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Caribbean Technology Forum in PoS this week

Published: 
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Senior Caribbean government technocrats will this week delve into the practice of collaboration and explore new mechanisms for facilitating comprehensive regional approaches for the planning and execution of information and communications technology (ICT) projects to foster development.

The first Caribbean ICT Collaboration Forum, which is being convened by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), will be held in Port-of-Spain, on Thursday and Friday.

Secretary General of the CTU, Bernadette Lewis said: “Countries have been working in silos in their pursuit of development, seeking assistance from funding agencies without reference to similar activities being undertaken in other countries. This uncoordinated approach results in fragmentation and wasteful duplication of effort, which does not adequately advance progress as evidenced in a 2013 IMF report which states that Caribbean small states are facing low growth, high debt, significant vulnerabilities, and limited resilience to shocks.”

Many Caribbean countries registered significant declines in the International Telecommunication Union’s global ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings for the period 2010 to 2015, she said. 

“These archaic approaches are ineffective and it is time for us to adopt new, collaborative methodologies that are appropriate for the 21st century. Given the dire economic prospects for the Caribbean, we have to work differently in order to secure our future.”

This Caribbean ICT Collaboration Forum, through workshop activities, will develop collaborative mechanisms to promote comprehensive planning and execution of ICT projects with the potential for regional impact. This approach will position the region to overcome the organisational and national resource constraints, and promote the orderly, comprehensive development of Caribbean ICT and ICT-enabled sectors for the advancement of citizens. The Forum will also develop new mechanisms for self-funding ICT projects and sharing expertise.

The CTU is an inter-governmental organisation, established by Caricom Heads, with a mandate to develop the region’s information and communication technologies sector. It has twenty regional state members, including all the OECS countries, as well as private sector and civil society members. 

The forum signals the CTU’s commitment to working more closely with its members to advance the benefits of ICT while avoiding wasteful duplication of effort and use of resources, Campbell said.