Jamaica on its way to becoming a digital society

June 23, 2022

Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President, Microsoft US Global Technology Leader, Jacky Wright commended Jamaica for its progress in becoming a digital society.

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 accordance with the national development goals, the Government is making efforts 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 targets 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 equalizer. 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. Additionally, she mentioned that 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, 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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