A 5-Point Plan To Future-Proof Tuvalu “The Sinking Nation”

Photo © 2007 Juriaan Booij

To Renew, Or Not To Renew

  • Maximizing returns
  • Focusing on a knowledge economy in lieu of physical land or resources (e.g. Singapore)

The 5-Point Plan

In a nut-shell, here are the 5 key points:

  1. Run a nation-wide digital transformation program
  2. Improve internet infrastructure
  3. Go cashless
  4. Invest in land & property

1. Open .tv to a bidding war (but negotiate wisely)

This would be Step 1. Although Verisign and the Tuvaluan government may have good relations, we now know just how valuable .tv is (thanks Twetch). And where there’s value, there’s opportunity. Opening .tv up to a bidding war between foreign companies means you can let the market speak for itself in terms of how much Tuvalu could really get from .tv. There is also a few decades worth of data to make some educated forecasts on what it may be valued at in the future. When it comes to negotiations, make sure it’s a win/win, but be clear that Tuvalu is in the position to set terms. Not others. Do not let others take advantage of you.

2. Improve internet infrastructure

With new terms and cashflow, immediately focus on improving the internet infrastructure on all 8 islets. The reason for this is because we’re going to leverage the fact that Tuvalu:

  1. All speak English
  2. Struggle with finding work (usually travel to neighboring islands)

3. Run a nation-wide digital transformation program

In a knowledge economy, it is not physical property that matters, it is intellectual (IP). Smaller nations like England, Switzerland, and more recently Singapore, have shown just how much you can accomplish with focus and leveraging your strengths.

4. Go cashless

There is an increasing trend for nations to go cashless. There’s also examples of nations in the past who have “leap-frogged” technologies to catchup to other countries (e.g. the rural poor of Bangladesh skipping land-lines to go straight to mobile phones).

  1. Using a blockchain that is built for scale
  2. An immutable public ledger to track cashflow (and reduce corruption)

5. Invest in land and property

After setting previous steps in motion, Tuvalu could then look into purchasing land/property in other countries, rent them out, and then use the additional cashflow (plus income from .tv) to raise the islands to safer heights. Since Tuvalu has already rejected offers from Chinese firms to build artificial islands (much like how Dubai has done), Tuvalu just needs a way to fund its own development.


George Siosi Samuels is the founder and Managing Director of Faiā, a consultancy on a mission to help realize potential and bridge divides between people and technology. Faiā helps improve social and economic development for micro-businesses and communities by leveraging technologies such as the Bitcoinˢᵛ blockchain. From digital marketing to technical advisory, they magnify results for leaders and fire-starters of the world. Visit website.

Founder of Faiā | Bridging Communities & Tech

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