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Embrace technology

Minister Inniss urges state to utilize tech

Minister of International Business and Commerce Donville Inniss is insisting that the state must embrace and employ the latest in technology if it is serious about making it easier for individuals to do business.

He has also urged parents to stop limiting their children’s use of new technology and gadgets and instead allow them to explore.

Inniss made the comments as he addressed the official reopening of the PromoTech Inc. store at the Dome Mall in Warrens last night.

Minister of International Trade Donville Inniss

Minister of International Business and Commerce Donville Inniss

“If we are going to be a lot more serious about making it easier for individuals to do business with the state, then the state has to embrace and deploy the latest in technology. Quite frankly, it is not nice to know that people have to spend hours standing in line to pay a bill to Government that they are required to pay,” he said.

“This is not a criticism of any ministry. The simple reality about it is that the state has to do better and more at the utilization and deployment of technology. We simply have to, in this society, stop talking about the importance of technology and embrace it.

“I am deeply troubled that in spite of the fact that we are perhaps the most wireless society in the Western Hemisphere –– when you look at the number of cell phones available in Barbados . . . the penetration of Internet in the households –– [and] we are the number three in the Western Hemisphere when it comes to access to the Internet and access to technology, that we are not always using it in a manner that leads to the highest level of productivity in this society. I think we can do better,” Inniss added.

The Minister said he was also concerned that parents were not allowing their children to fully explore the world of technology.

“Using these technologies, we may be fostering and developing the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, or a new technologist. I am not saying that you don’t tell them to read and write and do arithmetic. That is very important . . . ,” he said.

“While the fundamentals of our education system must remain intact, we must ensure that our young people have access to the technology as well that they can use in a very positive manner.”

He also called on the wider population to embrace individuals who choose a career path in the field of information and communication technology.

Inniss said the state would continue to ensure that the support systems and hardware necessary were available “at an affordable price where possible”, as well as create an enabling environment.

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