The Information Society unit was established in 2008 with the aim of reducing the digital divide across different strata of society. We have rolled out a good number of eInclusion initiatives over the past years and the results have been nothing short of positive for the Maltese Society at large. They have also proved to be instrumental in improving Malta’s position in a number of key Eurostat indicators relating to the Information Society score board. Two such indicators are the number of individuals who had never used the Internet, which dropped from almost half the population (49%) in 2008 to 22% by the end of 2015. Another indicator relates to eCommerce activity whereby a 23% increase was recorded in the number of individuals aged 55 years and over who engaged in some form of activity.
However, our line-up of activities goes far beyond these indicators. We have implemented, and continue to implement, a host of other projects, which focus on the advancement ICT in different areas, such as, the promotion of online safety amongst children and young people, increasing and strengthening the ICT literacy skills of the general population, including the ageing population and disadvantaged groups, encouraging eCommerce amongst the small and medium business community, showcasing and rewarding the best eBusiness solutions, installing free public WiFi hotspots in popular spots across Malta and Gozo, developing and maintaining an English–Maltese online dictionary, and providing basic coding training sessions to children.
In essence, our activity in relation to the information society is threefold. We strive to ensure accessibility to technology and the Internet; we drive projects aimed at building digital competences amongst citizens, and on the business community front, ensure that these recognise the benefits of going digital.
This stream of activities is planned and implemented in collaboration with other public, private entities and civil society. At implementation stage, we capitalise on such collaborations in order to develop the necessary synergies and therefore maximise the outcome of each initiative.