PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago this month became the latest country to promote the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) through the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s ICT Roadshow. The Trinidad leg of the Caribbean ICT Roadshow kicked off on January 5th, with a Community Outreach event hosted by the Siparia Regional Corporation at the Thick Village Community Centre. More than 200 students and 100 adults benefitted from a full day of training and educational workshops targeting students, parents and teachers.
The event received broad support from a wide cross-section of organizations including the ICT Company of Trinidad and Tobago (iGovTT); the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago, TSTT, Digicel and Republic Bank, Scotia Bank, First Citizens Bank, Petrotrin and Unique Book Store.
Civil society also played an important role, with the international non-profit organization Congress WBN and the Siparia-based charity organization, Destiny Family Life Foundation, facilitating several hands-on sessions on the use of information and communications technology in everyday life.
The Caribbean ICT Roadshow is a regional initiative designed to raise awareness of the potential available through the innovative use of ICTs in government, business and social development. The Roadshow is coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), in collaboration with its members and partner organizations and institutions.
Speaking at the media launch for the Trinidad leg of the ICT Roadshow, CTU President Mrs. Rudrawatee Nan Gosine-Ramgoolam stated “The Roadshow is meeting a dire need for greater understanding of information and communication technologies and how they can positively impact lives.”
Gosine-Ramgoolam, who is also Minister of Public Administration in the Trinidad and Tobago Government, added “These outreach programmes should not be regarded as single ‘one-off’ events but as a template that could be replicated to create a groundswell of citizens who understand the power and potential of ICT, and are able to use the tools effectively in everyday activities.”
Bernadette Lewis, CTU Secretary General, noted that the activities were an important part of her organization’s ongoing effort to create greater public awareness of the value and positive role technology can play in the development of Caribbean society.
“We have come to understand that it is not just about the technology, but about people and engaging them at a level where they can see the benefits and voluntarily embrace the ICT tools," Lewis said.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through the National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited (iGovTT) is partnering with the CTU to stage the Roadshow. Cleveland Thomas, CEO of iGovTT shared that the program aligns well with the mandate of iGovTT, whose vision is to deliver innovative and integrative public sector ICT solutions for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Roadshow continues through the month of January with other community outreach programmes across the country. According to the Program Director for the event, Mr. Bevil Wooding, “There will be series of Community Outreach activities scheduled for communities across the country, including Sangre Grande, Moruga, Couva and San Fernando over the next four weeks.”
Wooding, who also represents international partner organisations Congress WBN and Packet Clearing House, shared, “Our intention is to showcase the ICT innovators and innovations taking place in Trinidad and Tobago and also to demonstrate what is possible.”
He added, “We are also working with officials and stakeholders in Tobago to tailor a set of activities for communities in Tobago.”
The ICT Roadshow culminates in the capital city Port of Spain from February 9th to 11th. A wide cross section of organisations in Trinidad and Tobago, including schools, private and public sector entities, and civil society groups are expected to participate. Activities over the three days will include fora for entrepreneurs, parents, educators, policy makers, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), ICT Innovators and youth.
For more information, please contact the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, Roadshow Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (868) 627-0281, or visit the official website at www.connectedcaribbean.com, You can also join the Roadshow on Facebook and Twitter.
About Caribbean ICT Roadshow
The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is a regional inter-governmental organization based in Trinidad and Tobago. The CTU has designed the Caribbean ICT Roadshow specifically to educate, raise public awareness and establish strategic programmes to foster innovative and beneficial use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Caribbean. The Caribbean ICT Roadshow places a strong emphasis on meaningful and practical activities that deliver tangible benefits to Caribbean citizens. The CTU works in partnership with its member states, Caribbean Governments, organisations, institutions and individuals with an interest in ICT innovation and regional development.