GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday June 7, 2018 – Progress on the development of the Single Information and Communication Technology (ICT) space in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and cyber security, are among the main areas that ICT officials will discuss when they meet today.
The virtual meeting of officials that will be anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, is in preparation for a Special Meeting of Ministers of ICT in the last quarter of this year.
The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT has agreed to meet at least twice per year to have discussions on how the regional ICT agenda can be advanced. This meeting is the first for the year, and follows a number of activities relating to ICT which were conducted in the region over the past months.
The Single ICT Space – a cross-sectoral and highly complex undertaking – is the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The Single ICT Space will allow for harmonisation of the ICT and other legislative frameworks, the removal of roaming charges, the encouragement of digital entrepreneurship, equipping all citizens as digital citizens and looking at ICT financial solutions among other regional benefits. CARICOM Heads of Government approved the Road map for the Single ICT Space in February 2017.
Discussions on the Single ICT space will cover matters such as the digital citizenship, and sectoral linkages. The officials will also focus on guidelines for ICT in Disaster Risk Reduction Management. Those deliberations will be made against the background of intensified natural disasters that continue to damage CARICOM Member States, and the communication disruption that occurs.
The discussions will be held under the over-arching theme of leveraging technology to build a resilient community and sustainable growth and development.
General discussions will include an assessment of ICT strategies and programmes in the region, cyber security and protecting internet borders and assets
And, as emphasis continues to be placed on the development of quality statistics for regional development, the officials will pay attention to the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the Development of the Statistics. ICT officials will hold the discussions on statistics in the context of inputs for measuring progress and sustainability.
The meeting will also deliberate on global issues that will have an impact on the region’s ICT agenda. As global discussions are being held on the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, the Senior ICT Officials will also focus on how this can affect the Data Privacy and Protection laws in the region, and the impact on citizens and various industries and sectors.