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.

CARICOM Observation Mission gives The Bahamas elections high marks but notes pre-election day concerns

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Head of Mission Ms Josephine Tamai (front row, 2nd left) and some of her team members on election day

The CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission to the 10 May 2017 General Elections in the Bahamas has praised the polling day activities, describing them as being “of a very high standard comparable with anywhere else in the Region”.

The Mission, in its Preliminary Statement, reported that polling stations opened on time,  were fully staffed and were conveniently located and easily accessible to the voters including the disabled.  They also noted the adequate supplies of material, and adequate security which they said contributed to the level of calm which accompanied the day’s activities.

The Mission however found that activities prior to Polling Day cast a shadow over the electoral process.

“For example, the unexpected change of the Parliamentary Commissioner just days before the election was a concern. ” the Mission’s Statement said, although it noted that this did not seem to have affected the quality of the election.

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Team members who were assigned to Freeport, Grand Bahama

Other pre-election day concerns, including the late publication of the advanced poll register, voters inability to confirm beforehand if their names were on the advanced polling list and the incorrect polling station numbers being written onto voters card, can be addressed with the introduction and use of modern technology in the registration process, the Mission indicated.

The eleven-member CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission was led by Ms Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer of Belize, with Mr. Orette Fisher, Director of the Elections Commission of Jamaica as her Deputy.  The other Members, who all have election management and observation experience, are nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.  They were supported by two staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat

The Free National Movement (FNM) led by physician Dr. Hubert Minnis won a landslide victory in the polls, taking 35 of the 39 seats at stake.

See Preliminary Statement:  PRELIMINARY_STATEMENT_The_Bahamas_Elections_2017

 

Bahamian election officials prepared for May 10 Poll, CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission told

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Chief of Mission, Ms. Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer of the Elections and Boundaries Department of Belize

The CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission for Wednesday’s General Elections in The Bahamas has been assured that the Commission responsibly for the conduct of the poll is prepared, despite some concerns about the conduct of the advanced voting process.

The Mission, in an Arrival Statement, said acting Parliamentary Commissioner Mr. Charles Albury gave the assurance that despite the advanced voting concern and the fact that he only took up his acting position  five (5) days prior to the scheduled date of the elections,  he and his team of competent staff would ensure a smooth electoral process.

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Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Orrette Fisher, Director of Elections of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

The CARICOM eleven member Mission, which began arriving in The Bahamas on 4 May, is headed by the Chief of Mission Ms. Josephine Tamai, the Chief Elections Officer of Belize, with Mr. Orette Fisher, Director of the Elections Commission of Jamaica as Deputy Chief of Mission.  The other Members, who all have election management and observation experience, are nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.  They are supported by two staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat.

In addition to the acting Parliamentary Commissioner, the Mission has met the National Youth Council, the Commissioner of Police, the Democratic National Alliance (DNS) and the Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP).  It plans to also meet with other political parties and stakeholders including the media and civil society groups in an effort to obtain an overview of the general atmosphere and level of preparedness for the elections.

The Mission will observe Election Day activities including the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results.  Following the elections, it will issue a Preliminary Statement outlining its initial assessment of the process, followed by a Final Report which will be submitted to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

 

Read Arrival Statement: ARRIVAL STATEMENT_CEOM_ THE BAHAMAS

 

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.

Regional trade seminar to tap Chile’s external trade experiences

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A Regional Trade Seminar for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States that is being facilitated by the Government of Chile, opened at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday morning. The two-day seminar illustrates the robust cooperation between CARICOM and Chile, and provides the opportunity for networking and the valuable exchange of views and experiences. Chile’s trade policy; access to the Chilean market, regulatory policy; intellectual property rights; and the trade environment, are among the topics which will be covered.

Participants include officials involved in external trade negotiations in CARICOM Member States while the team facilitating the seminar were directly involved in external trade negotiations undertaken by Chile with other countries.

Chile’s Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Claudio Rojas, Minister of Business of Guyana, the Hon. Dominic Gaskin, and CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox addressed the opening ceremony. (more…)