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Jamaican government inks partnership with World Bank’s IFC for National Broadband Project

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Nigel Clarke has officially entered into a financial advisory services agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector subsidiary of the World Bank. 

This groundbreaking agreement is a pivotal step in the development and structuring of the National Broadband Project, set to be established as a dynamic public-private partnership (PPP).

Inking the deal at COP 28

This significant milestone was achieved during a momentous signing ceremony that unfolded on a Monday morning, within the bustling backdrop of the 28th session of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 28) held in Dubai.

Building the digital future

During the signing ceremony, Dr. Clarke emphasized the Jamaican government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring equitable access to affordable, dependable, and high-speed broadband services for all its citizens. 

He echoed the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, underscoring the critical role that accessible broadband plays in transforming the nation into a digital society poised for heightened productivity and accelerated growth.

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A collaborative approach for broadband accessibility

Dr. Clarke further elucidated, stating, “This is an essential building block of the transformation to a digital society which, in turn, promises to unleash greater productivity and faster growth. However, this vision cannot be affordably realised if all broadband providers have to reach all homes, entirely on their own proprietary networks.” 

He emphasized the need for a collaborative effort involving the government, private sector, and the International Finance Corporation. This collaboration aims to spearhead the development of a national broadband PPP, designed to attract well-resourced and technically proficient private investors.

The objective is to create a complementary broadband network accessible to all broadband providers. This network, once established, will facilitate universal and affordable broadband access for all Jamaicans, regardless of their geographical location.

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GovNet: A secure network for the future

Highlighting the Jamaican government’s proactive stance, the statement issued during the signing ceremony disclosed plans to fortify the nation’s broadband infrastructure through GovNet. 

GovNet is envisioned as a secure network platform that will serve all ministries, departments, and agencies.

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