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Dec 6, 2021

G.O.B. Launches its National Digital Agenda

Today at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, the Government of Belize launched its national digital agenda as the country moves towards a digital Belize. It’s about building trust in government services that are now transitioning to an online platform. News Five’s Duane Moody was in attendance and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

IT is used every day, everywhere by every person – it is our new way of life – for economic purposes, for education, health and the like. The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need for this transition.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that harnessing the power of technology is not a thing of the future, but of the present. How many young people have you seen opening businesses online? That’s what digitization is doing – opening up new opportunities for us, especially for young people who in many instances feel there are not opportunities for them unless if they have access to a lot of cash or credit. How do we maximize our current strengths to capture the hope of a digital nation? The answer lies in our collective action and forward thinking to embed technology at all levels of society to overcome our challenges. Our transformation requires every Belizean, business and government entity to embrace digital as our core. The national digital agenda positions digital transformation and ICT as a core pillar in our new chapter. It represents our unwavering commitment to achieving a Belize that works for everyone.”


The team at the E-Governance Unit under the leadership of Minister Kevin Bernard took a giant leap forward in technology for the country as a national digital platform was launched.  The digital era will allow nationwide access to government services using electronic devices.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of E-Governance

“Government will embrace digitalization as the engine which will empower the provision of all its services and the access to all services offered by government. Digital government on a global scale is designed to strengthen public governance and to make governments more accountable, efficient and effective. Where we are today did not happen overnight and it could not because the transition to a digital government is a monumental undertaking. It was necessary for our team to define a clear governance framework which could only be possible through a mandate from the highest level of this administration.”


The Ministry of Public Service becomes critical in the implementation of the national digital agenda in government services. The goal is to improve compliance in services which will bring better revenue. But are we seeing more money from revenue collection through the e-governance procedures imposed since 2016?


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Public Service Constitutional & Political Reform

“IRIS is a progressive step forward; it is important for citizens here and abroad to be able to pay their taxes online to reduce the wait time, to reduce having to stand in line and so on. But IRIS is not a perfect program as the business owners will tell you. It takes a time to enroll in IRIS, so there is still work to be done. So all the work that e-government spoke about today in launching this digital agenda, a lot of it has started, but it still has to be fine-tuned because we are still seeing some delays.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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