By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin Laroche, emphasized this week that the usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) will play a critical role in developing the region.
Laroche, speaking at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)25th anniversary ICT week in Port of Spain, Trinidad, indicated that he looked forward to the development of the roadmap for the Single ICT Space.
He added that this space will also be an integral part of achieving the CARICOM strategic Plan 2015-2019.
“Working together with member states and partner institutions, there is an opportunity to make a difference and substantially improve the lives of the people of the Community,” he stated.
CARICOM, as a region, has been focusing on ICT development since 2004, when leaders committed to an aggressive and focused strategy to accelerate the adoption of information and communication technologies for development at the end of the Third Meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers responsible for Information and Communication Technology.
In 2014, Jennifer Britton, deputy program manager of r-ICT4D CARICOM Secretariat, made a presentation at the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO) 30th annual conference for a single ICT space for the community.
Millions of dollars have been invested within the past five years for ICT projects in various CARICOM member states, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Greneda.
Belize, over the years, has made strategic moves towards the elaboration of its ICT innovation strategy, which according to the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities is near completion. This policy will serve as a road map to guide ICT development in the next five years, addressing critical issues such as internet connectivity and coverage, under-developed ICT sector, and the low number of ICT professionals.