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Story Highlights

  • Energy, Science and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says several pieces of legislation are in the offing to transform Jamaica into a digital society.
  • Dr. Wheatley informed that within his Ministry are several plans, which seek to get more people involved in ICT, for example applications development.
  • Panel discussions on the benefits and implications for the region’s economy and other sectors were held.

Energy, Science and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says several pieces of legislation are in the offing to transform Jamaica into a digital society.

They include legislation to facilitate the development of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, protection of data for increased online transactions and cyber security.

“These areas are key to maximizing the use of information and knowledge as a catalyst for growth and economic development,” said Dr.  Wheatley.

The Minister was speaking at the inaugural National Commercial Bank (NCB) Digital Symposium, held at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, in Kingston, on April 20.

Dr. Wheatley informed that within his Ministry are several plans, which seek to get more people involved in ICT, for example applications development.

“Specifically, through app development, we are hoping to develop businesses and pursue entrepreneurial endeavours,” he said, pointing to the recent staging of the KingstOOn Animation Festival.

More than 900 animators and creators participated in the festival.

The Minister also acknowledged the importance of technology to government services and procedures, in order to improve governance structures.

They include rationalization of government in e-business and the establishment of ICT capital and planning policies.

Meanwhile, Group Managing Director of NCB, Patrick Hylton, said the staging of the Symposium was orchestrated to foster an “ecosystem of collaboration between established Caribbean companies and digital technology companies, in order to drive greater innovation and growth across the Caribbean.”

Acknowledging the steps his company has made to innovate, such as the establishment of smarter automated banking machines (ABMs) and the opening of online accounts, Mr. Hylton emphasized the importance of innovation.

“We have to change, because our customers have changed,” he emphasised.

Panel discussions on the benefits and implications for the region’s economy and other sectors were held.