GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Following the approval of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) single ICT roadmap earlier in February, the ICT cluster agencies in the region met last Friday to chart the way forward.
The meeting was held via videoconferencing that was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana, and included representation from the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), as well as from the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU).
Discussions centered on developing an integrated work plan among the agencies towards the development of the single ICT space. The plan would include financial projections and sources of funding for the undertaking.
The single ICT space is conceptualised as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the region’s flagship programme. It encompasses the management of regional information, human resources, legislation and infrastructure in the sector to elicit maximum benefit for the region’s populace.
The single ICT space and the region’s digital agenda 2025 will be constructed on the foundation of the regional digital development strategy (RDDS), which was approved in 2013, and will also have inputs from the Commission on the Economy and the Post-2015 Agenda.
The undertaking is cross-sectoral and highly complex. The challenges include identifying the areas of strategic value, evaluating lessons learned and timely and appropriate decisions.
During their two-day meeting in Georgetown 16-17 February, CARICOM heads of government approved the roadmap for the single ICT space. Chairman of the Community, David Granger, president of Guyana, said the single ICT space would become one of the driving forces for social and economic development of the Community.
He added that it would enhance the environment for investment and production, and provide an opportunity for innovation to flourish. The single ICT space would also support a sustainable increase in growth and jobs, enhance efficiency and increase access to public services.
Bringing technology to the people was one of the important pillars that the CARICOM Heads of Government had identified for the single ICT space.
The single ICT space will be in focus again next month when a special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) is held in Antigua and Barbuda.