St. Kitts and Nevis touts ICT successes, contemplates establishment of National Foundation for the Advancement of the Information Society

National Information Technology Center

ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 28TH 2011 (CUOPM) – The use of information technology in the daily operations of private businesses and public sector entities has been identified as a critical element in increasing productivity and expanding market access for the goods and services produced in the Federation.

So says St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, who also disclosed plans to establish a National Foundation for the Advancement of the Information Society

According to the Prime Minister several initiatives undertaken by his administration with the financial and technological support of the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan and the European Union, have helped to nurture the rich and largely untapped potential for the development of a vibrant ICT sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“My Government’s legacy in terms of ICT includes the introduction of computers in all public schools; the deregulation of the telecommunication sector which has resulted in unprecedented penetration and access to telephone and internet services by the general public; the implementation of the two EU-funded ICT Projects that were implemented with the objectives of enhancing ICT skills development within the Federation; to foster the development of a vibrant and sustainable IT sector through the increased adoption of ICTs in strategic sectors such as tourism and agro-processing, the development of an ICT service/industry, the empowerment of social groups, communities and individuals, and support for an ICT driven public sector reform,” Prime Minister Douglas told participants drawn from the private and public sectors at a one day National Economic Growth Forum at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.

Saddlers Secondary School Computer Lab

He said with the assistance from the Taiwanese Government “we also successfully introduced the ICT Center which has become an indispensible ICT training facility and has to date trained and graduated hundreds of students in a variety of courses including internationally recognised certification.”

Dr. Douglas also said that the introduction of the new I-Literacy One-to-One Laptop Computer Project is the most recent ICT initiative which has great potential to contribute to the establishment of ICT as a strong pillar of economic growth and competitiveness and hoped that ICT development would gain much more traction in the local private sector.

He said expert advice has led his Government to look seriously at the establishment of a National Foundation for the Advancement of the Information Society which will become the lead agency for the development of ICT Governance, promoting, coordinating and facilitating ICT and e-development programmes within the country.

“In order for this concept to work it will require support from both the private and public sectors. I therefore put the private sector entities present here on notice that the people who are working on this aspect of the ICT development agenda will be contacting you over the next two months to share more detailed information and solicit your support,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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