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Jamaica moving to become a digital economy, says PM

Friday, June 22, 2018

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THE Jamaican Government says its is taking steps to transform Jamaican into a digital economy.

Speaking yesterday at the 9th Annual Mona School of Business Management (MSBM) Roundtable CEO Breakfast Forum at the Mona Visitors Lodge, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said his 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,” said Prime Minister Holness.

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,” said Holness.

Jamaica, he added, 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,” said Holness

The Government has secured a $64-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a sum of which will be used to establish a platform for all data that will be digitised.

“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 Prime Minister Holness.

In the meantime, the prime minister noted the Government's commitment to embracing new technologies and strategically ensure that Jamaica has a better place in the future.

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