A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between the Government of Belize (GOB) and Microsoft Service at an official ceremony held in Belize City. This agreement marks a new step in a long-term relationship between Belize and global technology giant (Microsoft LLC) to help in meeting government’s National Digital Transformation Goals.
At the last Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (April 27th 2017), Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced GOB’s plan to combat government inefficiency and corruption using digital technology. Microsoft intends to help the Central Information and Technology Office (CITO) develop and deliver on its National Digital Transformation Improvement plan by: consolidating all its existing agreements into one holistic agreement for improved control and better pricing, helping the CITO team towards developing and adopting a cloud strategy and policy, and deploying a solution that will provide a single platform for a more connect, cohesive, collaborative government.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister underscored the multiple benefits of e-governance and technology adoption to national development. He mentioned that the government’s digital agenda includes a re-engineering of processes and ICT systems in all areas of government; in particular those areas that will impact revenue collection and that will improve service delivery. He also affirmed that the digital agenda calls for investment in upgrading the tools that power Belize’s network backbone, but most importantly, an improvement in the skills of Public Officers to adapt to this new way of doing business. Prime Minister Barrow remarked:
“Microsoft has described their efforts with Belize as a lighthouse of sorts. This giant in technology and innovation recognizes that the effort that will be placed will translate into significant gains, not just in economic growth, but also in the expansion of our social agenda in things like education, social services and healthcare. Today we applaud their support and their interest in seeing Belize progress beyond other countries in the region in transformation our country into the future, and we look forward to becoming that true beacon of change in our region.”
The MOU will lead to projects aimed at making Belize more competitive in global scale of economies. The relationship will help Belize to entice new investors to do business that will increase the global and regional index in the ease of doing business in Belize. A transformation will allow the country to reach and make more accessible services to the Diaspora.
“Today’s signing of this memorandum of understanding with the Government of Belize, marks an important step in supporting the government in their digital transformation journey, especially as we see that more and more new technologies contribute to the competitive improvement of national productive industries and strengthen the economic transition process toward an economy based on knowledge and innovation,” commented Angelo Chirico, General Manager, Services for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean.
Signing on behalf of GOB was the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and for Microsoft, Mr. Angelo Chirico, General Manager, Microsoft Service, Latin America. Other esteemed guests present were Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of State for the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Hon. Frank Mena, CEOs of the Government of Belize, and members of the diplomatic corps.