This site attempts to build discussion of technological standards, industry news, and other developments. Amidst all of that, it’s very important to not lose sight of the grim realities facing the economies in the Pacific Islands.

Technological leaps forward are meaningless if they do not result in the improved living conditions for the people.

A recent news item on details how in 2007, there were more than 21,500 unemployed school-leavers. According to the Fiji Investment Corporation, the emerging BPO industry has the potential to make a dent in this figure, with the potential to employ thousands of young graduates and school-leavers.

A call center in the Philippines

A call center in the Philippines

The opportunity is laid out before us, now the relevant stakeholders (telecoms, FTIB, etc.) have to work to establish Fiji’s reputation abroad as a suitable investment destination. It is important to remember that the BPO industry is now a worldwide phenomenon and there is global competition to attract this kind of business investment.

BPO’s also represent Fiji’s best shot at creating a bulwark against the brain drain that annually robs Fiji of its precious human capital. If quality jobs with decent pay can be created at home, then perhaps more young people might be encouraged to stick it out in Fiji. The kind of systemic unemployment and underemployment of young graduates and school-leavers described by Fiji Village is a matter of grave concern. The disenchantment felt by these youngsters will have a great impact on social cohesion down the road. 

In all the talk about technology, it is important for us all to not lose sight of what’s really at stake. Improved telecommunications can be an enabler of change. For those with decision-making ability, a great deal of thought should be given to how technology can garner employment opportunities as well as unlock the entrepreneurial potential of our people.