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The International Symposium on ICT in development 2015 (SICTD 2015) is jointly hosted by the National University of Samoa and Ibaraki University, Japan and is to be held from 25th-27th November.

The aim is to bring together academics and practitioners to share their valuable knowledge and experience in the use or applications of ICT for sustainable development.  The symposium is multidisciplinary in nature with presentations in the areas of ICT in education, climate change, governance, environment and disasters, green ICT technologies and in development.

With the ever increasing importance and pervasiveness of ICT in our lives, this symposium examines the application of ICT across multiple disciplines and with a particular focus of ICY in the context of developing countries like Samoa.  it is hoped that in the deliberations in this forum, the transformational nature of ICT along with the many issues and challenges that ICT brings will be discussed with some detail.  The value of these exchanges are as stimulus for thought but also provides valuable lessons in the leveraging of ICT for combatting poverty and disease, monitoring disasters and climate change and innovative ways for the delivery of services in education, government and health to name a few.

NUS sees research as a key priority area in its development and growth and events like this which promote research in such an increasingly important areas as ICT is crucial and pivotal as a means of fostering our research culture.  Furthermore it provides vital exposure and capacity building for NUS staff and students alike in the area of ICT in development.

The symposium is open to all those interested.  The symposium is multidisciplinary in nature and useful to all those interested in the contributions of the applications of ICT in development from fields including science, education, health, climate change and risk management.

It is expected that 40 to 60 delegates will take part in this symposium with 20 international participants.  The international participants are academics from Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Fiji and American Samoa.  The symposium will take place over three days with two days of presentations and the third day set aside for a field trip.  There are 39 presentations, 33 will be presented face to face and 6 presented virtually via Skype.

Registration is now open.  For locals the following rates apply:

Regular registration - $150ST or $50 per day

Student Registration $120ST or $40 per day

Conference Dinner $60ST.

Registration includes refreshments and cost of book of abstracts.  Does not include dinner.

Registration payment details email Lydal Visan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Dean of the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship (F.O.B.E) Tofua’iofoia Fuimaono Falefa Lima and Mrs Sasa’e Walter met with Ms Lizbeth Cullity, United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P) Resident Coordinator/Representative in Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau and Mr Torek Farhadi, I.T.C Senior Adviser for Women and Trade to evaluate their joint work and seek ways to do more.

Under an agreement signed earlier this year, NUS offered a course to 30 professional businesswomen and 30 government procurement officers on increasing government procurement from women owned businesses in Samoa.

During the joint evaluation and feedback session, Ms Aruna Tuala, a F.O.B.E Lecturer indicated that Lecturers needed to make some changes to the course offered by I.T.C to adapt it more to the situation of the attending students, make it less academic and more business oriented.

Mr Farhadi said: "I.T.C is committed to empower women in business gain a larger share from government procurement.”

He went on to say that he is very happy to meet with the lecturers and the students to engage in a feedback session to see what worked and what needs improvement.

He is also appreciative of the close partnership between the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) and I.T.C-Geneva in delivering courses which support women in trade.

Students who are procurement officers at the Ministry of Finance (M.O.F) clarified that government procurement was done through closed bids rather than gender of the business owner.

The course had helped them a great deal in appreciating the need to increase women owned business's share in benefiting more from government spending.

Ms Cullity said she was delighted to be in the room and hear voices of so many women discussing growth of business opportunities for women.

She added that the U.N.D.P will seek more ways to have such programmes under the new One U.N. Youth project delivered together with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.

Mr Farhadi indicated during his visit to Samoa, that he had the privilege to visit high ranking officials with the ministries involved such as the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L) as well as with the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (S.A.M.E). 

He said it is clear to I.T.C and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T) which finances this programme that investing in empowering women in trade strengthens the social fabric as women tend to reinvest their profits in their family and community welfare.

Mr Farhadi also indicated that N.U.S and the I.T.C will continue to seek support for such initiatives into 2016, especially ways to reach out to women in business in the rural areas.

 

Investing in fitness exercise equipment can reap long term benefits such as providing the best gymnasium services to Samoa.

The National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) Gymnasium is one of those facilities built with government funding as one of the venues for the 2007 South Pacific Games, in which Samoa was the host.

A lot has been said about wasting millions of tala on facilities that are either being unused or not given to sporting organisations for development use.

Now some sporting bodies have pushed for access to those facilities and are now being used to develop their own respective sports.

Even international events have been made possible through the availability of those multimillion tala gym facilities.

In this case, the N.U.S. Gym ever since have been consistently carrying out daily fitness programmes, after hour exercise sessions, personal and professional strength programmes with its staff and non-staff members.

Even better, it is always the setting for final exams and end of year graduation ceremonies.

But the great news is that lives have been transformed at this gym through its aerobics, anaerobics and flexibility exercise programmes with the help of its most experienced fitness instructors, Punaoleola Mua’itau Tiupita-Mua’itau and Uilisone Kaisala.

“We are here to ensure that we provide the best exercise programmes not just for N.U.S staff but for the public as well,” Mrs Mua’itau said.  “A lot of people often think it is expensive to make use of our facilities but we have special packages for our customers.”

“Most people hold back because they do not have the thirst for knowledge, or drive to follow things through. The secret to committing to getting fit is finding a way to enjoy your workouts.”

“It is like when you talk about healthy living, it carries more stigma with it than it should.  Most people think of expensive salads and endless hours just to do a simple exercise when it should be about fun workouts,” Mrs Mua’itau added.  “Not only that, but other people fail to try because of the mind-set that colleagues, friends or families would think of when trying to stay and look fit.”

“We have challenge programmes open to the public (at a reasonable small fee) mainly to encourage not only being healthy and fit, but to enjoy the lifelong experiences of maintaining strength and flexibility in one’s immune system.”

A group of 12 is on the fourth week of an on-going six weeks challenge at the gym.  Five of them are non-NUS staff members mainly the public service.

“The reason most people fail in their attempt to get fit is not because of inadequate workout methods or dieting techniques,” Mr Kaisala said.  “It is about the thirst for knowledge to make a difference in one’s lifestyle by exercising regularly.”

“It is one of the most common problems that many individuals struggle with on a regular basis to stay fit and healthy,” Mr Kaisala added. “Some people would have their own excuses; many will say that they’re too busy to go to the gym, while others would say that it’s too expensive to buy their own equipment.”

For the whole group, it was a very difficult start when feeling pain and strained muscles overnight though Mrs Mua’itau and Mr Kaisala never gave up encouraging them to continue.

“We feel that our customers are our utmost concern and we take particular exercise programmes for certain individuals not to an extreme, one will give up so easily,” Mr Kaisala said.  “We should pick up the strength level and eye each customer of how we can apply different exercise techniques.”

Many people think exercise is always a pain, but it can be lots of fun.  “To have a team of experienced trainers to be on your feet all the time is a big push for me,” one of the participants, Margaret Rimoni-Yoshida said.  “I can feel a huge change in my fitness level despite the fact it is still a long way for me to go.”

Said another participant of the challenge, Dan Pemila: “It should not end here once the fitness challenge is over but to keep that momentum with the right mindset and the right group of people, especially the support from your families and friends.”

With two more weeks to go, Mr Pemila has lost five kilograms already in which he was grateful to have been part of the NUS Gym Challenge.

“It is an opportunity for the public to make use of these facilities, N.U.S. has all the amenities you need and the expertise of its staff is something that you should take advantage of,” Eileen Hazelman said.

“I am thankful to the Government of Samoa for building such an important facility within the institution,” added Ms Hazelman.  “As a staff member, it is only a walk away from my office and spends 45 minutes to exercise.”

The N.U.S. gym enables the university to offer students, staff and the community a chance to get fit with a range of sports activities. The seating capacity is over a thousand. There are two squash courts, one single and one double. The weights room is well equipped with modern exercise machines. The gym also consists of two medium size conference rooms’ upstairs and a good parking area. A huge veranda facing the ocean, an ideal space for family or business barbeque on sports day. The facility has twenty eight restrooms and sixteen showers. There are two volleyball courts, one netball court and a basketball court.

It is also rented out to family reunions, government ministries and Sport Associations. The gym is used twice a year for enrolment and exams and three times a year for graduation ceremonies.

The Faculty of Applied Science (F.O.A.S) opened its Health Clinic at the gym in 2013. The clinic offers free check-up for students, staff and the community. Donations are welcomed.

The gym is open from Monday to Friday at 8am-7pm.  The gym also conducts fitness classes such as aerobics high low, tabata, circuit and boxing from Monday to Friday.  Squash and Weights are from 8am to 7pm.
Lausinasina Samoan Siva lessons are at 11am on Saturdays.

For more information about N.U.S Gym and its daily schedule, visit our website www.nus.edu.ws, Facebook - www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoaor twitter@NUSSamoa

“The Totalisator Agency Board donated $20,000 to the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) to assist 20 lucky students with their tuition fees.  The generous donation was presented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Gambling Control Authority,  Tuala Tamaalelagi Siaki Tuala II  to  the Vice Chancellor and President of N.U.S,  Prof. Fui Lea’pai Tu’ua ‘Ilaoa Asofou So’o.   Tuala said this donation allows us to give direct assistance to individuals with potential but whose families are struggling to put them through University.  TAB  has been  offering scholarships to  N.U.S for more than five years and this assistance has helped many students complete their studies with some graduating and joining the workforce whilst others  have gone on to secure scholarships to study overseas.  Selection is based on hardship and merit and this year’s lucky recipients are enrolled in a wide range of programmes ranging from Arts to Commerce to Electrical Engineering.” 

 N.U.S. Vice Chancellor and President, Prof. Fui Lea’pai Tu’ua ‘Ilaoa Asofou So’o and C.E.O. Gambling Control Authority, Tuala Tamaalelagi Siaki Tuala II.

Stakeholders from the Agriculture sector and the Nutrition sub-sector gathered at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) Fale last Friday 23 October 2015, to take part in the National Validation Workshop which was organised by NUS to validate the findings of the C.T.A-commissioned Rapid Country Scan Report on Food and Nutrition Security in Samoa. CTA refers to theTechnical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. It is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU).

The Workshop was opened by Rev Dr Siaosi Salesulu, before the official welcome by the Vice-Chancellor and President of N.U.S, Professor Fui Asofou So'o.  The C.T.A Representative, Associate Professor Mohammed Umar of the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) at Alafua also gave his opening remarks.

Professor So'o in his welcoming remarks thanked the K.V.A Consult and the M.L.S Consult consortium whom were tasked by N.U.S to conduct this rapid scan on behalf of N.U.S due to their extensive network and experience in this sort of work.

According to the N.U.S-C.T.A Project Leader, Peseta Dr Desmond Lee-Hang, the workshop had two objectives:

1) to validate the rapid scan report findings and

2) to share lessons learnt from various successful programmes currently underway in the areas of agriculture and nutrition.

Seven organisations were invited to present including the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F) via the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (S.A.C.E.P), Ministry of Health (M.o.H) and Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C) on the School Nutrition Program, Matua-ile-oo Environment Trust Inc. (M.E.T.I) on their Ta'iala program, Women In Business Development Inc. (W.I.B.D.I) on their Farm to Table program, and the Samoa Farmers Association (S.F.A) on their community gardens and floriculture project. Overall, according to Peseta, the workshop was a success as most of the key stakeholders were present to validate the report findings and share with a wider audience their local initiatives towards an Agriculture-Nutrition nexus.

The C.T.A-commissioned "Rapid Scan Report on Food and Nutritional Security in Samoa" will now be finalised incorporating comments from this stakeholders workshop.  The findings will be presented in Barbados at the CTA-organised Carribean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum from 2-6 November 2015. 

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