Recognising the work of ECTEL in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Castries, August 20, 2010: “The ECTEL model of joint Regulatory Authority is the most sought after model, to the point where we can export our human capital, our talents and expertise to several other regions of the world, including Asia, the Pacific and Africa, to demonstrate and share the ECTEL experience.”

This impression of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) was stated by Prime Minister, The Hon Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in his feature address at the award ceremony at Government House in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Awards Ceremony recognized the contribution of nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and the establishment of ECTEL.

The Prime Minister noted that the achievements of ECTEL was the result of rigorous negotiations and unrelenting dedication and professionalism of leaders, technical staff and advisers some of whom were selected to be honoured by ECTEL through out the region.

The seven persons who were honored in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, Hon Jerrol Thompson, Minister of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry, Mr. Isaac Solomon, Chairman of the ECTEL Board of Directors, Mr. Donnie Defrietas former Managing Director of ECTEL, Mr. Randolph Cato, Senior Director at the OECS Secretariat and Mr. Apollo Knights Secretary/Director of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC).

The ceremony in St. Vincent was the third hosted by ECTEL and forms part of a year-long programme of activities and events to observe the tenth anniversary of the regional regulatory authority. Member of the ECTEL Council of Ministers, Dr Jerrol Thompson who also spoke at the event called for the revision of the current legislation governing the telecommunication sector to be expanded in scope to embrace the ICT sector.

Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, executives of telecommunications providers and the Commissioners and staff of the NTRCs in the ECTEL Member States.

ECTEL will hold similar ceremonies in St. Kitts and Nevis in September and in Dominica in November. In addition to the awards ceremony, national and regional symposiums have been held in the Member States where issues such as the experience of service delivery, collaboration in regional regulation and the impact of ICT on young people have been discussed.

ECTEL is celebrating ten years, having been established by a treaty which was singed by the following countries in May 2000 – Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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