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ICT workshop vital and necessary, says Thompson

ICT workshop vital and necessary, says Thompson


Efforts are being made to implement Information Communication Technology (ICT) more effectively into the public and private sectors of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

On, Monday, July 25, The National ICT Strategic Planning, Business Process Re-engineering and E-Government Framework Workshop was held at the Telecommunications Conference room, CLICO buiding, Kingstown.

The workshop was hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications, Science and Technology in the Prime Minister’s Office. It was conducted with a view to giving a better focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and evaluating how these technologies can be better implemented in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The opening ceremony featured an address from Dr. Jerrol Thompson, speaking in his capacity as Director of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Special Projects. He noted that this workshop was vital and necessary as “virtually all ways of working are becoming more intelligent”.

He urged the participants and the nation on a whole to pursue this direction. “If we do not build a stronger Internet society”, he said, “we remain customers.”

He, however, noted innovations which signal a step in the right direction; pointing to the distribution of netbooks to primary school pupils; 3g and 4g technologies offered by Internet Service Providers; the work done by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), and widespread use of high speed Internet in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Additionally, he made special mention of the Centre of Excellence located at Diamond. He asserted that there are plans to make it a hub for software and mobile technology in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, so that the full power of ICT can be harnessed.

Also delivering remarks was the Advisor for Informatics of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Anthony Ming. The Guyanese born presenter, one of the three facilitators of the workshop, gave a short but stirring presentation where he noted that there needs to be change management if a society wishes to make a transition from traditional cultural sectors to one based on ICT. He reiterated that ICT was very important, citing figures from the World Bank which assert that for every 10 per cent of broadband penetration in a country, there is a corresponding 1.38 per cent GDP growth. He pointed to the Antiguan model, which he said is a beacon of ICT in the Caribbean from which St. Vincent and the Grenadines can learn.

Other facilitators of the workshop were Joseph Tabone, Chairman of COMNET Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum, and Winston George, an E-grip Consultant.

The facilitators held sessions on National ICT strategies, E-government and Business Process Re-engineering.

Participants were drawn from both public and private sectors and included representatives from the Police Force, Internet service providers, the National Insurance Service, Adult Education, and the Centre for Enterprise Development Unit.

In addition to this one day workshop, within the week, meetings will also be held with officials from the Ministry of Education to discuss the UNESCO computers For Teachers Framework.(PM)