September 13th, 2016

Samoa joins the CTO as Full Member Country

LONDON, 13 SEPTEMBER 2016 – Pacific island and Commonwealth country Samoa has joined the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) as Full Member Country. The country’s decision was conveyed to Secretary-General Shola Taylor earlier this month by the country’s Minister of Communications & Information Technology The Honourable Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupa’i.

In recent years, Samoa has increased its efforts to integrate ICTs in its socio-economic development. Its Internet penetration has grown nearly five folds to 30 per cent over the past ten years. However, fixed broadband access remains a key challenge at a much lower two per cent. But the country remains committed to affordable, reliable and secure communications services for all Samoans and sees its membership of the CTO as one means to achieve this goal.

We have the potential to turn Samoa into one good example of an inclusive e-society and drawing from the experiences from other countries will contribute to achieving this goal,” The Honourable Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupa’i said.

Full Member Countries are Commonwealth countries that make an annual financial contribution to the CTO. Reacting to Samoa’s decision, Mr Taylor said that “although it may be too soon to say, this announcement shows that our drive to address the needs of small island nations is increasingly well received.”

With their limited economies of scale and the higher roll-out costs associated with island countries, most of them face much bigger challenges in achieving universal access to ICT infrastructure, products and services. One of our strategic objectives is to work with the rest of our membership and the wider ICT sector to find solutions to the challenges faced by this specific group,” Mr Taylor had also said earlier this year.

For more information please contact The Communications Team, or +44 20 8600 3816.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. Although our history can be traced back to 1901 with the establishment of the Pacific Cable Board, the organisation has only existed in its present form as an intergovernmental treaty organisation since 1967. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. .