Region cannot sit on sidelines of digital era, CARICOM ASG warns

Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.
Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Assistant Secretary-General Trade and Economic Integration, Mr Joseph Cox, has warned the Community not to sit on the sidelines of the digital era.

“There is almost no option to sit on the sidelines in this new digital era.  Whatever is happening in the developed world will also happen in the developing world.  Our tourists for the most part come from developed countries and our current and potential investors as well.  Their expectations with regard to ICT, its usage for efficiency in business and leisure are not far-fetched”, Mr. Cox said.

He was at the time making brief remarks before the meeting of officials of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The meeting was held on 20 April, 2017, via videoconferencing that was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat. (more…)

UPDATED: PM Mitchell pushes collaborative approach to development of high quality statistics

 

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Prime Minister of Grenada, the Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell is on a mission to solicit increased support for the development of quality statistics.

His mission comes in the wake of the approval of the CARICOM Statistics Action Plan last year, and as part of efforts to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The Prime Minister, who is CARICOM’s Lead Head of Government with responsibility for Science and Technology, laid out his vision and plans Wednesday during an address to the PARIS21 Annual Board Meeting held in Paris, France.

Statistics, he said, had become an indispensable tool in the democratic process of countries, in all facets of society and in the development of sectors and industry. (more…)

Senior ICT officials meet to discuss work plan for Single ICT Space

ICT graphicThe Meeting of Senior Officials ahead of the Sixty-Eighth Special Ministerial session of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – will convene via video conference on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017.

The main issue for discussion is the Integrated Work Plan for the CARICOM Single ICT Space. Heads of Government granted approval of the Roadmap for the Single ICT Space at the Twenty-Eighth Inter-sessional Meeting in February 2017, and the Integrated Work Plan for the Single ICT Space is expected to be the next big step towards the harmonisation of the ICT sector within CARICOM.

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 Ministers of ICT will meet on 24 March, 2017, in Antigua and Barbuda to review the integrated work plan and provide their recommendations to the Heads of Government Meeting in July 2017.

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

Antigua and Barbuda to host CTU ICT Week and Symposium

ICT graphic

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), will host the ICT Week and Symposium at the Sandals Grande Resort and Spa from 20-24 March, 2017.

The theme for the Symposium is ‘ICT: Driving 21st Century Intelligent Services’. CTU Secretary General, Ms. Bernadette Lewis explained that the purpose of the Week’s activities is “to raise awareness of the ICT revolution, the implications for policy, legislation and regulations and how they can be employed to transform existing operations; to foster social inclusion; provide ICT-based the challenges we face in the region and promote national and regional development”

The CTU said that the week’s activities include a Smart Caribbean Conference, 15th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic ICT Seminar, 3rd Caribbean Stakeholders Meeting: Cyber security and Cyber Crime and  culminates with the Training Programme on Mobile Money for Financial Inclusion.

At the Smart Caribbean Conference, Huawei, the platinum sponsor for ICT Week, will present how new ICT such as cloud computing, virtualization, Big Data, Geographic Information System (GIS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and the ecosystem Software Development Kit (eSDK) can be used to create comprehensive, end-to-end Smart Caribbean solutions. Solutions include the safe city, smart city operations centres, one-stop government services, smart transportation and applications for healthcare, education and tourism. (more…)