The Government of The Bahamas’ commitment to the prominence of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) as articulated in its Blueprint for Change is palpable (appreciable), Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip E. Davis, Q.C., told delegates attending the Caribbean Telecommunications Union ICT Week Bahamas 2022, September 5-9, at Margaritaville Beach Resort.
The Prime Minister said the government has already undertaken a number of initiatives that are part of an overarching plan of his Administration to create a thriving digital society in-country, while simultaneously building stronger communities throughout The Bahamas.
Mr. Davis said the August (13, 2022) launch of the Park Connect Project, which will provide free Wi-Fi to citizens throughout the country, was significant to the overall plan as it will help to better support E-government services, while providing greater access to education and skills development.
“We were able to partner with Internet Service Providers such as The Bahamas Telecommunications Company and Cable Bahamas Limited to make free Wi-Fi in Public Parks and community centres a reality. The recommissioning and upgrading of 47 public parks in this pilot project, is in keeping with my Government’s goals of creating both a thriving digital society and stronger communities,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“The launch of Park Connect Free Wi-Fi access throughout The Bahamas will better support the delivery of E-government services and provide greater access to education and skills development. As a part of a larger digital transformation strategy for The Bahamas, it also lays at the heart of the CTU’s vision of ‘Connectivity for All.’”
Prime Minister Davis outlined a number of the initiatives that have either been already undertaken by his Administration, or are objectives of his Administration, in this regard. This includes facilitating Data Acceleration Technology to create a new Agency to accelerate the digitization of existing industries to increase productivity, efficiencies and new revenue opportunities.
Prime Minister Davis said his Administration is also creating The Bahamas Digital Academy for Civil Servants to upskill themselves, E-Complaint Interface, E-Citizen and E-Business Initiatives, Tax Database for Land, Building Tax and VAT Collection, E-Work Permits, Smart Cards and Government Procurement Platform.
“Some of the key objectives are as follows: Digital Transformation: E-Bahamas Revolution; fostering a digital economy, providing a regulated environment for crypto currency and block chain technology; Establishing a high Technology Zone for Technology Entrepreneurs; Digital 700, creating a comprehensive Economic Digitization Plan. Implementing a Digital 700 App Portal, developing digital transformational governance guidelines to make digital policy a priority.”
The Prime Minister said the country’s ICT transformation will be methodical and deliberate.