Private sector cooperation and support are pivotal to the successful delivery of the CARICOM Single ICT space.
Against this background,staff members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat met with a team from International Business Machine (IBM) on Thursday, 2 November 2017, to discuss the Single ICT Space and other regional initiatives. The visiting team comprised Mr. Robin Ford, Business Development Executive, Caribbean Government Sector; Mr. Shaun Archer, Client Technical Leader, IBM Caribbean; Mr. Don Leahy, Cloud Portfolio Executive, Cloud Services, IBM Canada and Mr. Anil Singh, Authorised Client representative Guyana.
The Single ICT Space represents the digital arm of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is an ICT-enabled borderless space that fosters economic, social and cultural integration for the betterment of Caribbean citizens. It comprises regionally harmonised ICT policies, legislation, regulations, technical standards, best practices, networks and services.
IBM is a worldwide leading technology organisation and is the first regional service provider to meet with the CARICOM Secretariat to discuss issues related to opportunities for cooperation and corporate social responsibility in the development of the Single ICT Space. The CARICOM Secretariat has been emphasising partnerships as a critical component in the delivery of the goals as well as implementing the Single ICT Space Work Plan, with all stakeholders, including government, private sector, academia, and civil society, all citizens, as well as regional and international agencies. During the round table discussion, Ms. Jennifer Britton, Deputy Programme Manager, ICT for Development, spoke on behalf of the Secretariat. She highlighted the key initiatives of the Region that were integral to and dependent on the development of the Single ICT Space. These include the CSME, the Regional Strategic Plan, the Human Resource Development Strategy 2030, the Commissions on the Economy and Transport, the Action Plan on Statistics, and other sector-specific initiatives such as in Agriculture, Procurement and Finance. Big Data and the Internet of Things were also discussed at the half-day forum, as well as the critical need to be able to plan, mitigate and recover from disasters as quickly as possible, by utilising ICT Tools.
The IBM team focused on Block Chain and Cloud Computing Technologies and their relevance to several activities to be undertaken in the Single ICT Space. IBM’s support for CARICOM regional initiatives was confirmed at the round table. The round table session ended with agreement on both sides to follow-up meetings where concrete initiatives, which would benefit the Region, could be de