Tue | Nov 30, 2021

Vaz talks technology of the future

Published:Tuesday | April 20, 2021 | 12:10 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz (left) greets Digicel Jamaica CEO Jabbor Kayumov at Digicel Jamaica’s 20th anniversary church service at Fellowship Tabernacle in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew, on Sunday.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz (left) greets Digicel Jamaica CEO Jabbor Kayumov at Digicel Jamaica’s 20th anniversary church service at Fellowship Tabernacle in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew, on Sunday.

Technology Minister Daryl Vaz has challenged Jamaica’s telecommunications providers to keep step with new and emerging technological trends that will both serve our local space and transport the country to new horizons on the global stage.

He said this was absolutely necessary in light of changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has demonstrated in no uncertain manner that the future will continue to be unpredictable.

“A key part of our resilience must be embedded in the emerging technologies and the digital infrastructure that enable adaptability to the unforeseen and complex challenges that typify our current society. The digital era is not defined by geographical limitations. Therefore, as we bridge physical access gaps, our efforts in reducing the digital skill gaps must be at equal pace. Government, together with the private sector, must connect every citizen with the resources to transform their reality and enhance social and economic participation, he said on Sunday.

Investments in digital

Vaz, who delivered the keynote address at Digicel’s 20th anniversary service at the Fellowship Tabernacle in Pembroke Hall, St Andrew, said his administration was aggressively laying the groundwork to facilitate the necessary investments in digital technology.

“The Government is undertaking legislative and policy revisions that will construct a robust digital framework and catalyse inclusive and sustainable growth. Through our policies and programmes, we are working to stimulate increased investments within the private sector to generate increased levels of innovation that will benefit all sectors. Although we have made significant strides, we still have a long road ahead,” he conceded.

“In this regard, we are working to modernise an ICT governance framework and infrastructure. This will enable more technological affordances and facilitate the mainstreaming of a digital culture. Our citizens must be ready for the digital revolution … . In many ways, COVID-19 has confronted us with the inevitable reaction that our telecommunications sector must evolve rapidly,” Vaz said.

He said these new approaches require a shift from meeting demands to pre-empting the needs of a nation and that harnessing the power of technology will aid in our sustainable recovery.

“Remote working and learning digitised business processes are not temporary adjustments, but an indication of the future that is already here. It is our responsibility to create the enabling environment for our telecommunications providers to offer quality services in a way that reduces the dimensions of digital inequality,” the minister said.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com