There is an “urgent need” to harmonise the legislative and regulatory framework governing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the region, according to Grenada’s Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas.
Speaking to a consultation on the Harmonisation of ICT Policies, Legislation and Regulatory Procedures (HIPCAR), the Prime Minister said Grenada and the region, are unable to realistically develop local content and creativity or access the benefits offered by e-Government and e-Business, if there are no laws to protect users and their work.
“Since 2008, the need for harmonized legislation has become more urgent….. not only because of email and Blackberry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter, which are now more pervasive than ever, but also, because of the priority we have placed on ICT in Grenada…..Information and Communication Technology has been identified as one of the five pillars for economic transformation,” he noted.
Prime Minister Thomas reiterated his administration’s view that ICT, along with Education, Health and Wellness services, Tourism and Hospitality services and Energy Development and Agri-business, will ensure diversity, resilience and sustainability in Grenada’s economic growth.
“We have determined that Information and Communication Technology is a vehicle that will connect and attract our highly skilled, computer savvy young people to the world of work which is becoming more attractive as geographical location is becoming less relevant. We also see it as a tool for greater efficiency in the work place,” the Prime Minister declared.
The Grenadian leader, who is also responsible for ICT and is the lead Head in CARICOM for the sector, said the absence of the enabling legislation is frustrating efforts to attract foreign investment into the sector.
The Prime Minister said he hopes the synergies that can be derived from HIPCAR and the Electronic Government for Regional Integration Project (EGRIP), in which Grenada is also involved, will “ensure that we meet the global best practice and make Grenada and the region a safe and competitive environment in which to do business.”