It was announced on the 23rd October 2019, that a study will be prepared by a reputable audit firm, with the aim to update Cyprus’ digital strategy plan. This action plan will help bridge the digital divide that currently separates the country from most EU member states (http://www.philenews.com/koinonia/eidiseis/article/805140/schediazoyn-tin-psifiaki-kypro).
Τhe study, which is expected to be completed in June 2020, will set out specific goals, measures, actions and the roadmap, that are required for Cyprus to continue its transition into the digital age, in the coming years.
This will offer new prospects for growth and progress for both citizens and businesses, as well as enhance the services offered in areas such as health, education, tourism and investment.
Although the Deputy Ministry of Innovation and Digital Policy is not yet set up, but it is imminent, following the Cabinet’s approval of a bill on the 4th September 2019, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works decided to commission this study (https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/09/04/cabinet-approves-bill-for-deputy-innovation-ministry/).
This is in order to save valuable time – the study to be handed immediately to the Deputy Ministry, as soon as it is established, and to begin implementing the digital strategy plan (http://www.philenews.com/koinonia/eidiseis/article/805140/schediazoyn-tin-psifiaki-kypro).
In light of the above, a special committee has been set up, to monitor the progress of this project. This committee is chaired by the Minister of Transport, Vassiliki Anastasiadou, and its participating members include the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, the Commissioner for Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation, the leading scientist for Research and Innovation, and the Director of the Department of Electronic Communications.
The digital strategy action plan, for the years 2018-2020, is already in the process of being implemented and, as stated by Mrs. Anastasiadou, on the 22nd October 2019, projects in excess of EUR 200 million have been promoted.
This runs parallel with the fact that the 4th Industrial Revolution, Next Generation Networks, 5G and new forms of energy will shape investment for Cyprus (https://inbusinessnews.reporter.com.cy/financials/cyprus/article/227039/i-pantoleon-diktya-neas-gnias-5g-kai-oi-nees-morfes-energias-tha-epireasoyn-tis-ependyseis).
The three-year strategic objectives are approached by six areas of intervention, which includes the connection of Cyprus. More specifically, by 2020, all Cypriot households and businesses are guaranteed to have internet access, at speeds of at least 30Mbps, although it is expected that most will have internet connections, at speeds of above 100 Mbps (http://www.philenews.com/koinonia/eidiseis/article/805140/schediazoyn-tin-psifiaki-kypro).
Other areas of intervention include the modernisation of public administration and provision of public electronic services. Public services can better serve the citizen and businesses, by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and significantly reduce the running costs of public administration. Alongside this, it will reduce bureaucracy and, at the same time, increase the productivity of civil servants.
The objectives will also focus on the involvement of all citizens, including vulnerable groups, in digital Cyprus; digital education and learning; digital entrepreneurship and; promotion of ecological technologies.