CTU PRESS RELEASE: Charlestown, Nevis (4th May 2018) – As most Caribbean islands seek to improve their information and communications technology (ICT) sector, Nevis is also aggressively developing their digital economy through e-government transformation.
The recent inauguration of Hon. Troy Liburd, first Minister of ICT, with responsibility for Education, Library Services and Information Technology in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), re-affirmed this island’s commitment to developing ICT and implementing 21st Century Government.
The Information Technology (IT) Department of the NIA, which falls under the remit of this Ministry, is seeking to raise public awareness and foster greater understanding of ICT in the wider community through outreach activities. While some internal applications already exist in the NIA in the Office of the Premier, Customs, Financial Services and the Inland Revenue Department, the IT Department is working towards implementing e-services to improve e-government processes in the island. Nevis already has a sound Wide Area Network – one of the fundamental requirements for supporting digital government initiatives.
One outreach activity is the Department’s hosting of its second annual ICT Week which took place from April 29th to May 5th 2018. Mr. Quincy Prentice, Director of the NIA Technology Department, in elaborating on the theme of this year’s event, ‘ICT – Supporting the Trust Towards 21st Century Economy’ stated, “The goals of ICT Week are to promote the growth and development of the local ICT sector; to connect ICT solution providers with solution seekers; to raise awareness about critical ICT issues such as cyber-security, cloud computing, block chain technologies and artificial intelligence; and to generate interest in ICT as a career path amongst youth.”
One of the feature components of this year’s event was the 21st Century Government Workshop. Conceived by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), according to Secretary General Bernadette Lewis in her Opening Remarks, “The 21st Century Government initiative seeks to establish citizen-centric seamless Governments that are fit for purpose in the 21st Century and therefore foster transformation of the public service.” She further added, “The workshop was designed to review the policy and planning framework and assess the current state of digital government in St Kitts and Nevis with specific emphasis on Nevis.”
Led by CTU’s ICT Consultant, Gary Kalloo, and Ernst and Young’s Executive Director and Caribbean Lead, Government and Public Sector, Devindra Ramnarine, this interactive, informative and capacity building workshop covered five critical components of 21st Century Government; creating an enabling environment, building the infrastructure digitising the landscape, protecting the future and financing the vision. The workshop was used to validate the current state of these components through stakeholder engagements and information collated from a questionnaire on the state of digital government readiness assessment.
The workshop was used to identify gaps, priority areas and possible action agenda for implementing 21st Century Government in Nevis. Follow up workshops will be conducted with the business community and senior government officials to get their support to accelerate the implementation of 21st Century Government.