Put your money where your mouth is! – Barbados Culture Minister


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Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Barbados, the Hon. Stephen Lashley, is of the view that regional Governments needed to redirect some of their resources to the cultural industries if they were truly interested in regional economic expansion and development.

He said funding that was going to some traditional sectors that may not necessarily be bringing in the returns that were needed could be diverted to the cultural industries. The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Fifth meeting of the Regional Cultural Committee at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, 21-23 July, 2017.

In his remarks, Minister Lashley pointed out that when the CARICOM Heads of Government met at the Twenty-Sixth Inter-Sessional Meeting in The Bahamas in February, 2015, they recognised that cultural and creative industries represented a sector with great potential to contribute to the economic development of the Region. According to the Minister, the Heads reaffirmed the significance of the cultural and creative industries to CARICOM integration, to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), for cultural identity, diversity and youth engagement. He said they also agreed to place greater emphasis on a development pathway based on knowledge and the creative economy and by leveraging the human, cultural and national assets of the Community, for development in all its dimensions. (more…)

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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‘We must do better’ – CARICOM SG (with Video)

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon Ferdinand Welzijn and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.  Joseph Cox at the opening of the 44th Meeting of COTED
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon Ferdinand Welzijn and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at the opening of the 44th Meeting of COTED

While the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has significantly advanced the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), “we must do better”, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General said Thursday.

“Yes, we have done a lot, but we must do better.

“The private sector is asking us to do better.

“The people of the Region are asking us to do better”, the Secretary-General said.

He was at the time delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana. The COTED is responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of CARICOM. In particular, it is required to oversee the development, operation and implementation of the CSME.


PM Gonsalves visits Guyana Shop, Bourda Market during CARICOM Summit

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Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines paid a visit to the Guyana Marketing Corporation’ s Guyana Shop on February 17, 2017,  the final day of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government .

The Prime Minister visited the Guyana Shop after viewing a display that was mounted at the Marriott Hotel during the two-day Meeting.

According to the Guyana Government Information Agency (GINA), the Guyana Shop houses strictly local products that are manufactured or repackaged in Guyana from more than 80 agro-processors. Some of the products that were of the greatest interest to Prime Minster Gonsalves were:

  • Snack foods; (coconut biscuit and salted nuts)
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Honey
  • Soaps (turmeric and honey, neem and honey)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam (cherry and guava)
  • Herbal teas; moringa and lemon grass
  • Cassava flour, porridge mix and coconut flour

Dr. Gonsalves was keen to know how the flours were prepared.

At the end of the visit to the Guyana Shop, Dr Gonsalves toured the nearby Bourda Market where he interacted with the vendors.


Agencies meet after Heads of Government approve Single ICT Space Roadmap


Following the approval of the CARICOM Single ICT Roadmap earlier in February, the ICT Cluster Agencies in the Region met on Friday to chart the way forward.

The Meeting was held via videoconferencing that was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana, and included representation from the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), as well as from the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU).

Discussions centred on developing an integrated work plan among the agencies towards the development of the Single ICT Space. The plan would include financial projections and sources of funding for the undertaking. (more…)