A two-man delegation, led by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, is in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago for a preparatory meeting for the ‘Connecting the Americas’ summit.
Part of the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Connect the World Series, the summit, to be held in Panama from July 17 to 19, is part of activities aimed at boosting technology coverage in “unconnected” countries of the region by the year 2015.
The objective is to rally human, financial and technical capital in the region to close the Information Communication Technology(ICT) gap.
Mr. Robinson told JIS News that the government thought it important for the country to participate in the preparatory activities for the summit and hence, he has travelled to Trinidad with Chief Technical Director with responsibility for ICT in the Ministry, Wahkeen Murray.
“We believe it is important for Jamaica to reassert its leadership in the region in ICT. We believe that our status declined in this respect over the last couple of years,” he said.
The Connecting Americas Summit provides the opportunity for public and private sector leaders to meet with international and regional financing and development agencies to liaise and iron out details and forge partnerships.
The preparatory meeting in Trinidad offers a setting where ICT development projects are recognised. It will also facilitate partners and donors willing to participate in the implementation of preferred projects, with a view to enhancing the use of ICT applications, services and networks in the region.
“Our objective is to identify and seek funding for critical ICT projects that can impact the country in a positive way. Jamaica has already identified a number of projects and we will be engaging other stakeholders to inform them of this opportunity to get funding for their initiatives,” Minister Robinson told JIS News.
The summit, in July, will generate discussion on the challenges posed to emerging and transition economies, in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by ICT.
Decisions arrived at to address these regional challenges will be a key outcome of the summit.
By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS PRO