Ministers green-light Single ICT Space Integrated Work Plan

Special COTED ICT 19 May 2017 from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

“The work on the Single ICT space forces us to collaborate like never before as Ministers, policy-makers, officials and civil society, if we are going to succeed and advance as a Region.” Chair of COTED ICT, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Friday, 19 May, 2017, approved the Integrated Work Plan for the Community’s Single ICT Space.

The approval came during discussions at the Sixty-Eighth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT. The Virtual Meeting was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Single ICT Space is conceptualised as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Region’s flagship programme. It encompasses the management of Regional information, human resources, legislation and infrastructure in the sector to elicit maximum benefit for the Region’s populace.

The Single ICT space and the Region’s Digital Agenda 2025 are premised on the Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS) which was approved in 2013, and will also have inputs from key regional Commissions and the Post-2015 Agenda.

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Ministers meet on moving Single ICT Space forward

FLASHBACK: CARICOM DeputyProgramme Manager, ICT4D, Ms. Jennifer Britton, and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at one of the preparatory meetings in March, 2017
FLASHBACK: CARICOM Deputy Programme Manager, ICT4D, Ms. Jennifer Britton, and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at one of the preparatory meetings in March, 2017

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) meet tomorrow, 19 May, 2017, as effort continue to move on the establishment of the CARICOM Single ICT Space.

The Ministers convene for the Sixty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT via videoconferencing anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat.

Several preparatory meetings of officials were held to advance work on the Integrated Work Plan for the Single ICT Space, and the draft Terms of Reference for the CARICOM-US Joint Task Force.  The Integrated Work Plan will set out the activities that need to be completed for the development of the Single ICT Space. The activities of the work plan will focus on areas such as conducting gap analyses, public awareness, specific telecommunications issues, legal and regulatory reform cyber security, bringing technology to the people, resource mobilisation, as well as, forecasting for the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025.

The Single ICT Space is conceptualised as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Region’s flagship programme. It encompasses the management of Regional information, human resources, legislation and infrastructure in the sector to elicit maximum benefit for the Region’s populace.

The Single ICT space and the Region’s Digital Agenda 2025 will be constructed on the foundation of the Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS) which was approved in 2013, and will also have inputs from the Commission on the Economy and the Post-2015 Agenda.

CARICOM Heads of Government approved the Road map for the Single ICT Space in February 2017.

Girls in ICT Day 2017

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Today is Girls in ICT Day. The day is being observed under the theme ‘Expand horizons, change attitudes’.
International Girls in ICT Day, celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year, is geared at creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider car​eers in the growing field of ICTs, and enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.

We take a look back at the Girls in ICT Day activities of the CARICOM Secretariat over the past two years.

Girls don’t code? In the Caribbean, they lead tech startups!

Talented Caribbean women who code (Photo via InfoDev)
Talented Caribbean women leading startups (Photo via InfoDev)

Research shows that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are still male-dominated fields. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2011 women occupied less than 25% of STEM jobs. Automation and advancements in technology seem to penalise women: the World Economic Forum estimates that per every 20 jobs lost to the fourth industrial revolution, women will only gain one new STEM job. For men, there will be a new STEM job for every four lost.

Luckily, a growing number of women is pursuing STEM careers, as developers, coders, or even tech entrepreneurs. The success of these women not only creates jobs and promotes economic growth; it also inspires more and more women to look beyond conventional career roles and take full advantage of the new opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

Last month, in the Caribbean, women entrepreneurs swept all five top places in the second PitchIt Caribbean Challenge, a mobile-tech startup competition organised by the Entrepreneurship Programme in the Caribbean (EPIC) and sponsored by the World Bank’s infoDev program and the government of Canada.

Read more at: InfoDev

** Note Article was first published in January, 2017

TT PM underscores importance of ICT to socio-economic development

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 6, CMC – The Regional Standardisation Forum for Bridging the Standardisation Gap (BSG) began here on Monday with Trinidad and Tobago underscoring the importance of the Information communication and technology (ICT) sector to the socio-economic development of the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, addressing the forum, the first to be held in Latin America and the Caribbean, said that regional leaders at their inter-sessional summit in Guyana last month had approved a draft roadmap for the Region’s single ICT space.

“This single ICT space will allow for harmonised policies, legislation, regulations and technical standards. We expect that this space will create affordable networks which are of tremendous benefit to Caribbean consumers and businesses.

“This is critical to accelerating the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and will be a driving force for social and economic development in the region,” Rowley told the forum that is being hosted by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).

Via CMC

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