Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica must fundamentally transform its approach to technology to remain relevant and competitive in the 21st century to compete in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is being accelerated by the pandemic. One would have thought that the pandemic probably would have turned back civilization. What it has done is to intensify the adaptation and mainstreaming of technology. It’s scale, scope, and complexity will transform the world unlike anything we have experienced before,” said Prime Minister Holness at the launch of the Commission last week.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness asserted that Jamaicans must become innovators of technology and must be deliberate and instrumental in developing the skills necessary to be able to compete in the new dynamic that is about to come.
“We need to make the mental shift from merely being users of technology to becoming developers and creators of technology. It may seem like an audacious vision for a small island like Jamaica but in addition to being known for our speed on the track, our music and culture, we must become known for being innovators and creators in science and technology,” said Prime Minister Holness.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, are at the heart of the global technological revolution.
Importantly, Prime Minister Holness noted that when the world moved to the third industrial revolution, Jamaica was just realizing the benefits of the second industrial revolution. In that regard, Jamaica should not miss out on the opportune time to complete globally in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“If we wait around, once again, we will become consumers of these things, and the worry, let me explain it, is that bauxite and tourism will not be able to pay for those goods. So, it means, it is either we don’t consume, or we borrow,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister added that even though there is much work to be done to create the Jamaican with the highest level of socio-emotional intelligence, competencies, and skills, he is confident that Jamaicans can become creators of world-class digital content and survive in the new era.