NICOSIA - A high percentage of Cypriots, 36.3%, have never used the internet because they lack the skills, they don`t believe is a necessity and also because of high cost. The percentage of EU citizens who haven’t used the internet is 22.4%.
Speaking Friday during a press conference at the Presidential Palace, Governent Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Permanent Secretary of Commerce Ministry Stelios Chimonas presented the action plan for the digital governance in Cyprus. Chimonas was appointed by the Cabinet as Cyprus’ Digital Champion. A Digital Champion is appointed by each Member State and they work with citizens, communities and businesses to exploit the growth potential of the digital economy.
According to Spokesman, Cyprus is at very low places in the EU as regards the use of digital technology, pointing out that studies have shown that in the near future, 90% of all job vacancies will require some level of digital knowledge.
Stylianides said that the challenge is to achieve more with less resources, pointing out that the inclusion of digital technology is the key for Cyprus to exit the crisis and restart its economy.
According to the Spokesman, the wide usage of technology can increase the country’s GDP, can promote growth, create jobs and also upgrade the services Cyprus offer in the fields of tourism, health, education and investments.
Cyprus’ Digital Champion Stelios Chimonas said that the contribution of digital technology to the GDP can vary from 10-30% in more developed countries and 1-5% in developing countries.
He said that between 2005-2012 the percentage of Cypriot households who had access to the internet has increased, however it remains low in compare to the EU statistics.
He referred to the role the e-governance can play , noting that a lots needs to be done in the public sector in order to cut down the administrative cost.
He said that the plans is to have free access to the internet in rural and urban areas and to create the Cyprus version of Wikipedia with data exclusively about Cyprus.