Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 18, 2007)
The CARICOM Youth Ambassador Programme (CYAP) is playing a significant role in the region’s thrust to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to address the growing digital divide and the need to improve efficiency and marketability in all sectors.
The body was represented by its media advisor Ian Richards of St. Kitts and Nevis, at the inaugural meeting of the Regional ICT Steering Committee. The committee was established to advise, influence and guide the CARICOM Secretariat in managing and coordinating the advancement of ICT and the Information Society in member territories by leveraging the efforts of existing regional organisations.
The committee, which will mainly focus on the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal, met on Wednesday, May 16, at the Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel in Guyana.
“It was important for the CYAP to have a voice at this meeting,” Richards said. “Our programme offers fresh and innovative thinking to the Secretariat on various topics and how they impact young people. Everyone agrees that it is critical for youth to be trained and positioned to take advantage of the numerous ICT possibilities and we will ensure resources are mobilized to achieve such.”The meeting was attended by approximately 50 persons from various countries and regional agencies representing education, industry and commerce, quality standard assurance, finance, disaster mitigation. law, media, labour, trade and technology. Among country delegates were Dr. Edmond Mansoor, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and Telecommunications in Antigua, Raymond Morris of the Human Resource management and Development Office of Governance in Belize as well as Gita Raghubir, Chief Information Technology Officer in the Ministry of Education in Guyana.
Honorary CYA Richards expressed pleasure at the prospect of networking with these persons, who he described as being dedicated to regionalism and goal oriented.
This commitment to succeed was highlighted by the formation of four sub-committees designed to address various ICT related issues. Each subcommittee was assigned a 3-month deadline to develop an outcome to an identified area.
Kenneth Sylvester of Grenada was appointed chairman of the Regional ICT Steering Committee. Kathleen Gordon, Deputy Director of Information and Technology of Management Services in Barbados was elected as vice president.
The meeting came one day ahead of the Thursday, May 17, observance of World Information Society Day around the globe.