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JAMAICA | Wheatley calls for greater harmonization if region is to survive and thrive in digital world

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley.
KINGSTON,  July 24, 2018 - The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, has issued a rallying call to his counterparts in the Caribbean to harmonise their efforts, in a bid to capitalize on the numerous opportunities available a digital world.

Minister Wheatley made the call on Monday as he addressed the CANTO 34th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition at the Hard Rock Hotel in Panama City, Panama.

CANTO is a leading authority in shaping information, communication and technology policies and programmes in the Americas and Caribbean. CANTO is made up of operators, organizations, companies and individuals in the ICT sector.

Addressing an audience of ICT power brokers, including Chairman of the powerful Federal Communications Commission in the United States, Ajit Pai, Minister Wheatley noted the progressive strides made by individual countries in the region to create a digital space for the benefit of domestic populations.

And even as he acknowledged the guiding principles of the CARICOM Single ICT Space for the formulation of policy in individual Caribbean states, Minister Wheatley encourage regional collaboration to achieve the goal of shared prosperity and growth through the use of ICT’s.

Noting that broadband connectivity is but one small victory in the battle to reap major benefits from the digital age, Minister Wheatley called for national policymakers to forge a mutually beneficial partnerships, balancing the ideals of investment, national development and most crucially, economic growth.

He told his audience that for the region to realize the six outcomes of achieving a sustainable, inclusive and trustworthy digital society, as articulated by the World Economic Forum, clear priorities must be set by national policymakers and communicated to citizens.

Minister Wheatley urged his counterparts in the Caribbean and the Americas to urgently begin discussions around the regional approach to achieving those outcomes critical to surviving in an ultra-competitive digital space and age.

Minister Wheatley is due to return to the island from Panama on this week.

  • Countries: CARICOM

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