Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell (second from left) announcing the approval of the ICT Integrated Work Plan and Budget. Also in photograph are, from left, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger and Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Andrew Holness[/caption] Just five months after signing off on the Vision and Roadmap for the CARICOM Single ICT Space, Heads of Government have signalled that their approval for its Work Plan and Budget. The Single ICT Space represents the digital arm of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The approval was given at the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government that concluded on Thursday evening (6 July, 2017) in St. George’s, Grenada, under the Chairmanship of Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada. Dr. Mitchell holds responsibility for science and technology in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet. In recognition of the importance of ICT for the development of any economy, the Heads of Government mandated the development of a CARICOM Single ICT Space. In February, at their Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, they approved the Vision and Roadmap for the Single ICT Space. This decision increased the momentum of the ICT stakeholders to complete another mandate given by the Heads: the finalisation of an integrated work plan and budget for the Single ICT Space.
"The Single ICT Space must be used as the axle on which we hitch other indispensable initiatives, including those related to the cyber security action plan, recently approved by the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement. Our children's future and their ability to compete on the global level hang in the balance", Prime Minister Mitchell said in his address at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference.
He pointed out that ICT was a critical component of regional economies and played an essential role in connecting societies and in ensuring that the Region had the ability to "engage the world on equal terms." On Thursday evening, the Prime Minister said that Heads of Government were "conscious that the Region's youth and Diaspora are paying keen attention to this area and the Region's approach to ICT as an input to the future."