President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that the Colombian government will spend nearly $3 billion on communication infrastructure over the next four years.
The money will be invested as a part of Plan Digital Live, which seeks to stimulate networks of information technology across all of Colombia’s social classes. Santos said the plan will boost the available services, and promote the communications industry.
“To realize this strategy, we will build what we call a Digital Ecosystem, that is, an environment of sustainable technological development,” Santos said in a statement delivered at the International Congress of Andicom, Colombia’s information technology congress. Santos, who was supposed to attend the conference, delivered the plan in a statement from Argentina, where he is attending the funeral of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.
Santos emphasized the importance of making information technology resources available to all Colombian citizens.
“We call this a cross-cutting tool of prosperity,” Santos said. “With Digital Live, the government intends to integrate information technology and communications in every sector of national life and invite local leaders to become an active part of this plan.”
The president added that he seeks to expand the Government Online program, which gives citizens more direct access to government offices via the Internet. Santos hopes this method will increase the efficiency of public administration and his government’s ability to communicate with citizens.
The government recently launched the Glass Box Initiative, which seeks to give citizens more ways to use technology to express their opinions and provide suggestions to the government. Santos said the first three weeks of the program saw 30,000 independent participants.