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Toward better use of information and communications technology

Canel Cuba reunionCUBA is working toward the implementation of Electronic Government, with the aim of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government administration, and also achieving greater accessibility for citizens through the use of information and communications technology.

Cuba currently ranks 134 out of 193 countries on the United Nations E-Government Survey, with an E-Government Development Index of 0.4101, (1 being the maximum). To calculate this number, factors such as online services, telecommunications infrastructure and human capital are measured.

The island has designed a plan for the establishment and development of Electronic Government that includes four stages: internet presence; interaction between public administration, government and the population; transactions, where electronic payments are used for procedures and services; and transformation, which includes the participation of the population in the construction of public policies and in the running of public administration and government.

Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, recently reviewed progress on these matters, and highlighted the importance of this task for the country. He noted that, like others, this area also requires constant monitoring, both by the Ministry of Communications and all other People’s Power bodies, entities and administrations.

Sector Minister, Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella, explained that it is expected by December of this year that the first stage of the Electronic Government program be completed, by which all territorial bodies and governments will have public institutional websites, on the “” domain.

In this regard, First Deputy Minister of Communications, Wilfredo González Vidal, noted that the main difficulties faced today are concentrated in the non-existence, in some cases, of online catalogs of services and processes offered by an agency or entity; information on the planning of activities or events; and a directory with institutional email and contact telephone numbers for executives and officials.

Among the shortcomings of Cuban institutional web portals, which impact on their positioning and performance levels, he mentioned configuration problems, availability and slow request response rates.

González Vidal also reported that work is being carried out on the distribution of a good practice guide, to improve the positioning and performance of government web portals, and also national websites in general.

During the meeting, presented were experiences of information and communications technology development in the provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque, particularly the latter, with the Services and Processing Unit of the municipality of Güines. This was considered among the most important results of the experiment applied in the province, with a “one-stop shop” approach that integrates 106 services and processes belonging to eight agencies.

Díaz-Canel noted it was essential to advance in the digitalization of public records, with special emphasis on the Office of Supply Distribution Control, popularly known as OFICODA, which has important, comprehensive and useful data for other records, and whose processing procedures are still undertaken manually.

Computerization is one of the tasks that the population will most appreciate, he argued, because it will save on paperwork, time, intermediaries and costs. We are aiming for more efficiency, more productivity, better output and, therefore, require less people dedicated to paperwork, he stressed.


The country now has a total of 666 navigation centers, and 752 public Wi-Fi areas, spread across all its municipalities. Meanwhile, Nauta permanent internet navigation accounts reached the figure of 1.785 million, and around 2.785 million users are registered with its email service.

These figures were offered by the Director General for Computerization of the Communications Ministry, Ernesto Rodríguez Hernández, who also detailed the service platforms that are now available and popular among the public, such as C.U.B.A, at:; the “Reflejos” blogging site at:, with 4,861 active blogs; and the Ecured Collaborative Encyclopedia, which exceeds 185,000 articles and sees more than 250,000 visits daily.

The director also reviewed the work that has been done with the “Apklis” Android Applications Center (, which already offers 917 applications, and has seen almost two million downloads.

Regarding the digital television transition, it was learned that more than 120 transmitters have been installed so far. Havana and the provincial capitals already enjoy a high definition signal; and more than seven million inhabitants, that is 63% of the population, have a standard definition signal.

Up to the end of August, more than two million receivers had been sold, including set-top boxes and digital TV sets; as well as around 411,000 antennas and just over 10.389 million meters of coaxial cable. In addition, work is ongoing to offer alternatives for those people in need of loans or subsidies in order to purchase these products.


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