Caribbean leaders commit to regional digital integration

May 23, 2023 in Regional

The Trinidad-based Caribbean telecommunications Union (CTU) says at least nine Caribbean countries have signed the Port of Spain Commitment on Digital Integration, signalling a commitment to collective action in pursuit of sustainable digital transformation across the region.

It said in addition to the nine countries, two senior advisors with responsibility for digital transformation signed the agreement that marked the culmination of discussions that took place during the executive sessions on Digital Leadership in the Caribbean last week.

The event was hosted by Trinidad and Tobago government in partnership with the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) and the CTU and reaffirmed the priority to be placed on advancing digital transformation (DT) to support social and economic growth in the Caribbean.

“The sessions created an enabling space in which the region’s most senior DT policymakers with the support of internationally-renowned thought leaders and speakers, discussed and shared information on their DT efforts,” the CTU said in a statement.

It said as a result, the meeting agreed to consider the creation of a Regional Government Cloud leveraging existing or planned government data centres across the Caribbean region, establish a regional data centre to provide a more cost-effective and resilient solution for data storage and management as well as develop a Regional C-SIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) to coordinate collaboration among national CSIRTS.

Delegates also agreed to enhance cybersecurity education, training, and awareness to build capacity, to address the skills gap in the cybersecurity industry; and to promote safe online practices and educate citizens on the risks associated with cyber threats as well as develop a Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Regional Framework to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats, identify vulnerabilities, and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures.

They agreed to pursue cross-border recognition of digital IDs, addressing issues such as data protection, and privacy and establish a shared repository of digital solutions (government-owned source code) allowing governments access to solutions required for their digital transformation efforts.

The meeting alsdo agreed on the development of a region-wide validation of national forms of identification and credentials based on an interoperable digital identity.

The 11 countries which formed part of the Commitment are: Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St. Kitts-Nevis; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The CTU is eager to assist in moving this digital agenda forward, to promote regional ICT integration and accelerate digital transformation within the Single ICT Space.” said CTU Secretary General, Rodney Taylor.