‘iPody’ but quite a number of companies have that look, mobile phone company ‘3’ in Australia also had this look at one stage. I guess it’s their way of making PNG look modern.

    It is bright, but I like it for some reason. My only point would be that the silhouettes should have been PNG focused so that we can at least relate to it on some level. In fact if they had just taken cues from the art design on the Port Moresby head office, even that would be great as well.

    In regards to fee’s using the Visa Debit Card, you can see them in detail here But in short, the least you pay is K0 for balance inquiries and the most K10 for cash withdrawals in a foreign currency. In fact when dealing with ATM’s and EFTPOS the normal rates that you’d get with a Kundu Card apply.

    So, yes you’ll always have some sort of charges and it perhaps could be cheaper but the opportunities for buying and selling online rather than being limited by what’s available at your Tang Mow or Garamut in Wewak should out weigh such concerns.

  3. Cool, thanks Emmanuel, so how many Papua New Guineans on average have access to the internet – do you have figures? I mean in rural areas where 91% of the population live? Not being sarcastic – real question…

  4. Well obviously not everyone has access to the internet, but you go to any reasonably sized town in PNG today and you already have one or two internet cafe’s there.

    Then you think about all these internet cafe’s that double up as business centre’s for photocopying, typing etc. So what you have is a small group of entrepreneurs and small business people that want to get ahead and have some money to pay for services without having to spend on a whole office for communications. These are the people I am talking about.

    And if they can find the best chain saw at the best price, if they can find the best seeds at the best price by looking beyond what is physically available in their towns, then it is these people that will be able to make money at the grass roots level to assist their school fee’s and add to our economy instead of just huge LNG projects.

    Not all of the 91% need to be on the internet, it is the core group of ‘change agents’ within that 91% that need all the tools they can to help themselves.

  5. Ok, but do you have any actual figures? I don’t think your core group of ‘change agents’ can be very effective at all under current circumstances, unless those ‘big LNG projects’ exist, there won’t be anything to drive the creation of infrastructure, particularly in remote areas, perhaps you should take a look at the state of the current budget on this blog in order to better understand the situation and the codependency of grass roots development on the type of money that is injected into our country, and the type of spending our government undertakes. I fear that too often we all seem to just scratch the surface, and fail to understand the real issues, and so we ask silly questions and make silly comments that tend to misinform the public.

  6. All I’m saying is that we have to look at supporting the other industries as well besides the LNG projects and by that I mean getting the policies and budgets for those sectors heading in the right direction. We don’t need the LNG projects to do that.

    Competition with mobile phones and airlines were all policy decisions that have effected the economy. And all done before we have seen a single Kina from the LNG projects. My main infrastructure concern here is the ICT sector and this sector does not need LNG money to develop.

    If you want to talk about the budget, do you mean how the 2008 budget was blown out by an extra K470 million from the original budget of K6,999.2 million? If our Government cant prioritize now and if they can’t work within a budget now, God help us when our GDP more than doubles by 2015 after our LNG projects have kicked in. Have a read about blow outs here.

    One of the major reasons we don’t have enough money to put into our infrastructure is because our government is too busy creating layers and layers of government and so a good part of our budget’s get eaten up by the size of our current bureaucracy. You can see a commentary on our 2009 budget here, which particularly notes this point. So apart from the fact that we saw no increase in expenditure on our health and education if the performance of public sector workers improved then the quality of their outputs and efficiency would go a long way in helping us today in the land of the 91%, and this could be done way before any LNG projects come along.

    Yes we can talk about the real issues and yes it is absolutely important. But until 2012, the only way the 91% can help themselves will be through asking ‘silly questions’ and making ‘silly comments’ which effect them immediately in their day to day lives. It is not an issue of waiting to get more money from the LNG projects, it is an issue of how we assist our people to help themselves today through policies and budgets.

    (Your comments on the need for discussions on ‘serious issues’ is noted.)

  7. My point about silly questions and comments was aimed at media outlets that thrive on misinformation.

    I agree with what you’ve said about air niugini etc. but services like air travel actually affect the 91% because we have hardly any roads to speak of in this country, unlike ICT policy – which affects… ummmm… urban dwellers maybe?

    I believe it’s unrealistic for people like us who have access to cheap fast internet, in my case thanks to Telikom PNG to forget that it’s not that easy for the rest of the population. I’m on my laptop at the moment in a suburb where my computer picks up 4 other wireless networks. Within this household, 2 people made purchases for various items online this morning, and I for one do alot of financial transactions online, but I know that this is not normal in this country.

    I am familiar with the ‘budget blow out’ and that was in fact what I was referring to, in that, the majority of the blow out expenditure is on one off expenditures that do nothing to actually stimulate the economy – like VX’s for departmental heads. That was my point and perhaps I was not clear earlier?

    If we want to talk about getting policy straight, then I think ICT policy needs to take a backseat to health, education, and transport development. It does nothing to immediately stimulate development in this country on a grass roots level.

    ‘waiting for more money’ from LNG projects… I’m sure if you look carefully at these projects you will understand the flow on benefits. Particularly with the worlds current economic situation, it is more important than ever that we get things sorted, and sorted out quickly on these projects so they can go ahead.

    THE GOVT. CAN NOT CHANGE EVERYTHING, DO EVERYTHING, WAVE A MAGIC WAND, THROW A HAT OVER THE FENCE ETC. ETC. TO FIX OUR PROBLEMS – as they have shown by the current deficit – they are hopeless, so this is where the private sector steps in, but it is difficult for the private sector to make an impact. Google the meaning of ‘impact project’ to better understand what I’m talking about in terms of development.

    My point is I’m sick of everyone talking ‘over’ the issues, without actually talking about the issues that are important.

    Back to the topic at hand… I think before BSP make visa debit cards standard, they should consider increasing the amount of ATM’s around the country for the 91%.

    Em tasol

  8. Thanks Molly, well put…I guess we’re pretty much saying the same thing here.

    In regards to the private sector and as someone that runs a small business, I see ICT infrastructure being able to allow existing businesses today, from big cities to small towns, from big business to small business, being able to become more efficient today rather than later. So that when we in the private sector have more money in our pockets then we can employ others, pay superannuation for employees, pay school fee’s for our families and so on. Because as you rightfully said, “THE GOVT. CAN NOT CHANGE EVERYTHING, DO EVERYTHING, WAVE A MAGIC WAND, THROW A HAT OVER THE FENCE ETC. ETC. TO FIX OUR PROBLEMS”

    ICT is not just internet, but also landlines, mobile phones etc. Within 5 months of operation, Digicel had an immediate 0.7% impact on our GDP. That’s 5 months not 5 years. I could be wrong with my priorities but that’s generally why I lean towards ICT, but again as I said before ICT infrastructure does not need money from the government to develop, all it needs is the right policies.

    [See also how ICT can have an immediate effect on Education here, here and on Health here].

  9. Hi,well put.

    I’m just going to ask you to google the meaning of the words “impact project” when used in a development context, and then take a crash course in economics for development and we’ll chat again same place same time, because I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing, you seem to keep coming back to ICT policy. I think it’s important to understand where we’re at at the moment in terms of development and where we want to be, and we need to be realistic about establishing set goals and objectives.

    I’m glad that you used the digicel example, because I’d like to refer back to that same example in terms of irresponsible private sector investment. Whilst the immediate impact of their involvement in the png mobile market has been great, in that more and more Papua New Guineans have access to mobile phones, they seem to have hired alot of Papua New Guineans for show, as the company laid off large numbers of employee’s only months into their time in PNG. They still maintain a large foreign staff and attempt to run main parts of the company by remote control from other locations. This does not help the country at all, I have heard numerous stories of young PNG employee’s being overworked and underpaid before finally being shown the door.

    Meanwhile, B Mobile or Black Dolphin as it is known has grown from strength to strength, with latest market figures showing an increase in subscribers, as they drastically slash the cost of calls and work to build a stronger network, capable of delivering better service to a large number of users.

    My point is that Digicels impact on our GDP is not sustainable. We must talk about sustainable policies and projects, and responsible foreign investors that can make an impact, as in these LNG projects if they are managed well from the begining.

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