Guatemala will advance towards digital transformation and citizens’ access to fixed and mobile broadband connectivity with help from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
With a $70 million investment –$45 million from the Bank’s ordinary capital and $25 million from the Korea Infrastructure Development Cofinancing Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean (KIF)–, the program will boost the country’s institutional and operational capacity, paving the way for the development of a digital agenda and enhanced connectivity by improving conditions for the adoption of digital infrastructure solutions.
One of the operation’s main goals is to expand and equip access networks, connecting more than 3,200 public sites through existing infrastructure and the outfitting of necessary telecommunications equipment. It will also install a state-run datacenter in accordance with good practices for broadband network security and efficiency, and implement a private cloud for the state, which will store and process public data that will be used to develop platforms for public service delivery.
In addition, it will finance the development of digital training sessions on the use of the technology and equipment for the public facilities connected to the network, with the goal of training trainers who will then conduct courses and workshops to help civil servants and officials as well as public users develop digital skills. The program will give special attention to the country’s cultural diversity, with a strong emphasis on giving priority to women in the digital training process and on producing content in indigenous languages.
In order to strengthen the institutional framework and operational capacity for developing the digital agenda, a new management structure for the Office of the Deputy Minister of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing will be designed to identify new departments whose goals will include ensuring successful implementation of the digital agenda and the sustainability of the public telecommunications policy.
The program’s beneficiaries will be schools and public agencies connected to the network as well as students and members of the general public who make use of access to digital services at the connected public facilities in the departments of Quiché, Alta Verapaz, San Marcos, and Huehuetenango. The operation is expected to help boost annual GDP by 0.5 percent and bring about $29 million worth of savings and increased public service efficiency.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.