Basseterre – Wednesday February 14, 2018 – The Team Unity government, through the Ministry of Communications, will officially launch the state-of-the-art National ICT Centre as part of the week-long activities around its historic three-year anniversary celebrations.
The National ICT Centre located at the Paul Southwell Industrial Park on Bay road will be instrumental in providing world-class training and globally-recognized certifications, skills development and entrepreneurship as well as becoming a regional Internet Exchange (IXP) point. The Prime Minister, Dr. The Honorable Timothy Harris will preside over the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He will be joined by other St Kitts and Nevis government ministers and heads of departments, Antigua Minister for ICT, Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), representation from Amazon, Microsoft, Deloitte, University of West Indies and The Cable amongst others.
The launch event program will run for two days with the Opening Ceremony slated for Thursday February 15 and the Cyber Resilience Symposium and Technical Workshop scheduled for Friday February 16. The launch of the National ICT Centre comes against the backdrop of increased expansion of the national ICT agenda and infrastructure by the Team Unity government, with the aim of transforming St Kitts and Nevis into a creative economy.
2015 saw an increase in mobile-broadband penetration rate from 18.6 per 100 inhabitants to 71.0 per 100 inhabitants. This was attributed to a reduction in the cost of prepaid mobile broadband from USD 51.9 in 2014 to USD 13.7 in 2015. In 2016, St Kitts and Nevis launched the E-gov platform www.gov.kn to streamline delivery of services to the people and boost ease of doing business.
The same year, the twin-island nation moved up 20 positions on the 2016 ICT Development Index (IDI) global ranking, emerging third after United States and Canada in the Americas region. St Kitts and Nevis’ significant progress in ICT was recognized globally and the Minister for Communications, Honorable Vincent Fitzgerald Byron, was presented with the coveted World’s Most Improved and Most Dynamic accolades at the World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Symposium 2016.
In 2017, Team Unity government launched 5 E-gov mobile apps to transform interactions with the people of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis on issues affecting them. The apps, available for free download on iOS and Android platforms, include SKNIS News/Information App, SKN Shopper App, Government Directory App, Crime Prevention App and National Events App.
Additionally, statistics in the Caribbean category of the Measuring the Information Society Report 2017 ranking, placed St Kitts and Nevis ahead of the pack with 73% of households having internet access. Further statistics showed that active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as well as mobile telephone-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants were highest in St Kitts and Nevis compared to other Caribbean nations analyzed in the report.
2018 so far has seen the focus of the E-gov platform expand to other government ministries and departments including Inland Revenue Department, Department of Child Protection Services and Ministry of Education amongst others with the aim of further streamlining delivery of services. The outlook remains positive with the launch of the National ICT Centre, expected to further transform the St Kitts and Nevis ICT space.