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Information and Communication Technology for Development

Posted in: Regional News by admin | 06 June 2007 | 2958

    BOLANS, Antigua: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for Information, Broadcasting and Communications Dr Edmond Mansoor has said that the accessibility to Information Communication Technologies ICT’s will determine the rate at which a knowledge-based economy will emerge in Antigua and Barbuda.

    Speaking at the opening of Information Society Seminar/Workshop sponsored by the University of the West Indies’ Centre for International Services and the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality CROSQ and the Ministry of Information Broadcasting and Communications, at the Jolly Beach Resort, Dr Mansoor noted that the building of an information-knowledge society is largely dependent on the development of an adequate infrastructure, or accessibility. He said that connectivity is equal to economic opportunity, and more specifically broadband connectivity.

    Dr. Mansoor also pointed out that the Government of Antigua and Barbuda fully accepts that the building of a new economy is based on a greater degree of information, knowledge handling and exchange than ever before.

    “The United Progressive Party Government of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer is according a high priority both to the development of traditional media (radio, TV) and to the putting in place of a modern ICT infrastructure, which is widely accessible. Indeed, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has advanced the process of building our national technological capability by promoting Antigua as a Regional Centre of Information Communication Technology Excellence,” he said.

    He outlined that the Government has also been ensuring the integration and adaptation of ICTs in many spheres including education, commerce, governance systems and law enforcement.

    “Antigua and Barbuda will not be left behind,” he stated.

    On Tuesday, the Ministry of Broadcasting, Information and Telecommunications launched via the print and electronic media the first part of an ambitious programme to reduce the digital divide and to increase the tele-density by beginning to provide ordinary citizens with access to ICTs at the community level. In this regard, an international style ICT FEST will be held on September 14 and 15 this year.

    This ICT explosion, with a theme of “ICT Solutions for Antigua and Barbuda’s Development”, will have a number of objectives including showing ICT solutions in as many sectors as possible as a means of facilitating national development; finding novel ways of getting ICT to have an impact on and reaching ordinary citizens; and showing how ICT can transform problem solving in non-traditional areas such as the environment and in preparation for World Cup 2007.

    The three day ICT conference is expected to create a set of Caribbean positions on the Information Society issues for inputs into National Policy, propose areas of action, especially in the area of human capacity-building and ICT policy, and to establish a Regional Technical Committee for the development of CARICOM ICT Standards.