Vice Chancellor, Fiji National University – Professor Toby Wilkinson,
Product Manager Pasifika Heartbeat, Rakin Wahed,
CEO Total Fiji, Kazi Rahman,
Dean, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, FNU, Dr. William May,
Invited Guests,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bula Vinaka and a very good evening to you all.
A little over 6 months ago, I spoke on how young Fijians must be empowered and become agile participants in economic activities and in our recovery. I said this while handing over grants to recipients of our Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), one of who was Mr. Rakin Wahed.
Today, I am very proud to join you all to officially launch the Pasifika Heartbeat App – which I’m sure is a key part of Mr. Wahed’s journey.  
As the Minister responsible for YES, each time I see our youth succeed in their business ventures, I feel very proud and at the same, confident that Fiji’s future is in the right hands. Our youth are innovative, resourceful and focused towards their goals. And they play an incredibly important role in our society.  
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The YES aspires to encourage young aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. Plus, it gives confidence to them that nothing is impossible, even the current economic situation, is not a block, but a spring board to take the leap. 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While the impacts of the pandemic have impacted our daily lives in a very obvious way, it’s important to recognise the longer-term repercussions. We’ve made great strides, in try to rid the world of the virus with vaccines now in the picture. But the socio-economic fall out we’re experiencing today will remain years from now and it will be the youth who’ll continue to suffer.
This is why we need to continue empowering young Fijians. We need to ensure they are as much part of recovery as anyone else – perhaps even more.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The COVID-19 pandemic has essentially obliged us to embrace new technologies. Economies, whether developing or advanced, have invested in IT infrastructure to stay connected. The health and medical services has become a leading sector where technology is playing a very important role - with the use of telemedicine and other app services. In fact, the pandemic has sped the digital transformation of healthcare. It has also boosted innovation in how patients can receive and consume health care services.
The Pasifika Heartbeat app is a great example of how Fijians are exploring opportunities to make information services available to Fijians. We want to encourage youths who’re creating unique and innovative ideas to partner with the Fijian Government on their projects and business aspirations. No doubt the success of our youth is the success of Governments.  
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Fijian Government is driven to promote health and reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as part of a “whole of society” approach to wellness and well-being,[1] and to transform Fiji into the modern hub for health and medical care.  Mr. Wahed has provided a solution for Fijians to adapt to the digital age and enables us to have easy access to valuable information. This is a prime example of how we want young Fijians to be part of the solution.
Mr. Wahed is a passionate young Fijian, who started this project on his own. We are glad that the Ministry through YES was able to provide support of $12,000, which as we can see today, has enabled him to host the app online.Mr. Wahed, I want you to personally take a moment to acknowledge that you’ve created something that is so essential in our daily lives.
The Pasifika Heartbeat app provides a digital health platform of valuable information, which includes geo-location of the healthcare institutions – public and private health clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals. It will potentially connect the public to the medical professionals.
Simply put, we’re improving connectivity between urban and rural areas, enhancing service delivery and promoting innovation. This connectivity is made better due to the excellent IT and mobile infrastructure that we have in Fiji and the fact that 95% of our population is connected to these services.
Ladies and Gentlemen,  
As you will appreciate, the Fijian Government continues to invest in youth to empower Fijians with digital skills and technology. The digitalisation of government services to improve the existing processes has enabled you to register your business at the comfort of your homes or offices.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), digital skills and technology is a game changer – providing solutions to adjust to the new normal. In particular, through the use of mobile phones and online platforms, economic activities will be accelerated for Fijians now and in the future.
At this junction, I wish to reiterate that the Fijian Government is driven to empower young Fijians and help them become agile participants in economic activities.
Mr. Wahed, is an example of a young entrepreneur who did not stop because of hurdles to realise his dream. He went beyond in ensuring the completion and fruition of his unique and innovative idea. Not only is he bridging the information gap, he also intends to partner with Rubina Medical Clinic to connect the public to medical professionals for symptom related information. 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We’ve come this far with the Pasifika Heartbeat app, and now I encourage you to download the app. And for those of you who haven’t downloaded the careFIJI app, I also encourage you to do. This isn’t for the benefit of you as an individual, but for all Fijians.
On this note, I wish to once again congratulate Mr. Rakin Wahed on the launch of Pacific’s first health app, Pasifika Heartbeat. You still have a lot to accomplish and we stand ready to support you.
Thank you and Vinaka Vakalevu.