Seven of the region's leading technology advocates were formally recognised for their outstanding service to the Caribbean at a special awards ceremony to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF).
Melford Nicholas, Minister of State and Information, Antigua and Barbuda, and President of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, presented Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), with a Special Recognition for Distinguished Service Award for her initiation and leadership of the CIGF.
Nigel Cassimire, Lance Hinds, Jacqueline Morris, Carlton Samuels, Dev Anand Teelucksingh and Bevil Wooding also received CIGF Excellence in Internet Governance Awards for their pioneering work in supporting regional and global Internet governance.
“We believe that we should be in the room whenever decisions are made that affect us in the Caribbean,” said Samuels, a Jamaica-based consultant in information and communications technology at Carlton Samuels and Associates, who received the award for his extensive continuing contribution to Caribbean Internet-related development.
Hinds, a businessman, civil society advocate and special advisor to the Ministry of Public Telecommunications in Guyana, and Morris, a university lecturer and gender rights advocate, were recognised for their role in the At-Large Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The pair, together with Samuels and Teelucksingh, were instrumental in the formation of the Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organisation, ICANN's first regional end-user organisation.
Wooding is Caribbean Outreach Liaison at the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and Chief Knowledge Officer at Congress WBN. He was recognised for his work in regional technology education, youth outreach, establishing Internet exchange points, and spearheading initiatives such as the Caribbean ICT Roadshow, the Caribbean Network Operators Group, the Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum, Apex justice technology solutions and BrightPath Foundation digital content programs.
“You just do what you have to as a labour of love for the Caribbean,” said Cassimire, Telecommunications Specialist at the CTU, who accepted the award for outstanding leadership in advancing Caribbean Internet governance.
The formal ceremony was held on April 30 at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, as part of a weeklong series of events held by the CTU to mark the thirtieth anniversary of its formation. The CTU is hosting the fifteenth Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, or CIGF 15, at the same venue on May 2 and 3.