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Alain Obed: Contributing Towards Vanuatu’s Digital Development

Posted in Alumni Profiles

As technology continues to propel society forward and drastically changes the way we interact with the world around us, the modeling of safe and ethical practices becomes a necessity. Australia Awards alumnus Alain Obed, believes education and awareness is crucial as we move further into a digital age, particularly with cybercrime playing a more prominent role. In the UK alone there has been a 40% increase in cybercrime compared to that in 2020, and millions of data breaches occur worldwide each year. The 2022 cyberattack in Vanuatu provided a timely reminder of the extent to which technology is heavily relied upon, forcing some civil servants to use pen and paper to conduct business whilst whole networks are rebuilt.

Alain is a senior supervisor with the department of supervision at Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). After working as a prosecutor, he pursued a Master of Cybersecurity (Law) at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and graduated in 2021. His role is primarily involved with overseeing financial dealer licensees registered through VFSC as well as regulating international companies who want to use blockchain as a platform to carry out crypto activities.

Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it extremely difficult to change, hack or cheat the system. It is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.

The technology of blockchain is an important investment for the future development of Vanuatu Alain believes and is a beneficial step forward for Vanuatu to consider as a mode of business for its transactions. “We need to move away from the traditional practice and invest fully in the technology of blockchain. Blockchain is traceable and effective, everyone can see the transaction for the sake of accountability and transparency”.

Alain has also been involved in drafting legislation within the Vanuatu framework for blockchain to be carried out in a safe and ethical way as it is here to stay and has many benefits for the economy. With a rising number of professionals taking a vested interest in cybersecurity, the digital development of Vanuatu is a promising area for growth.