Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 16, 2017 (SKNIS): Persons can now access instant press releases, as well as programmes such as documentaries, public service announcements, television and radio advertisements; view pictures pertaining to the work of the government, and access social media networks with the launch of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) App, which came on stream on Wednesday, February 15, at the e-Government Mobile Application Launch held under the theme #EmpowerSKN at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Mr. Lesroy Williams, Director-General of SKNIS, outlined the rationale behind having such an app, adding that it will prove to be extremely beneficial, as no longer will persons have to wait until they get to a computer to access the government’s news.
“It becomes absolutely necessarily in a globalized world, a global village, fueled by Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to keep informed, to stay connected if we are to be relevant and not anachronistic in today’s world,” said the director-general. “There is no better way to do so today than through mobile technology. Everybody knows the increasing importance and necessity of going directly to where your customers or clients are. The app revolution, although it started only a few years ago, is a growing form of marketing, staying in touch and keeping connected on the go.”
The director-general pointed to a number of benefits that the SKNIS App will offer to persons who download and use it.
“You won’t have to play the waiting game. The SKNIS App would provide a much faster alternative than mobile web browsing. Web browsing requires a user to launch a web browser, or enter a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and wait for the site to load. Whereas it only takes a second or a few seconds to launch a mobile app because the majority of the information is stored in the application itself, even making it possible to function offline,” he said. “Another thing that the SKNIS App will do is that it will reinforce the government’s brand by increasing its visibility and in this way builds loyalty with customers and of course it is in front of them at all times. Also, the engagement with our clients by quickly connecting them to the government information service would be used to improve processes and increase the level of accessibility to our clients, to seamlessly connect.”
He said that it is important to bear in mind that apps reduce cost of short message service (SMS) messages and paper newsletters, and so having the SKNIS App will do the same. He added that one will be able to simply communicate by securely, instantly and directly accessing information.
Mr. Williams applauded the government and in particular the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, Minister of Communications for “its vision, progressives and modernity in launching the SKNIS News Integrity App”, along with the other four that were launched, namely, the SKN Shopper App, which allows persons to get a broader perspective on goods sold in supermarkets by comparing costs across the federation and highlighting the best ones; the Government Directory App, allows for persons to easily find contact information for any ministry, department, agency, unit or statutory corporation of the government; the Crime Reporter App allows for persons to report offences to the police; and the Government Events App will cater to those who want to stay up to date with the calendar of national events.
All the Apps can be downloaded from the Google and Apple Play Stores. So far, FLOW has agreed that no data charges would be applied to persons who utilize the Crime Reporter App and the Government Directory App.