2018 Caribbean ICT Roadshow opens
With the aim of promoting more use of technology to solve issues across sectors and tiers of society, the 2018 Caribbean ICT conference and Roadshow got underway this morning.
Starting off with workshops for visually and hearing impaired persons, farmers and persons in the ICT sector, the event is being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. At these workshops, participants are given an opportunity to understand the potential of technology to make their lives easier.
“The roadshow seeks to encourage productive, beneficial use of ICTs to promote innovation and entrepreneurship and to dispel the fear people might have about technologies, and spark the imagination of ordinary citizens of the power of ICT to enhance and transform all that we do or that they’re involved in,” General Secretary of the Caribbean Telecommunications Unit, Bernadette Lewis.
This one-week event is being held by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), Digicel, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other stakeholders and will include ICT outreaches in East- Berbice Corentyne and Annai, Region Nine.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, said while the access to internet and technological items has increased over the years, there is need for individuals and companies in the public and private sectors to fully embrace ICT in their day to day operations.
During her address, she pointed out that there is a need for stakeholders buy-in.
“We will show how ICT can be used to improve efficiency in Government, in business, in agriculture, in education. We will show inclusion especially for those who are differently-abled. We will highlight our local content and the wonderful work that they’re doing in the tech field and most importantly, the opportunities and what our future can look like using ICTs,” Hughes said.
She also pointed out that it is also important to modernize the education methods of delivery “to a 21st-century environment.”
Hughes noted that technology will contribute significantly to the elimination of poverty.
President David Granger said that ICT is a functional and practical response to the challenge of the digital deficit in Caribbean states; noting that it will promote greater inclusion and innovation.
“ICT must drive the establishment of paperless agencies, departments and ministries. It must promote greater use of non-cash financial instruments. E-government must make public services more accessible; e-business must facilitate commerce, investment and trade,” the Head of State said.
The President said that this event can generate awareness of the many opportunities which ICT can provide for the region.
“ICT is affecting our economic, social and private lives profoundly. It is increasing the volume, and the speed of market transactions…ICT has been recognised as an important instrument of national development,” President Granger said.
The ICT Roadshow has been developed to raise awareness within the public sector, the private sector, civil society and academia, of the innovative approaches possible and necessary for the effective use of ICTs in government, business and social development.