JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says in another 10 to 15 years, access to the internet could be viewed globally as a basic human right.
  • The Prime Minister pointed out that here in Jamaica people have to produce a physical identification to do transactions with the Government, something that might become obsolete or non-existent in the digital age.
  • The Prime Minister said he is now ready to build that road of partnership, equity and fairness, and to empower Jamaicans, so they can achieve prosperity.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says in another 10 to 15 years,    access to the internet  could be viewed globally as a basic human right.

Addressing the 34th annual Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) Convention at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in  St. James on May 27, Mr. Holness said that already some countries have  started the process, citing Estonia as one of the countries that have made access free for all its citizens.

“This is so because transactions are going to be moved mainly towards a digital platform,” he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that here in Jamaica people  have to produce a physical  identification to do transactions with the Government, something that might become obsolete or non-existent in the digital age.

“If Jamaica is going to be able to take advantage, and there are tremendous advantages being on a digital platform, then the State must create that platform and manage the system of unique identification, both for public and private sector workers,” he argued.

Mr. Holness said the beauty of having transactions on a digital platform is that databases can be linked and services can then be easily provided.

“Of course there will be issues about privacy, especially by those who are ensconced in the informal sector…who would not want things to change. But, informality must end in this country in every single form,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

Mr. Holness said while he understands the culture of informality, he has to think of the greater good as leader of the country.

The Prime Minister said he is now ready to build that road of partnership, equity and fairness, and to empower Jamaicans, so they can achieve prosperity.

“There will be no need for any citizen to feel the necessity to hide from the State in the informal sector. So, we will implement for every single Jamaican, the national identification system which will form the base of a new digital system where we can have ease of transactions, and this will help us to reduce costs and improve efficiency,” Mr. Holness  said.