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ICT Access and Skills Fundamental to an Information Society

 

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Honourable Fayval Williams, is reiterating the importance of ICT skills and greater access to ICTs as fundamental components for participating in today’s information society.

 

She was speaking at the Plenary Session of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Summit being held in the Trinidad & Tobago capital of Port of Spain, April 29 – May 3, 2019.

 

Minister Williams noted that “having ICT skills correlate positively with social well-being and economic productivity.”

 

In her address, Minister Williams also called for greater access to ICTs and challenged ICT providers to find ways to make broadband internet access cheaper for the Caribbean region. 

 

“In order for countries in the region to have a fighting chance at becoming the digital societies everyone wants, a major hurdle that confronts and prevents citizens from having a deeper and more productive and creative engagement with broadband technology is the cost of access which includes both the device and the service.”

 

In highlighting the tremendous economic opportunities ICTs provide, Minister Williams said “we have to make it more affordable for our citizens to access the broadband technology so that they can use way more of it to create e-commerce businesses, to engage with health and financial service providers, for example, to do more searches and to power their small businesses.”

 

Minister Williams commended the work of both the CTU and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for their invaluable contribution towards assisting countries become digital societies. She encouraged all countries to adopt the theme of the conference, “Digital Transformation – DO IT”.

 

Minister Williams is leading a Jamaican delegation in the week of activities to commemorate the 18th Caribbean Ministerial Strategic ICT Seminar and the 30th anniversary celebrations of the CTU.

 

The CTU’s celebrations are also being used to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum.