ICT Ministers to Meet on Digital Transformation Initiatives Post COVID 19
Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, will chair a Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Friday, 19 June 2020.
Prime Minister Mitchell is Grenada’s Minister with responsibility for ICT, and Lead Head of Government with responsibility for Science and Technology, including ICT, in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet.
The Meeting will be convened via video conference and will focus on Crafting an Effective Policy Response for CARICOM Digital Transformation Post the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID19 has disrupted and impacted almost all sectors critical to the CARICOM Region. The Special COTED ICT Meeting will continue a discussion started last November on ways in which digital transformation can be fast-tracked in the Region.
Over the past weeks, meetings of critical sectors – Education, Agriculture, Security, Trade and Transport, for example – have taken place in CARICOM. The COTED ICT will also review how to support these and other sectors as part of the COVID19 recovery plan and the continued development of the CARICOM Single ICT Space.
A meeting of ICT officials on 20 May laid the groundwork for the Ministerial Session. At the start of the Meeting of Officials, Chair, Mr. Finley Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Grenada, said CARICOM had to find home-grown solutions to support its rebuilding and resilience efforts, particularly when consideration is given to the fact that ICT and the internet will power or underpin those efforts.
CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Joseph Cox told officials that the COVID19 pandemic highlighted, even more, the need for strategic digital transformation initiatives – especially for the CARICOM region – which needed to be implemented as soon as possible. He acknowledged that some of the issues were not new, but that there were some glaring possibilities that included exacerbating and widening the digital and education divides which could have far-reaching negative repercussions for CARICOM, if they were not tackled strategically.