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Establishing the Caribbean Single ICT Space, with Jennifer Britton

Posted in: Regional News by admin | 29 August 2018 | 3414

    Jennifer Britton - Deputy Programme Manager CARICOM Secretariat
    Jennifer Britton - Deputy Programme Manager CARICOM Secretariat

    The Caribbean Single ICT Space is an ambitious undertaking that will transform the region’s ICT space as we know it. However, as important as that project is, most people have no idea what it is about, or what to expect. To help us get in the know, Jennifer Britton, of the CARICOM Secretariat, explains what the Single ICT Space is all about, shares with us a few of the upcoming milestones, and why it is crucial for the countries of the region to also transition to a digital economy.

    We all know the saying, ‘there is strength in numbers’, which for all intents and purposes can be considered the impetus for the numerous regional initiatives that have occurred across the Caribbean region. As small countries, Small Island Developing States, that tend to have a broad range of limitations, the pooling of resources and the adoption of a common approach and interest has been an important strategy that help individual countries and the region as a whole to punch above their weight in a diverse situations. For example:

    The strength and stability of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, as managed by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
    Achieving economies of scale, and more competitive pricing, through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Pharmaceutical Procurement Scheme, which procures medicines and allied health equipment on behalf of Member States
    Promotion of harmonised standards and quality verification, by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), which not only fosters efficiency and the competitive production in goods and services, but also ultimately, facilitates the ease of trade, and of movement, across the region, and Regional disaster coordination, management and support through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

    It is thus expected that through the adoption of a harmonised approached that the Caribbean region, and particularly the countries that are part of the CARICOM, will be able to establish a Single ICT Space. Although the Single ICT Space has been in news occasionally for past three or so years, very little is known about it. More importantly, it is supposed to be an ambitious regional project that will not only create a regional ICT space, but also will have a significant impact on the ICT space in individual Caribbean/CARICOM countries.

    In order to get the most authoritative information on Single ICT Space, it was thought it best to get it from the source: in the form of Jennifer Britton, Deputy Programme Manager – ICT for Development, at the CARICOM Secretariat, in Guyana. Some of the issues discussed in our conversation included the following:

    1. What is the Single ICT Space
    2. How the Single ICT Space fits into the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025
    3. The key objectives and envisaged outcomes of having a Single ICT Space
    4. How the Single ICT Space will be realised
    5. As the Deputy Programme Manager – ICT for Development, the role Jennifer plays in the effort to realise the Single ICT Space
    6. Concerns countries have expressed with respect to achieving the Single ICT Space
    7. Concerns that Jennifer has with respect to realizing the Single ICT Space
    8. The importance of the digital economy within the context of the Single ICT Space
    9. Imminent milestones imminent along the path towards achieving the Single ICT Space


    Select links

    Below are links to some of the organisations and resources that either were mentioned during the episode, or otherwise, might be useful:


    Image credits:  3910743 (Pixabay);  J Britton

    Music credit:  Ray Holman