ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) -- Grenada’s prime minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, has expressed concern about the slow growth in information and communications technology (ICT) within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) compared to the rest of the world.
Mitchell said, while ICT is growing in the region, it is yet to seriously impact on regional economies.
Dr Keith Mitchell
Mitchell, the prime minister responsible for science and technology within CARICOM, was addressing participants at the opening of a workshop on Technopreneurship currently ongoing in Tobago.
“There has been an increased growth globally in the ICT industry but this level of growth is yet to be experienced in the region. However, of all the technologies, ICT is the one most utilized in the region,” Mitchell explained.
“We are yet to be impacted upon in any substantial manner by the major platform technologies that are transforming the world of today. And maybe therein lies our problem and our salvation,” he said.
Participants from Argentina, Brunei, Ecuador, Nigeria, Pakistan and CARICOM countries are attending the workshop that began on Monday and ended on Friday.
“ICT usage in the region is far from stagnant but it is far from optimized,” Mitchell said.
“In the case of biotechnology, there are in the region applications in horticulture, aquaculture and agriculture in general where we are producing pest and disease-free bananas. But we need to do more,” he said.
The Grenadian leader appealed to CARICOM countries to develop strategies and programs that will foster technoprenuership in the region.
The prime minister also expressed concern that Caribbean countries have not been spending one percent of their GDP on research and development as recommended for the developing world.
“We must embrace frontier technologies if we are to put our fragile economies on a more solid footing,” the Grenadian leader said.
“You, the techno-entrepreneurs of tomorrow, must not only become fully acquainted with these technologies but also with their potential in your business venture.”
The workshop was organized by the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC), a UNESCO centre based in Malaysia, CARISCIENCE, a UNESCO affiliated organization based in UWI, Trinidad and The CARICOM Science, Technology and Innovation Committee.
Topics covered included writing a winning business proposal, intellectual property issues and branding and marketing.