Haiti - Technology : Speech of Martelly, «Technology Week»
Speech of President Martelly :
"During my campaign I promised that the Information and Communications Technology, the ITC, would be one of my warhorse. Why this emphasis on technology? In the 21st century, no economic development in Haiti, can not be conceived without a diversification of the economy, without the modernization of its state structures, currents of thought, management tools, without exploiting the new opportunities offered in particular by the ICT. We must think outside the box so that our agriculture become strong, the tourism flourishing, our outsourcing industries diversified and competitive. For this, we must be able to have communications infrastructure and information networks modern, reliable and affordable.
To reduce the unemployment rate, it is necessary that we can create opportunities, the emergence of young technology companies, innovative and that creates a value added.
We are already seeing the change, the telecommunications sector is now the largest contributor in terms of tax revenue for the state and the largest employer in terms of direct and indirect employees. However, we have only scratched the opportunities of the ICT sector. The technology services industry is still virgin, where are the Haitian Facebook, Twitter and Amazon ? Where are the multiple Haitian businesses based on technology, to redefine entire industries, as we saw in the world of the travel industry, publishing, journalism and more recently of the bank. The revolution of information, has still many good days ahead and we must embark on the train now.
The break with the old system, that I had mentioned, necessarily requires an increased use of technology. Under my presidency and in the sector of the ICTs, I would have three main axes of intervention :
1- The modernization of the state by the introduction of technological tools making the management of the state more effective, more efficient while improving the quality of public services to citizens.
2- The creation of jobs and businesses in the ICT sector by encouraging local and foreign investments in order to diversify the economy, to stimulates the innovation, particularly among young people, who constitute the majority of the population and represent the future of the country.
3- The modernization of the business environment and infrastructure, necessary for the emergence and the development of a true information society.
The modernization of the state :
A State which does not have a modern management tools and an electronic information system and interconnected, can claim to provide good services to citizens or reduce waste and corruption. In the absence of reliable and available information on time and in real time it is difficult to make optimal decisions. Now, to complete a formality, the citizen must lose several hours or even days in the bend of the public administration. The things must spend the day to up and down, pay to 10 locations in 10 different offices, bring the papers to right to left... This must stop ! The public service must focus on people, not themselves. The citizen must approach the management of public affairs, having at its disposal, more direct ways to get their wishes. Thus, to make these changes, I already have on the Prime Minister's Office, a contract to sign with the IDB for the implementation of an e-government platform, results of the work of Haitian and foreign experts, which will revolutionize the relationship between the state and citizen and the functioning of the public administration itself.
Creation of jobs and businesses :
In the ICT sector, the recovery of the Haitian economy and the breaking the cycle of poverty, go through major local and foreign investment, but also a culture of entrepreneurship and of innovation, fostering the emergence of a dense network of businesses of all sizes. ICT sectors have the advantage of being based mainly on brainpower and innovative ideas. Thus, this sector has particularities that stick well with the characteristics of the Haitian people, a young population whose the creativity is recognized.
As I said on the day of my inauguration, "Haiti is open for Business" and my administration will endeavor to maintain an environment conducive to business and to secure the investments.
Business Environment and Infrastructure :
The legal and institutional framework of the ICT sector will be a major project of my presidency, indeed, we must adapt our laws to support the modernization of the state and electronic transactions. My team already have in hand legislative texts, a draft law on telecommunications, which will replace the current law dating from 1977, a draft law on electronic signature adapting the law of evidence to the Information and Communications Technology a draft order for the application of the law on electronic signatures, a draft law on electronic exchanges and a draft law on e-government.
These texts are just waiting for the ratification of the Prime Minister and the installation of the Government to be submitted to Parliament.
In conclusion, President holder of a change, I declare that the time for action is not a utopia. We had in the past, the most advanced station of telecommunications in the Caribbean. We introduced color television, the first in the Caribbean. We were the pioneers of the use of spread spectrum in 1994 to give access to the wireless internet and in the 2000s for the deployment of Wimax in the Caribbean. Today we are the first in Latin America to deploy mobile payment services. Yes dear friends, since the independence we have achieved many firsts, but we just stopped a little on the way... So we must get back to work, by democratizing access to ICTs and in maximizing their socio-economic benefits, we will make of them, tools to fight against poverty, against the social injustice, against the school injustice, against the monopoly of the information and of the knowledge and finally for a new Haiti, prosperous and just."