Data is the new oil – TT Minister

From (left to right) - Cleveland Thomas, ITU Caribbean Representative; Dr. John Prince, CEO Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago; the Hon. Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Guyana; Gilbert Peterson, S.C., Chairman TATT; the Hon. Maxie Cuffie M.P. - La Horquetta/Talparo, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; the Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information, Antigua and Barbuda; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General Caribbean Telecommunications Union and Sylvester Cadette, ITU Programme Officer, ITU Area Office, Barbados. (Photo courtesy Ministry of Public Administration and Communications Trinidad and Tobago)
From left, Cleveland Thomas, ITU Caribbean Representative; Dr. John Prince, CEO Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago; the Hon. Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Guyana; Gilbert Peterson, S.C., Chairman TATT; the Hon. Maxie Cuffie M.P. – La Horquetta/Talparo, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; the Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information, Antigua and Barbuda; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General Caribbean Telecommunications Union and Sylvester Cadette, ITU Programme Officer, ITU Area Office, Barbados. (Photo courtesy Ministry of Public Administration and Communications Trinidad and Tobago)

 “By enabling things to communicate with each other independently of human interaction, the Internet of Things (IoT) opens up possibilities of new business models, new types of services and new revenue streams. The Internet of Things can facilitate new levels of efficiency, improving the way existing service across many different sectors are delivered,” remarked Ms. Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), during the opening ceremony of the Internet of Things Forum: Smarter Living in the Caribbean, April 24-26, 2017.

Cognizant of the potential of this technology to improve lives, she further cautioned the need to protect citizens’ digital and physical possessions and their privacy.

“As we embrace the concept of the Internet of Things, we have to be mindful of the potential societal impact. Provisions must be made to protect citizens’ person, their intellectual, digital and physical possessions and their privacy,” she said.

The Forum was organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. (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

Spirit of Chaguaramas inspires us to intensify regional integration – President Granger

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Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM
Chairman of CARICOM, President David Granger addresses the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM

“The ‘Spirit of Chaguaramas’ is not the ghost or ‘jumbie’ of a dead project. It is the vital breath of life that inspires us to intensify regional integration.” – CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger
Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, said on Thursday that the spirit of Chaguaramas was not “the ghost or ‘jumbie’ of a dead project”.

Rather, it was the “vital breath of life that inspires us to intensify regional integration”, he said in reference to the Community’s founding Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The President was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the two-day Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

“The Treaty of Chaguaramas was a response to the challenges of the post-colonial era. The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas was the response to the post-Cold War era, a time of increasing trade liberalisation and the growth of regional organisations,” the President said.

Delegate at the Opening ceremony.
Delegates at the Opening ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana

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