The Government of Jamaica on February 26 took strategic steps to strengthen the foundation for the creation of a digital society, with the signing of a package of loan operations from the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB). The loans are part of a broader strategy to leapfrog the country’s development through digital transformation, thereby improving the lives of the people of Jamaica.
President of the IDB Group, Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno and the Honourable Audley Shaw, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, signed the instruments during the 7th Annual Caribbean Governors’ Meeting of the IDB at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Moreno said that: “Jamaica is on the path to becoming the Caribbean’s first digital society and is positioning itself to make the giant leap forward to improving the lives of its people through digital innovation. The Government of Jamaica is therefore strategic in building a digital society where citizens interact with the State using digital solutions resulting in greater productivity, efficiency, accountability, ease and prosperity.”
President Moreno further commended the Government for taking the bold steps needed for positive change, noting that, “The IDB will continue to partner with Jamaica to improve public sector management, increase private sector productivity and reinforce social protection.”
Finance Minister, the Hon. Audley Shaw expressed his delight with the signing of this loan and further noted that, “we must keep up with the times, this government intent is to modernize the public sector and to ensure that all citizens are safe, particularly in this era where identity theft is of primary concern; this loan will enable the government to take these bold steps in implementing systems that will advance our nation’s people.”
Among the package of loan operations that will advance Jamaica’s digital transformation are:
• The Security Strengthening Project – An Investment Loan for US$ 20 million. This project aims to enhance the capacity of the police and the security agencies to tackle crime using data and technology.
• The Implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS) for Economic Growth operation – This US$68 million operation will be a critical pillar for the establishment of e-Government in Jamaica. This project is key to guaranteeing all citizens their basic right to identification, to improve the design and targeting of public policies and to reduce the transactional costs of accessing public services for citizens.
• Support to the Public-Sector Transformation Programme – This is a total of US$160 million that aims to improve the efficiency and quality of public sector services, supporting the Government in the advancement of several critical digital transformation projects.