Colombia has named former Apple executive Silvia Constain the country’s new ICT Minister, replacing Juan Sebastian Rozo who took over from long-time minister David Luna earlier in April this year.
An economist, Constain worked in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism as well as the Colombian Embassy in Washington under the administration of Alvaro Uribe.
Constain takes over the ministry at a time Colombia is preparing to auction high-speed 5G spectrum and expand LTE/4G networks to remote rural areas, which have now been peaceful after FARC rebels laid down their arms.
The government is hoping to increase 4G connections from the current 11 million to 40 million over the next decade.
The increased connectivity and technology adoption has already helped the country reap the dividends of a digital economy. Its Vive Digital program, for an instance, has already given people in rural areas better access to the online world.
Nevertheless, technology is changing faster than its regulations. Reports say that many digital services providers – such as Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix – are struggling to comply with existing laws.
Therefore, the government is mulling over the idea of setting up an institution fully dedicated to overseeing the evolving digital economy.
Meanwhile, analysts are urging the government to boost the software industry and associated services by expanding regional software clusters and persuading more young Colombians to study industry related careers.