The Government is committed to ensuring that all Saint Lucians benefit from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Three years ago, it established a state-of-the-art Community ICT Access Centre in the town of Soufriere and followed that up with the launch of island-wide Wi-Fi in Soufriere one year later.
Through the CARCIP Project, many Saint Lucians have received grant funding for businesses that incorporate or use ICT, while several training institutions have also benefited from grants to extend ICT-related training to young people interested in making a career in the ICT sector.
In his New Year’s Address, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony provided details of his Government’s ambitious programme for the ICT sector. The Prime Minister revealed that in the next three months, new Community ICT Access Centres would be opened in the village of Micoud, the town of Vieux Fort, the village of Anse La Raye, the village of Canaries, and the community of La Resource in Vieux Fort.
The Prime Minister further revealed that by the end of this calendar year, his Government would have converted existing community centres into modern, fully equipped Community ICT Access Centres in Monchy in Gros Islet; Garand in Babonneau; Faux A Chaud, Entrepot and Marchand in Castries; Belmont and Grande Riviere in Dennery North; Dennery Village; Grace and Belle Vue in Vieux Fort North; the village of Laborie; Darban, Mongouge, Lamaze and Saltibus in Choiseul; and Jacmel.
At a Community Town Hall Meeting in Soufriere last week, Hon. James Fletcher, whose ministry is responsible for this project, announced that Fond St Jacques in Soufriere has been added to the list of communities that will benefit from the ICT Access Centre initiative.
All of the Community ICT Access Centres will be equipped with computers, printers, projectors, and will have free Wi-Fi available to their users and residents in the immediate vicinity. Many of them will also have electronic whiteboards for use as a training tool.
The new Community ICT Access Centres will complement a Libraries ICT Project that is being funded by the Universal Service Fund. This project provides computers for fourteen (14) libraries around the island, as well as broadband access for a five-year period, technical support, and the creation of wireless hotspots at all of these libraries.