Saturday, 19 February 2011 06:55
By press release
The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology in collaboration with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Secretariat will be convening a consultative workshop on the Draft Regional Digital Development Strategy (Regional ICT Strategy) and the development of a Draft Implementation Plan.
The workshop will be held at the Cultural Centre of the Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Center on Monday, 21st February 21 from 9 am to 1 pm.
The main objectives of the workshop are to:
1.Make CARICOM citizens aware of the draft strategy and its relevance to advancing the CSME and other regional imperatives
2.Receive feedback from regional stakeholders that will assist in the completion of the Implementation Plan to be presented to Heads of Government.
Stakeholders from the government ministries, private sectors and civil society are invited to participate in this workshop hosted by CARICOM ICT Strategy Consultant, Dr Camella Rhone.
To give insight into the strategy, I have included some information below. Moreover, the complete strategy can be viewed by visiting http://www.caricomict4d.org/images/stories/docs/draft_regional_ict_strategy.pdf:
In keeping with the WSIS and the Regional Plan of Action, eLAC2007, the region has indicated four (4) pillars of regional integration that should be facilitated by ICTs:
1. Foreign policy coordination
2. Economic integration
3. Functional cooperation
There is not however a broad coordinated regional strategy to effect implementation in this regard, nor any coordination agency to ensure timely and effective results. Such a Regional ICT strategy for Development (The Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDdS)), would serve to build the sustainable knowledge society in the shortest possible time. It would rely on:
Collaborative leadership: to reduce the fragmentation that exists at the regional level, and the financial burden on governments that are currently required to support a number of regional organizations with related and overlapping responsibilities in ICT 4D. Such a single process would be able to affect synergies and facilitate collaboration to benefit from economies of scale wit supporting regional integration.
Research and Innovation for Sustainability: Research in the region has uncovered and exploited some innovation initiatives in the region, in key and potential growth sectors – healthcare, education; robotics, that should be supported and widened to become truly regional projects.
Such cross-sector solutions, that are scalable across several sectors and countries, and have already proven the technologies in critical sectors locally and in the international community, should form the basis for developing a regional research and new industry centre.
Key social and economic development measures as follows:
1. ICTs used to provide a supportive environment (business, regulatory, soft and hard infrastructure), for learning, working and social development;
2. Education and lifelong learning environment established to support use of ICTs at levels of community, business and government; and
3. Creative use of ICT and a framework that is anchored in cultural industries, to encourage innovation.
The Plan of Action addresses, among other things:
· Access, connectivity and Internet governance
· Capacity-building and sustainability
· Business, trade, culture and disaster management
· Policy formulation and the legal and regulatory framework for implementation
· ICT4D statistics
Implementation of the plan would depend on establishing an appropriate and supportive regional infrastructure to build the foundations for more rapid diffusion of modern ICTs as the enabler for collaboration and access for the knowledge based community. This would include:
· The appropriate technology infrastructure to deepen connectivity, through the increased diffusion (affordability and reach), and adoption of ICTs for use both as a tool in social and economic development and as an industry sector.
· Policies and regulations that support competition and technology adoption (including convergence around IP)
· Encouraging innovation through sustainable research, support for entrepreneurial activity, based on applications, content and skill development, and
· Targeted extensive public and private sector investment in infrastructure, and the use of government ICT budgets for effective support of ICT use and adoption
· A unified regional Vision and Mission to guide implementation.
Should any questions arise, kindly email Asha Christian at
or Ms. Sandra Tucker at