JAMAICA was one of two countries worldwide, along with Kenya, to be recognised for its close cooperation with the United States and the European Union (EU) on digital connectivity.
The US-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) met on December 5 and during the opening session on secure digital infrastructure in third countries, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestegar commended Jamaica and Kenya for their cooperation in developing secure and resilient digital connectivity and information and communication technology services (ICTS) supply chains, provided by trusted suppliers.
In cooperation with the Government of Jamaica and other Jamaican stakeholders, the European Union will connect more than 1,000 public schools and children's homes around Jamaica to robust, inclusive, and secure Internet service; strengthen the digital competencies of teachers; and support the use of digital technologies by micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
"These specific strategic priorities of the policy articulated by the Government, which the EU will be supporting starting in 2023 and relating to the ICT, Education and MSME sectors, are building on past EU support to Jamaica's justice system, which has contributed to the courts of Jamaica, being able to have remote hearings with audio-visual technology," said the US Embassy in Kingston in a release.
"The United States will assist Jamaica's electric utility, Jamaica Public Service, to expand reliable and trustworthy public Wi-Fi infrastructure in the New Kingston neighbourhood of Jamaica's capital, with the potential to expand the service across the country," added the release.
Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for digital transformation, participated in the TTC opening session and highlighted the Jamaican Government's efforts to increase digital connectivity throughout the country with trusted and reliable networks. He also noted that Jamaica endorsed the Declaration for the Future of the Internet in April 2022, which promotes a shared vision for an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet.
In the meantime, US Ambassador to Jamaica N Nick Perry said: "The United States is committed, along with the European Union, in helping Jamaica transition to a digital economy. Together, we must work to shape the evolution of digital and emerging technologies in a way that serves our people and upholds our democratic values."
EU Ambassador Marianne Van Steen added: "Close cooperation between the EU, the US and Jamaica will contribute to optimising opportunities for the private sector in Jamaica to innovate; enhance the digital skills of Jamaica's future labor force through education; and promote a more knowledge-based society."
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