Jamaica Lauded For Progress In Digital Transformation

Jamaica has been lauded for its progress in becoming a digital society.

The commendation came from Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President, Microsoft US Global Technology Leader, Jacky Wright.

She was speaking during a ‘Riverside Chat’ held as part of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade from June 14 to 16.

In keeping with national development goals, the Government is moving to provide Internet access to every household and community

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology has initiated a National Broadband Initiative to provide Last Mile connectivity across Jamaica by 2025. Special emphasis is placed on underserved and unserved areas.

Internet access has also increased through the establishment of free public Wi-Fi hotspots and community access point sites by the Universal Service Fund (USF), which target major townships and communities, respectively.

Impressed with the country’s journey, to date, Ms. Wright noted that Internet access is key to continuing the transformation process, especially as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

“I believe that technology has the power to be the great equaliser. We have a national identification system (NIDS) that we’re implementing along with data and information to create a holistic [digital] approach to how we provide services in this country. In doing that, we need to make sure that we bring everyone along,” she said.

Ms. Wright urged the Government to seek out partnerships that would more greatly create conditions for the transformation.

She said several opportunities exist within the Jamaican diaspora such as a digital currency, which can create an ecosystem that gets everyone involved.

“Also, when you think about biodiversity, water conservation, energy, and how we could provide energy for others using solar [powered technology], there are also big opportunities there,” Ms. Wright said.

She believes that through increased partnerships, the diaspora can significantly contribute to Jamaica’s digital transformation.


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