Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 15, 2017 (SKNIS): The launch of five new interactive mobile apps forms part of the government’s strategy to strengthen Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in St. Kitts and Nevis and increase the exchange of information, said the Honourable Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister.

The five apps include SKN Shopper App, which allows persons to get a broader perspective on goods sold in supermarkets by comparing costs across the federation and highlighting the best ones; SKNIS (St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service) App which is the portal to public service information, news and information from the government; the Government Directory App, allows for persons to easily find contact information for any ministry, department, agency, unit or statutory corporation of the government; the Crime Reporter App allows for persons to report offences to the police; and the Government Events App will cater to those who want to stay up to date with the calendar of national events.

Speaking at the e-Government Mobile Application Launch on Wednesday, February 15, at the Ocean Terrace Inn, the deputy prime minister described the apps as important, adding that the initiative is part of the government’s mandate of bringing the people of St. Kitts and Nevis together, while improving their standard of living.

“We are here launching five new e-Government apps, five apps that we consider to be extremely important. If we are looking at the ease of doing business with the government, the apps become important,” said Minister Richards. “Information Technology is driving today’s world and the government cannot be left behind in taking advantage of the use of such technology. In particular, we did indicate that it was our intentions to improve the general life of persons here in St. Kitts and Nevis, more specifically though, we indicated that of course we would want to improve the relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis, we would want to improve the economic circumstances for all persons; we would want to ensure that in terms of doing business with St. Kitts and Nevis that we improve our ranking; we want to make our society one that is more computer literate, taking advantage of ICT.”

Minister Richards commended all including the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, Minister of Communication, and his staff and Stachio Williams of Open Interactive and his team who played an integral part in making sure that the apps were created and ready to launch.

Minister Byron used the occasion to highlight the local talents.

“It is important to understand that these five apps that we have looked at have been developed here in St. Kitts and Nevis by young people working with Open Interactive. It is something remarkable and it is just the beginning of what we see as a very dynamic and important sector in our country that we hope will evolve and be able to be pointed out as an area that we can rely on to help our economic growth, to give opportunities to young people, to business people and to those who want to start business,” said Minister Byron.

The minister of communication said that the federation’s journey towards e-government began some 10 years ago with the launch of a National ICT Strategic Plan.

“Since then this plan has served as a means to engage the achievement of objectives such as achieving greater efficiency and transparency in the public sector,” he said. “This of course fits very well with the theme that our Team Unity Government has set for itself and that is of good governance in this country – that we be transparent, that we have greater efficiency and accountability to the people.”