articles | 09 June 2021

Cyprus unveils €280m digital blueprint

Cyprus will move up several gears to digitalise its economy, with a €283 million EU-backed recovery fund, while teaming up with Estonia, considered the champion of e-government.

During a press conference with Innovation Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos on Tuesday, President Nicos Anastasiades said Cyprus would be investing in connectivity infrastructure with help from Estonia.

Anastasiades is to visit Estonia in the coming weeks, where the two countries will sign an updated Memorandum of Cooperation in e-government, information, and communication technologies.

Referring to the EU-backed recovery and resilience funded “Cyprus – Tomorrow” Plan, Anastasiades said it would upgrade infrastructure and promote e-government as part of the digital transformation.

Cyprus’ digitalisation plan falls within the EU’s 2030 goals to make the bloc a leader in the digital sector with a minimum 20% of funds invested in digital activity.

“The pandemic has shown the need to accelerate digital reform as an important pillar so that we can meet the expectations of citizens and align ourselves with the requirements of our times,” Anastasiades said.

Reforms and investments are earmarked for e-government, e-justice, cross-border e-health, boosting broadband, a digital link between Cyprus and Greece with a submarine optic cable, and the creation of smart cities.

Some €170 million is targeted for e-government and modernisation of the public service, €53 million for strengthening connectivity and broadband infrastructure), €20 million for projects on upgrading digital skills of society, €35 million for the creation of smart cities, and €88 million to promote innovative entrepreneurship.

Anastasiades called on social partners and the political parties to cooperate with the government to modernise the country.

Kokkinos said that “an ambitious and comprehensive action plan has been drawn up”.

“A great challenge, as it provides a holistic transformation of the model of operation we follow as a state and as a society.”

He argued that a strong, clear strategy, proper planning of needs and priorities, careful implementation and adequate allocation of resources and tools would be required.

“But above all, it requires readiness and support from the whole of society,” said Kokkinos.

Source: Financial Mirror

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