Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The refurbishment of the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre located at the C A Paul Southwell Industrial Park has been described as the restart of future developmental programmes for citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Honourable Ian “Patches” Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, stated that this refurbishment is the restarting of the strengthening, repairing and restoring of the ICT Centre.
Minister Liburd said that local workers will play an important role in this project.
“One of the requests I made of the Ambassador is that we must have local labour included in that particular rehabilitation project,” he said, adding that a sub-contractor will soon be identified.
Pierre Bowrin, Policy Advisor of Communications in the Ministry of Communications, said that as focus is placed on the renovation of the National ICT Centre and its operations, it is useful to understand the historical context in which the upgrading of the centre will be done.
“In 2007 the operations of the centre opened, but in 2006 St. Kitts and Nevis began to take some important national steps to change how the economy is driven from being tourism and agriculture-based to one that included financial services and ICTs,” he said, adding that in 2006 the National ICT Strategic Plan was created.
He mentioned that the strategic plan focused on five pillars. These include building and strengthening the national infrastructure, enabling the policy and legal environment, developing ICT human resources and building capacity, modernizing government and developing citizen centric services, as well as leveraging ICT for economic and social development through partnerships.
The Policy Advisor of Communications said that the suspension of the ICT Centre in 2006 affected St. Kitts and Nevis.
“What the closure has done unfortunately for the nation is that it has limited our ability to try and ensure that these core pillars, its programmes and objectives were able to continue,” he stated. “The repair of this centre is more than just the repair of a building. It is allowing us to restart the National ICT Development Agenda.”
Work on the centre is expected to commence shortly and Minister Liburd anticipates that it will he completed in the shortest order.