CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, at the opening ceremony
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- A roadmap towards creating a single ICT space for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is being tabled at the 28th Inter-sessional CARICOM summit for the approval of the conference of heads of government.
The conference is meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, to deliberate on a number of critical issues including regional security, economic development and international relations.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque described the roadmap as “an exciting prospect” to enhance the socio-economic development of the Community, rooted in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
“ICT is both an enabler of development and a sector in its own right. The establishment of a Single ICT Space will provide harmonised ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, with affordable networks and universal access. This would positively affect such issues as roaming rates, as well as address spectrum and broadband matters,” he told the conference.
He acknowledged that the desired results of a single ICT space “will not happen overnight,” as it will require human and financial resources and technical infrastructure, but, he noted that the end product “will be of tremendous benefit to consumers and businesses alike.”
At the last full meeting of the conference of CARICOM heads of government in July 2016, in Guyana, they received a presentation on the draft roadmap for the single ICT space and agreed that their ministers responsible for ICT would meet in September, 2016, in order to make appropriate recommendations to the conference.
CARICOM ministers of information and communications technologies, when they met in September last, endorsed the roadmap at a special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development held in Barbados.
The single information communication technology (ICT) space is a critical element in accelerating the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Building technological resilience was also prioritised in the CARICOM Strategic Plan to ensure that CARICOM member states are innovative and globally competitive.