Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:43 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Gambling on Caribbean technology development
The tiny eastern Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda is taking a new, bold gamble on information and communications technology. Dr Edmond Mansoor, the energetic government minister with responsibility telecommunications, science and technology, wants to build Antigua and Barbuda into technology hub of the Caribbean and a global player in digital content creation. If has his way, his vision may just come to pass.
Initial online gamble
In the 1990s, with a population of just about 80,000, Antigua and Barbuda was a major player in the multi-billion dollar world of online gambling. The 1994 introduction of the Free Trade and Processing Act catapulted Antigua into global prominence as a base for numerous online gaming companies.
By 2001 Antigua attracted more than $2.3 billion in revenue and 59 per cent of global online gambling, while employing more than 1,000 people. In the process it became a software development hub, attracting skilled and unskilled workers from around the region and across the world. A spat with the United States saw a swift unravelling of the sector. But by then, the seeds of Antigua’s technology-based development ambitions were already firmly planted.
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