The Ministers’ discussion will take place on the platform of the 36th Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) under which ICT falls.
The CARICOM Secretariat led the formulation of the strategy to guide the ICT activities and initiatives in the region and to use ICT as a critical development tool for the Caribbean.
“ICT is one of the most important facilitators in strengthening the CARICOM Single Market and in ultimately creating a Single Economy,” said Deputy Programme Manager, Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Jennifer Britton ahead of the meeting.
“The emergence of e-commerce, e-government, e-health and e-learning as critical mechanisms within the development process in this digital era, is evidence of the global embrace of ICT to improve efficiencies across a range of areas and sectors.”
In this regard, ICT ministers will also consider a governance structure which will be critical for supporting the implementation of the draft Regional Digital Development Strategy. They will also discuss for subsequent approval, the Draft Regional e-Government Strategy (2010–2014) that was developed in 2009 by a core group under the leadership of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD).
Britton said this new strategy builds on work done on the previous 2004-2007 document and highlights eight strategic priorities for advancing regional governments in their quest for more accountability, transparency and service orientation.
The COTED Meeting will also receive reports from regional and international organizations on several ICT programmes and initiatives in train, and will also examine the role and use of new media technologies in advancing CARICOM’s public information programmes.