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OECS – ARIN to host Caribbean internet symposium

CASTRIES, St Lucia — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), in collaboration with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), and the government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, will be hosting the inaugural symposium on The State of the Caribbean Internet in Basseterre, St Kitts from December 4 – 5, 2019. The theme for this event is “Accelerating Development of the Caribbean Internet Economy and Society”.

The symposium will present a holistic view of the issues, trends, and opportunities impacting the 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.

Discussions will focus on the following areas:

  • Interpreting internet trends: International developments & threats and Caribbean implications;
  • Achieving digital innovation: Empowering communities & developing digital skills;
  • Mapping internet governance and public policy: Closing gaps, creating opportunities;
  • Highlighting Caribbean achievements: 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 Dr Didacus Jules, director-general of the OECS Commission.

“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,” Dr Jules, shared.

This inaugural symposium is part of a wider initiative by the OECS Commission and ARIN to help accelerate the 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 will be held at the St Kitts Marriott Resort. The event is expected to attract over 150 delegates from across the Caribbean and internationally, inclusive of heads of state, private sector leaders, 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 Vincent Byron, attorney general and minister responsible for the ministry of justice, legal affairs, and communications in the government of St Kitts and Nevis.

The government of St Kitts and Nevis 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.

Minister Byron expressed that the government of St Kitts and Nevis 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.

The state of the Caribbean internet symposium is being organised by the OECS Commission and ARIN in collaboration with the ECCB, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), and the government of St Kitts and Nevis.

Day one of the symposium will explore key facets of the internet economy and the implications of global trends for regional and national development, including interpreting internet trends, achieving digital innovation, mapping internet governance and public policy, and highlighting successful Caribbean models.

Day two will focus on cybersecurity, internet infrastructure and the role of the media in shaping public opinion and confidence in the digital era; including a special youth capacity building forum under the theme:  digital skills for the future, today.



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