KINGSTON, Jamaica (Thursday, January 28, 2021) — Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says a Cabinet committee is being established to review the government’s implementation of recommendations, contained in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force report.
The task force was convened by Holness, to assist in piloting Jamaica’s recovery from the economic fallout, resulting from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Prime Minister said that work to implement the recommendations is under way in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, noting that portfolio Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, who Chaired the 28-member multi-stakeholder group, has initiated key performance indicators for the Ministry.
Additionally, he mentioned that the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology has begun work, to create the proposed broadband network, island-wide, to bolster Internet connectivity.
The Prime Minister made his comments, while addressing the opening ceremony for the 16th Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference, on Monday.
He noted that the task force report, which was tabled in Parliament in July 2020, provides a blueprint for Jamaica’s post-coronavirus recovery, and the review process aims “to ensure that we are getting this done”.
He said that the document represents the “collective wisdom” of members of the Cabinet, and stakeholders from academia, business, trade unions, and civil society.
“Because it is truly a consummate and comprehensive roadmap for Jamaica’s recovery, I believe we may have to call upon [the] private sector and civil society, to also be a kind of public voice about the government’s performance on the commitments that were made by the task force,” he explained.
Among the key recommendations in the report is, fast-tracking the vision of Jamaica becoming a digital society.
“We have started to put in place, the measures for the physical infrastructure, as well as the human capital development that is required to have this done,” the Prime Minister noted.
He said that the new National Identification System (NIDS) Bill, which is expected to be passed into law this year, is an important element in creating the digital society.
He stated that the national identification framework, “is not just about identity, but also about providing the various government agencies with the digital infrastructure to join databases”.
Holness pointed out that work has also started, to expand broadband Internet access to underserved communities, across the island, and plans are being pursued to create a broadband backbone to facilitate island-wide coverage.
He further cited the move to equip Jamaicans with coding skills, through the establishment of a coding academy, under partnership between the HEART/NSTA Trust and the Amber Group.
The three-day JSE Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference was hosted — physically and virtually — from The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, between January 26 and 28, under the theme, ‘Restructuring, Restoring and Renewing: Re-connecting the Pillars of the Capital Markets’.