Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (15th March 2018) – Following the successful launch of its 21st Century Government initiative at a Heads of Government Summit in Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) will be presenting, in a workshop in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in March 2018, a policy framework and guidelines for implementation of 21st Century Government.
A 21st Century Government is one that makes effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to deliver services to its citizens, and its internal and external clients. It is characterised by citizen-centric, seamless, open, interactive, efficient and transparent processes.
21st Century Government will transform the public service, strengthen economic competitiveness and promote sustainable development. Many countries have been introducing electronic government (e-Government) services but the process has been very slow.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, will host ICT Week – St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 19th to 23rd March 2018 at Beachcombers Hotel, Villa, St. Vincent. The Week has as its theme Towards 21st Century Government, building on the foundation laid in Antigua and Barbuda.
In his 2018 Budget Address, Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who has responsibility for ICT, stated that the government “is committed to utilising information communication technology (“ICT”) to drive and accelerate transformational development in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Our ability to create an environment for the productive and inclusive use of ICTs is dependent on (i) expanding and improving ICT infrastructure; (ii) creating the necessary legal, institutional and policy frameworks for effective ICT adoption and use; (iii) expanding the necessary skills within government, the private sector
and civil society; and (iv) facilitating the growth of ICT-enabled innovation, particularly among the youth, small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Speaking on the importance of the initiative, Ms. Bernadette Lewis, CTU Secretary General, stated, “The programme for establishing 21st Century Government in the Caribbean is critical to ensure our countries accelerate e-Government service delivery, transform their public service and be on par with others that already have such Governments.”
Emphasising the CTU’s commitment and that of its principal partner, Caribbean Centre for Administration Development (CARICAD), to support regional governments in expediting their advance towards 21st Century Government, she continued, “The CTU, CARICAD and other strategic partners are ready and able to work with each government to facilitate this work. Effective adoption of 21st Century Government principles is a complex undertaking which will require a departure from the beaten tracks of government processes that no longer serve us. Ultimately, with the required political will, the region can begin and hasten the journey towards 21st Century Government.”
In addition to the convening of the CTU’s 36th Executive Council meeting, ICT Week will feature a Workshop on 21st Century Government that will prepare all stakeholders to adopt and accelerate the progress towards 21st Century Government.
Other activities, such as the Caribbean ICT Collaboration Forum on 21st March, will promote inter- ministerial collaboration, with a focus on the mechanisms to facilitate active implementation of the various projects identified as critical to national development and the advancement of the Caribbean. Many of these projects are essential to 21st Century Government.
The 2nd ICT for the Justice Sector event, also on 21st March, will explore further how ICTs can greatly enhance the management of the region’s justice sector.
The two-day GSMA Capacity Building training programme, on 21st to 22nd March, will address the principles of Internet Governance, discussing and analysing the actual or potential consequences of different policy approaches.
Four Workshops on ICT for People With Disabilities (PWD) will be held on 22nd March to demonstrate to them the power of ICTs to transform their lives.
The week’s activities will culminate on 23rd March with the CTU’s Caribbean ICT Roadshow which is designed to raise public awareness and educate on ICT and deliver tangible benefits, particularly to the Youth and Innovators. Five different fora will be held.
For further information, please visit the CTU Website at: http://www.ctu.int