Role of Single ICT Space in Region’s Digital Transformation on ICT Ministers’ agenda
Priority projects that will propel the digital transformation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will engage the attention of Ministers responsible for technology when they meet early in November.
The role that the CARICOM Single ICT Space will play in that transformation, gender in ICT, and funding will be main areas of focus for the CARICOM ICT Ministers. The Single ICT Space represents the digital arm of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is an ICT-enabled borderless space that fosters economic, social and cultural integration for the betterment of Caribbean citizens. It comprises regionally harmonised ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, best practices, networks and services.
The Ministers meet via videoconference on 8 November 2019, in a special session of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Information and Communication Technology. Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, will chair the Meeting. Dr. Mitchell is the lead Head of Government in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet with responsibility for science and technology. Officials met on 22 October in preparation for the Ministerial session v
The discussions on digital transformation will be held as CARCIOM places emphasis on building its resilience, and with the acknowledgement that ICT h as a role to play in all sectors.
“What is going before the ministers are some priority projects that we think will cause the Region to move forward with digital transformation in 2020 and 2021, and additionally, looking at the critical pillars of digital transformation such as … skills, looking at how we become cyber resilient as opposed to only chasing after cyber security and we will also look at some issues such as mobilising resources,” Ms. Jennifer Britton, Deputy Programme Manager, ICT4D at the CARICOM Secretariat, said in an interview with CARICOM Today.
Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry, Guyana’s Minister of Education, highlighted the importance of ICT in preparing the Region for the future.
Gender and ICT is another subject that is on the table. Ms. Britton said that the fact that women in the Region do not have decision-making roles is cause for concern.
Data in ascertaining who, exactly, is being marginalised in the Region is lacking, so “there is a gender issue and it is a good, topical issue for the whole region, I think, to engage around. So that is one of the things that will be taken to the Ministers as well,” she added.