CARICOM Secretariat, CANTO Agree To Collaborate on Advancing Single ICT Space For Region

Representatives of the two teams at the CARICOM Secretariat, from right, Mr. Joseph Cox, Ms. Teresa Wankin, Ms. Jennifer Britton, Dr. Delreo Newman, and Mr. Mark Reynolds

CANTO, the regional trade association for the telecommunications industry and ICT providers, on Thursday 18 May 2023, met with a team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat to cement their agreement to aid and collaborate on the development of the CARICOM Single ICT Space for members of the Community. 

The meeting was held at the Georgetown, Guyana, headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat.  CARICOM Assistant Secretary General, Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, Mr. Joseph Cox, and the Deputy Programme Manager with Responsibility for ICT For Development, Ms. Jennifer Britton represented the CARICOM Secretariat at the discussions with CANTO Secretary General, Ms. Teresa Wankin, and two elected officers of CANTO’s Board of Directors, Vice Chairman, Dr. Delreo Newman, and Director Mr. Mark Reynolds. 

The parties outlined the areas for their cooperation going forward, including collaboration on technical meetings; working together in the execution of strategic projects and the joint hosting of technical webinars and training exercises. 

CARICOM Deputy Programme Manager, ICT4D, Ms. Jennifer Britton (l) and CANTO Secretary-General, Ms. Teresa Wankin

As early as 2014, the Heads of Government of CARICOM signalled their intention to create “an ICT-enabled borderless space that fosters economic, social, and cultural integration for the betterment of Caribbean” peoples.  In 2017, the Twenty-eighth (28th) Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM approved a Roadmap for the CARICOM Single ICT Space. The document sets out the requirements for the creation of the single, regional ICT space inclusive of harmonisation of ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, best practices, as well as networks and services across Member States.

The document also called for “robust national and regional broadband infrastructure; common frameworks for governments, ICT service providers and consumers; and effective and secure technology and management systems.”  

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, Mr. Joseph Cox (l) and CANTO Secretary-General, Ms. Teresa Wankin

Several CARICOM Member States have been working towards seamless and “citizen-centric” e-government services, eventual coordination and integration of these systems are in varying stages of readiness. 

During the meeting last Thursday, the CANTO delegation also congratulated the CARICOM Secretariat on its 50th Anniversary and indicated their intention to join in the commemoration of this milestone via participation in the Secretariat’s planned observances.

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