Technology innovation should be embraced, not feared. It can transform all our lives, and in Cyprus’ case, it can even be used as a catalyst for world peace.
- Industry partners will supply training at the state’s expense for adults such as pensioners afraid of technology. Training will include how to make free audio and video calls internationally, search the web, recognise spam and fraudulent emails, write basic emails, and use government websites, Ariadni, and various online forms.
Cyprus telephony companies and banks will be invited to subsidise the procurement of fully loaded laptops, smartphones, and tablets to qualified and trained candidates, especially pensioners. It is in everyone’s interests to do so. Telephony companies will have more customers to sell data packages to. Banks will save costs and manual labour, and the government will save costs and increase efficiency after most citizens have been digitally empowered. The fully loaded equipment will even include apps written in Greek to play backgammon, chess, and the EuroMillions lottery, use bus GPS tracking, and gain access to online newspapers and magazines. And it will show pensioners where they can get discounts locally and nationwide. (Refer to the state pensions section)
- All fax machines and flatbed scanners used in government offices will be environmentally recycled. The cost savings on having to pay for dedicated useless fax phone lines will be used to buy inexpensive smartphones which will be optical character recognition (OCR) enabled for Greek and English. These smartphones will be connected via Wi-Fi and will not be used for making calls other than for emergencies when phone systems are down, or during power outages. This technology can assist the 30% of the population who do not read Greek properly including international companies, residents, and visitors.
- Lifeguards will undertake a proof of concept using commercial drones to be the eyes in the sky along our beaches. Experiments will be undertaken to deliver life vests via remote control. The technology for both already exists.
- Further investment will be made for Cyprus’ fire services to use additional drones, and satellite technology to search for fires. I want Cyprus to eventually outsource this service abroad. All Cypriot children will be taught basic fire prevention and control at school.
- A study will be commissioned to use environmentally friendly cloud seeding using aeroplanes over the ocean near Cyprus. If successful, it will artificially generate rainfall over the island, ideally over the Troodos mountains.
If my radical approach to solving the Cyprus problem is successful, one of the negotiating points with ‘TRNC’ will be using its freshwater pipe from southern Turkey built in 2015 (or a 2nd new one), to transfer water to the whole island which can be shared. Even now, prior to any settlement being remotely possible today, ‘TRNC’ has purchased our electricity, so the precedent exists.
When I hear some of the presidential candidates and political parties talk about smart cities or read it in their manifestos, it makes me cry – with hysterical laughter. From personal observations, I believe it would be easier to teach cats how to play chess or teach dinosaurs how to play football than it would for politicians to design smart cities. Politicians who have absolutely no clue what it means or how to do it.
How can Cyprus have smart cities when they have been managed in non-smart ways for decades? How can political dinosaurs who have no idea how to implement smart cities do so successfully? Over the last 15 years governments in power and municipalities couldn’t even do the basics like responding to an email or answering their phones. Some cities can’t even send an invoice automatically via email! Before designing anything ‘smart’, or ‘automated’, it must be proven to work manually. Now that would be smart!
My final version of this manifesto will be published by 22 January 2023, 2 weeks prior to the presidential election. It will explain how cities will become smart, rather than spouting hot air in a presidential manifesto to impress people with the latest buzzwords copied from a website, on the advice of a PR agency. Register now to get a copy.0