Jamaica Moves towards a Digital Economy
Kingston, JAMAICA —
The Andrew Holness led administration is taking steps to transform the Jamaican economy into a digital economy. Speaking the Annual Mona School of Business Management (MSBM) Roundtable Forum at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Thursday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness underscored that the Government has taken several steps and will now see the results.
“The government is taking the very first step towards preparing and creating the opportunities for Jamaicans to participate in this inevitable, imminent digital society. We have passed a legislation to create a national identification system. That is a good example of digital leadership; the determination, the effort, the energy to get it done, inspite of.”
In his address, the Prime Minister pointed out that the Government will create the environment that every Jamaican citizen can participate in the digital world. “The government has to ensure that every citizen can transact in a digital society and the transaction has to be secure, we have to ensure security and integrity. We have to ensure transparency and to do that, you also have to ensure identity.”
The Prime Minister noted that Jamaica must build significant platforms to get to a fully digitized space that is transparent and secure. “The new thinking has to be, how do we build institutions to protect the knowledge that we will have of our citizens, because I want you to consider that within your firms, you are all using software either by google, apple, Microsoft and every day you are giving your private information,” the Prime Minister said.
The Government has secured a J$64 million (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) loan from the International Development Bank (IDB), a sum of which will be used to establish a platform for all data that will be digitized.
“Only a very small portion is for the National Identification System (NIDS), the larger portion of the loan is to establish the digital platform to put in place the servers, the networks, the cloud services to enable us to place all that data that we are converting digitally, to put it at the disposal of Government and the public,” said Holness He also noted the Government’s commitment to embracing new technologies and strategically ensure that Jamaica has a better place in the future.