The loan will support the implementation of Trinidad and Tobago’s digital transformation and inclusion strategy, through initiatives that contribute to the digitalization of the State and the use of technology by the productive sector and the general population.
CAF -Development Bank of Latin America- approved a USD 120 million loan for Trinidad and Tobago, destined to accelerate the digitalization of the State and the productive sectors and, in turn, help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and close the country’s digital gaps.
The funds will be managed by the Ministry of Finance, with the technical support of the Ministry of Digital Transformation and will support initiatives related to regulatory and institutional changes, management, and planning. The Programme aims to promote actions in the following fields:
- Digital government: Creation of an institutional and public policy framework for the digitization of the State, with initiatives such as the development of a cybersecurity strategy, updating of service platforms for citizens, interoperability between ministries, a digital identification project, investment in a data center, development of a government cloud and an ecosystem for online tax payments, among others.
- Digital economy: Support the strategic objective of increasing the contribution of the ICT sector to GDP and consider digital solutions for the development of productive sectors, such as the development of blockchain technologies for the agricultural sector and digital payment systems, use of ICT for climate resilience, the creation of a software developers’ hub, among others.
- Digital society: Initiatives to massify access to ICTs, by fostering the digital inclusion of the population with less access. It seeks to support digital literacy and capacity building in excluded communities, as well as to invest in infrastructure for isolated areas and the provision of free Wi-Fi.
“This loan adds to the efforts of the government of Trinidad and Tobago to close the digital divide, promote the information society and the expansion of the digital ecosystem in the country. CAF will not only support these efforts through the loan, but also with technical assistance for digital transformation in the financial, educational, agricultural, and tax collection sectors,” said Sergio Díaz-Granados, Executive President of CAF.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has set the digital agenda as an overarching topic of its 2030 Vision development plan, which includes the improvement of public service through e-Government, the digitization of the productive sector and closing technological gaps.
In the last six years (2016-2021), CAF approved operations for Trinidad and Tobago for a total of USD 1.3 billion, and during the same period, it has disbursed USD 1.2 billion in priority sectors for the country. CAF’s portfolio went from USD 300 million in 2017 to USD 1.16 billion in 2021.