Nearshore Americas

Bolivia Moves Towards Digital Economy With Data Center Plans

Bolivia began making big strides in building a digital economy, with the government setting aside US$20 million to build a data center in the western city of El Alto.

The data center will store millions of gigabytes of sensitive information about Bolivians, such as their driver’s licenses, ID cards and property documents.

Due to the sensitivity of the documents, the Bolivian government decided to build the data center itself instead of storing them in private facilities.

Creating a database of important documents like driver’s licenses is an important step in building a digital economy.

The construction of a data center is a “milestone” for digitization in Bolivia, the country’s president Luis Arce said when his officials announced that Bolivians would be allowed to store their marriage certificates in the cloud in the coming years.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) says a 10% increase in digitization could bring more than 120,000 Bolivians into the formal labor market, in addition to strengthening the country’s economic progress.

Today, only 70% of Bolivians have access to the Internet, yet digital payments and e-commerce transactions are growing like never before.

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Internet services in Bolivia remain quite expensive, however, mainly due to the lack of sophistication among telecom companies.

Since Tigo and Entel are the country’s only major telecom companies, the Bolivian government’s ability to lower Internet prices is minimal.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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