- The 160th ICT centre opened at Potsdam District, in St. Elizabeth.
- The facility has been equipped with 13 computers and other supporting items at a cost of $2.4 million.
- By establishing the computer access points across Jamaica, the Government is advancing its vision of investing in the people.
The number of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centres established by the Government has been increased, with the setting up of the 160th such facility at Potsdam District, in St. Elizabeth.
This was undertaken through the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, as part of an initiative to make the technology accessible to persons in all parts of the country.
The facility has been equipped with 13 computers and other supporting items at a cost of $2.4 million, with financing from the Universal Service Fund, an agency of the Ministry.
Delivering the keynote address at the official opening on November 20, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, said by establishing the computer access points across Jamaica, the Government is advancing its vision of investing in the people.
“The Government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to establish these community access points across the country, signifying that we are investing in the human resource of our country. I want to commend the Universal Service Fund for the work they continue to do, because we want to make sure that in every nook and cranny, anywhere you go in this country, the Jamaican citizen has access to computer technology,” the Minister said.
Citing the recent establishment of the ICTAdvisory Council, Mr. Paulwell explained that the aim is to see how government can utilize the technology to become more transparent and to enable citizens to have easier and better access to their government.
“Sometimes citizens send emails to the government and there is no response, that will end as of now. Then there are so many services that the government perform and almost all of them are in Kingston. That cannot work any longer … that is the reason we have established 160 of these centres across the country, so citizens can visit these centres and deal with their government by way of the technology,” Mr. Paulwell asserted.
He noted that in time, citizens can use the facility to pay their bills and do other important transactions right at their doorsteps, thereby avoiding long travels and frustration on the roads.
“Some people see this as a thing for young people only. I want to encourage all citizens, both young and older ones, to use these facilities. This is new technology and it is for the young as well as the older citizens. If we want Jamaica to become a knowledge based society, everybody will have to get with the technology,” the Minister emphasized.