St. Kitts-Nevis will host the inaugural symposium on the “state of the Caribbean Internet” early next month.
The St. Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission says it is staging the December 4-5 symposium in collaboration with the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the St. Kitts-Nevis government.
The two-day event will be held under the theme “Accelerating Development of the Caribbean Internet Economy and Society” and the organisers said it will present a holistic view of the issues, trends and opportunities impacting adoption and development of the Internet in the Caribbean.
The symposium will also explore how governments, businesses and citizens in the Caribbean are reacting to, managing and taking advantage of the disruptive effect of new and emerging technology.
Among the topics to be discussed include interpreting internet trends, international developments & threats and Caribbean implications as well as achieving digital innovation and public and private sector innovations and wins
“Many countries have unwittingly gone down a costly, incoherent digital path that has frustrated technology’s considerable potential for enabling growth and innovation in the region,” said OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules.
“However, there are positive examples of successful digital models, in several fields, scattered throughout the region. These models hold the key to digital transformation for the region. This inaugural State of the Caribbean Internet symposium includes several regional and global Internet experts who will be sharing insights into the trends shaping the evolution of the digital economy and our interaction with it as nations, business and end-users,” he added.
The organisers said that the inaugural symposium is part of a wider initiative by the OECS Commission and ARIN to help accelerate development of the Caribbean Internet economy and society.
“There are significant and complex issues surrounding the digitalisation of Caribbean economies that are not always well understood or addressed,” said Bevil Wooding, Director for Caribbean Affairs at ARIN.
“This symposium goes beyond dialogue, to interpret global trends, identify successful models and catalyse practical action towards Internet-enabled development, with the welfare of Caribbean people and businesses at the core.”
The State of the Caribbean Internet symposium is expected to attract over 150 delegates from across the Caribbean and internationally, inclusive of government leaders, private sector representatives, academics, investors, international development partners, and persons involved in development work.
“The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is pleased to stage such an important regional event. This gathering provides a unique opportunity to share ideas and experiences with a diverse group of thought-leaders, change agents and action-oriented peers,” said Attorney General and Communications Minister here, Vincent Byron.
He said the government has launched a range of e-services, including an Inland Revenue electronic licensing and e-payment service, to reduce the cost and improve the quality of Public Sector service delivery and plans to continue investing in technology initiatives as a means of eliminating costly, paper-based processes and increasing digital services to nationals and residents at home and abroad.