Government to use digital economy to advance and safeguard Dominica’s future

The government is hoping that the implementation of a Digital Economy will advance and safeguard Dominica’s future.

Digital Economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies, although people increasingly perceive this as conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said at a press briefing on Monday, that the Digital Economy forms part of a number of important blocks for the creation of a Dynamic Dominica.

“We believe that this is a very important announcement by the government sharing with the public its plans to implement a very critical aspect of the government’s efforts towards the creation of, first of all, the overarching vision of creating a resilient nation, but also creating the dynamic Dominica,” he said.

Firms like the World Bank according to Skerrit played an important role in the formulation of Dominica’s Digital Economy.

 “…We have been in engagement with the World Bank over a period of time to seek their assistance in providing both technical and financial resources in order to help us fashion that plan of a digital economy,” he said.

According to Skerrit, the World Bank was also contacted, “to see if they can provide us with some of the resources required to put the various building blocks in place to allow us to realize that very important objective of the government.”

Just last week, the Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance -who is also the prime minister-to contract a highly concessionary loan of EC$53 million or US$20 to help Dominica to implement the various building blocks.

“We believe that this is of extreme importance to the country, because if we are successful in implementing this strategy there would be many attendant benefits to it,” Skerrit said.

He is of the belief that it would make Dominica more efficient, more attractive to foreign direct investment, provide better paying jobs, especially for young professionals.

“It will also improve the efficiency for how government conducts business,” he said.

He also believes that this approach will make the economy a bit more resilient.

The prime minister called on young people to embrace this opportunity.

“We have to continue empowering young people as I have done in the formulation of the Cabinet, bringing in young talented people to help to create the dynamic Dominica, to help build a resilient nation,” he stated.

Adding, “young people cannot just sit down on Facebook, on social media and criticize, come in and work. We are challenging young people who believe they have the talent, skills, competences…”

Prime Minister Skerrit revealed that very soon an announcement will be sent out with an application where interested persons can apply. One of the requirements is the interested applicants must be 35 years and under.

“I believe if we can get this right, we will address a number of critical issues in Dominica,” he said.

Meantime, Minister for Public Works and the Digital Economy, Senator Cassanni Laville said a digitally transformed Dominica will drive economic growth, provide convenience to people here and abroad who wants to transact business in Dominica.

Minister for Public Works and the Digital Economy, Senator Cassanni Laville

“It will reduce time and cost of doing business and will improve overall service delivery,” he stated.

He said this digital economy transformation is along the critical path of the country’s sustainable development.

Laville said further that numerous stakeholders have been engaged including the World Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), various ministries, organizations and the private sector to investigate the challenges and develop initiatives.

“This assessment to our digital economy revealed challenges associated with geographic remoteness,” he noted.

The Digital Economy will allow every individual and company to have access to high-speed internet, low cost and reliable broadband services to enhance overall connectivity and communication.

And according to Laville, “the availability of digital financial services to ensure that every individual, business and government can carry our financial transactions digitally including E-payments and transactions accounts.”

Enhancing skills by ensuring that every individual is able to access digital services and commerce forms part of the key components, Laville added.

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    February 6, 2020

    In all of my years, from the time I was able to understand the English language, I been listening to Dominicans talk.
    Indeed the majority speaks words to impress the less fortunate, and the uneducated!
    Politicians spew words, using terminologies they believe most Dominicans cannot understand; hence their words are only sweet sounding music to their ear.

    This morning I read on DNO where this joke speaks of some “blue economy.” No longer is his focus on “first resilient country in the world;” anything nonsensical to deflect from his corruption and incompetence he indulges.
    In the meanwhile Dominica remains the poorest, most backward place on the planet.

    Read the following audience, and draw your own conclusion; which cannot be anything else than Roosevelt garbage talk!
    Ours, is a passport sale  economy!
    Digital economy implies; all of those economic processes, transactions, interactions and activities that are based on digital technologies.
    The digital economy is…

  2. Roger Burnett
    February 5, 2020

    If Dominica was a barren island devoid of all natural resources, I could understand how we would need to resort to initiatives such as this.

    But our natural resources that are there for the asking, are ignored and considered worthless. It is these natural attributes that could best advance and safeguard Dominica’s future.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      February 6, 2020

      Roger, Roosevelt is talking bull-crap.

      You know its like this; Dominicans believe in obeah; so they go to the obeah-man, and pay him/her their money, he gives them some sort of trash and suggest they go home and do whatever with it; only to find out they did not get any result.

      So they return to the voodoo man/woman and tells them it did not work; the voodoo witch doctor quickly tell the poor idiot: well, it did not work because you did not use it as I instructed you.

      Roosevelt is into voodoo talk and promises, in his case all of his suggestions be it ” blue economy” or ” digital economy” involved scientific procedures.

      So, one must asks what sort of science is Roosevelt into and what scientific method he is implementing to accomplish his blue, and digital economy?

      Dominica is doomed under Roosevelt; nevertheless; they say the masses has spoken last election; if all the masses want is decaying baloney talk from a crook, that’s their funeral!

  3. Original
    February 4, 2020

    This is a service which has to service some other activity, which seems that the government is only interested in facilitating the economic citizens, we in Dominica need tangible businesses which could create employment and expand the economy like agriculture, the world needs food! Caricom needs food instead of importing all this food products from extra regional markets. I think government should subsidize the electrical company in order to reduce the cost of production hence allowing persons to invest and grow the economy which in turn could reduce brain drain and other negative socioeconomic effects.

  4. Casio
    February 4, 2020

    All dem man looking like something wrong. See their faces. Who looking like they not sure if they turn off the stove before they left the house, who have a mal kaka, who just NOT believing the words the pm saying, and who just not believing the PM just made him say those words. NOW!, in 2020 when the average merchant doesnt even do card machine, when all banks close at 2pm and dont open on weekends, when the banks refuse to put more ATM’s around the island, when the world is moving away from cash and even the use of cards, you want to embark on something we are nowhere near to being ready for. In the east, money isnt even used. all bank info is linked to your phone. We have a daughter of the soil who is very involved in Bitcoin (Adella Toulon), she tried to interest Dominica but we are a country of hard ears people. He have to feel it until it is too late before we like to play interested. This wont save our economy btw. not by a long shot. You have a better chance at legalizing…

  5. zero plus zero = 0
    February 4, 2020

    After 15 years of lies, deception, failure and propaganda, they indirectly admitted they CANNOT DO the job.
    After 15 years of attack on agriculture, all they did in that press conference was to indirectly inform us that they agree agriculture is dead and can’t do the job!
    After 15 years of a direct attack on Ross University, they finally held a press briefing to inform us that Rosss University is no more and Dominica is on the brink of joining Ross.
    So they killed everything to the point that nothing is working. Skerrit did announce to the world that Dominica was moving from an agriculture economy to that of a service economy but that too died before it was born.
    What they said in the press briefing nou? Talk, talk ,talk with no solution and no directives. We finish boy

  6. william benjamin
    February 4, 2020

    Makes sense and this new capacity is long overdue. But there is no time like the present

  7. jaded
    February 4, 2020

    Great idea, PM. But limiting the age of applicants for the digital economy to 35 years, smacks of age discrimination. That ought to be illegal in Dominica and all over the world.

    Also, are you saying publicly that any IT professional over 35 has nothing to offer? Your comments are regrettable, sir, and I think that you should issue an apology.

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 4, 2020

      Hi Jaded
      I agree with you on that one. Nothing wrong with encouraging the youth but a combination of youth and experience is so important. Not sure we have the luxury of experimentation.

      Yes these days, everything can be challenged legally so the PM needs to be careful on this one but I applaud the vision for taking us on a path of keeping abreast with the rest of the world.

      Someone said here that we are not ready but if we don’t have a vision of where we want to go we will never get ready. I don’t believe I heard it said that we will achieve this next year but we have to start somewhere.

      I haven’t been on this site for a while. Doing some detoxification from the daily poison, so I mistakenly thought that we had learnt some lessons about negativity and its repercussions. Seems not.

    • Ti Garcon
      February 4, 2020

      Its even funnier becuase the age of the minister is 36.

  8. Amarossa
    February 4, 2020

    What did I just read???????
    Too much smoke and mirrors! The government needs to explain its operations and intentions plainly so that the ordinary man on the street can comprehend!

  9. Ras B
    February 4, 2020

    Why do we enjoy talking foolishness to our people? We use terms and expressions deliberately because they sound nice but which we are sure our people cannot relate to and in terms of this figment of a digital economy will never use in their lifetime.

    Though I will admit that based on the way of the world, high-speed internet access will allow for easier access and more efficient trade worldwide; but my question, Is Dominica ready for this? What services do we have to trade? What goods have we developed? What industries and factories do we have? Is this then a case of putting the cart before the horse? or is it hogwash, and nice sounding hot air? I suggest to this Government who is seemingly bankrupt for developmental ideas that they focus on developing what we already have which would be used as a template for further development and sustainability. A water bottling plant, A canning factory, a food drying factory, etc Our economy must be agro-based, that is the hand we were dealt

  10. Off the rails
    February 4, 2020

    I read this with interest and a hearty laugh. I assume a “digital economy” would include ATM machines. For the past 6 months foreign bank cards have not worked in national bank atm machines in Portsmouth. Every day tourists try to get money but cant, guests of kempinski hotel cant get money, the yaughties cant get money. You would think some one would fix this National bank has been told repeatedly but comes up with some muffled circular bs excuse. I have a foreign bank card, Canada in fact, I must travel to Roseau to get cash from Rebublic, cibc, or rbc atm machines. Do we want tourist dollars spent here? Why dont we fix the basic problem?

  11. Satoshi
    February 4, 2020

    Learn about and buy Bitcoin, it will make Dominicans part of the future….

  12. As I see it
    February 4, 2020

    Much was said but nothing was explained by means of application. So say I use my internet to open a passport selling business in Iran and I getting sale, how do I get the money seeing the US is tracking everything, even if I was to use a gas station account? Please be a little more information thanks

  13. So Sad
    February 4, 2020

    None of these clowns in the picture, including the ‘Chief Economist’ have the faintest idea what they are talking about. Digital economy… my foot! They couldn’t organise a drink up in a rum shop let alone anything else. But there they all are managing to keep a straight face. OMG

  14. February 4, 2020

    Good! With Dominica’s tax free corporations for international businesses, I’ve long believed that we could become an attractive location for e-commerce companies, which would spur the private sector employment that our economy desperately needs. The unreliable electricity and lack of access to a VC infrastructure are challenges, but not insurmountable ones. From there it’s primarily a matter of marketing. It can be done.

  15. RastarMarn
    February 3, 2020

    Aright Skerrit so Marn not no Scholar Marn Didn’t go College and almost didn’t graduate HighSchool but What the @#S you saying about this Digital economy there nuh,,,

    So what you trying to say, cause you didn’t really say anything with all that is: Dominica is going to do what???

    Up till Now Marn still looking to see what exactly allyou going to bring in terms of Digital Economy, what exactly allyou going to do to bring in Income!!!

    The last time allyou tried this IMF doh shut allyou Down, and US Treasury put allyou on Black List when allyou tried to get out of hand with offshore banking, so what exactly allyou have plans for,,,

    In every Venture Smart people does have a Business Plan and where they outline their Return on investment, if allyou say allyou have tings in place can DNO get the feasibility reports???

  16. Shaka zulu
    February 3, 2020

    Reading this just sounds like a few folks trying to make up crap and they have no clue what they are talking about. eg “We believe that this is a very important announcement by the government sharing with the public its plans to implement a very critical aspect of the government’s efforts towards the creation of, first of all, the overarching vision of creating a resilient nation, but also creating the dynamic Dominica,” he said.” Pure gibberish!! Nothing in there points out how this helps young people so they just hear digital economy and it sounds fancy so jump in. Just like psychology. Sounds fancy so people going study. Cabinet had no choice with a 53 million loan. Is it cabinet members paying the loan back or CBI money or the public.

  17. dissident
    February 3, 2020

    a US $20 million loan eh?
    neither Casani nor Skerrit have given any details on exactly what, how nor where this money will be used.
    de Cabinet members behind Skwrrit don’t look to enthusiastic either.
    it’s not like Skerrit just made an announcement to raise de minimum wage to $10

    sounds like a scheme to lock down minds in one block space
    is this part of a national program with a particular goal or objective?……no details
    de man already permission to take a loan under our economic circumstances

    so de middle class have de responsibility to pay back dat money?

  18. Alibaba & the forty thieves
    February 3, 2020

    When all doors are closed and road blocks all around, stealing through internet might be the safest thing for now. But remember the thief only has 99 days to steal but only one day to be caught. But when he is caught he will pay sevenfold. The thief comes to steal kill and destroy jn. 10:10

  19. So it goes
    February 3, 2020

    This government was responsible for establishing the Business Gateway project and the e-Business Incubator project – both of which were funded by huge amounts of European Union money, both of which failed miserably and have been long forgotten. So here we are again, doing the same thing and wasting more money. The answer is agriculture, and it has always been agriculture. Build receiving stations, buy refrigerated boats, create regional markets, encourage diversity, support agro-processing. The only thing this country produces now is words; we don’t even make our own beer. It is shameful. We should be the bread basket of the eastern Caribbean.

  20. Real Life
    February 3, 2020

    Before I say anything please let me share with you a real story:
    Once upon a time there lived a very good thief that had the gift of stealing. He stole in broad daylight as well as when security guards were present. Since no one knew who that thief was banks came with an idea to build burglar bars all around and keep guards by every door 24/7. But no matter what they tried the thief kept outsmarting them and kept stealing. They kept firing those guards because they said he maybe has a deal with them; but that to failed. Finally they found out that there was a rat in the building that was trained to steal and brought everything to its owner, through an underground funnel. So they set up the rat until he told them he was stealing for Alibaba. Needless to say Alibaba was caught and was given life sentence. The application:
    So let’s say the partner is surrounded by FBI and others, all banks scared of their dirty money, and they scared of doing wire transfer. So connect the dots.

  21. Paskie
    February 3, 2020

    Great idea. Wonderful initiative. But once again you’re blocking a hole that doesn’t need blocking. Let me throw you a bone 🦴. Cause it seems you need it. Give dcan manufacturers and new emerging manufacturers a 3 year tax exemption on the port to bring in their machinery so that they can produce the same things that we import from overseas. That will block the holes in our economy and then money can finally circulate in dca.

  22. dee
    February 3, 2020

    Brilliant ambition , enhancing digital technology .
    Amazingly I never heard anything about any millions of loan when monies were being splashed all over the place recently .
    5 more years allu Dominicans wanted , allu well start the sousaying of the sell,
    Generations to come will never forgive you Guys for what they will be inheriting and will prevent allu from resting in peace . Trust me

  23. REAL!!!!!
    February 3, 2020

    I believe the platform of Digitized Economy should start in the GOVT services which should focus on digitizing for the ease of doing business with GOVT entities.

    As of now it is like a Calculus equation to do business at the GOVT services in Dominica.

    Then once this is perfected we can move on to the creating a digitized platform to support the private sector to spur e-Commerce development.

  24. Fredrick
    February 3, 2020

    Boss the best thing all you can do now is to move allu expired rass out of there.. 20 years is enough… All u expired young people running oversess seeking better paying job… What u fools have to offer???

  25. Ti Garcon
    February 3, 2020

    As much as this is a good idea to expedite the process of doing business in Dominica, the gov’t is taking a $53 million loan and comments after the fact without debating in parliament or giving the public relevant info. But i guess its skerrits personal loan and he alone paying for it.
    And what is this ‘ interested applicants must be 35 years and under.’?
    Either way, after 15yrs of no geothermal, 20yrs of no airport and the like, i expect nothing to come out of this. I’m guess these curaides are just part of the first 100 days show, maybe they’ll be 50% into starting by the time 2024 elections rolls in.

  26. Not A Herd Follower
    February 3, 2020

    I am tired of hearing this empty rhetoric of economic transformation. Worn out rhetoric. The last twenty years have proved the inability of the DLP to bring any lasting positive transformation to Dominica. Dominica is just languishing, as the Senior Minister has admitted. With no major production and exports to generate its own income, the country is accumulating debt. The prospects of the crisis in public finance that was experienced in the early years of the 21st century returning is getting more and more real.

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