Caribbean ministers and senior advisers with responsibility for digital transformation signed the Port-of-Spain Commitment on Digital Integration in Trinidad last week.
This agreement marked the culmination of discussions that took place during the executive sessions on Digital Leadership in the Caribbean on May 15 and 16 and signals a commitment to collective action in pursuit of sustainable digital transformation across the region.
The executive leadership sessions were hosted by the Ministry of Digital Transformation on behalf of the Government in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
The meeting 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 digital transformation policymakers with the support of internationally-renowned thought leaders and speakers, discussed and shared information on their transformation efforts.
They spoke frankly of their successes, challenges and areas of interests in seeking to leverage technology to improve the lives of citizens at home and abroad; and agreed on action within the rubric of three critical digital transformation areas, namely infrastructural ecosystem, cybersecurity, and digital identity (e-ID) and interoperability.
Consequently, and as detailed in the Port-of-Spain Commitment on Digital Integration, the agreed activities are 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.
• Develop a Regional C-SIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) to coordinate collaboration among national CSIRTS.
• 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.
• Develop a Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Regional Framework to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats, identify vulnerabilities, and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures.
• Pursue cross-border recognition of digital IDs, addressing issues such as data protection, and privacy.
• Establish a shared repository of digital solutions (government-owned source code) allowing governments access to solutions required for their digital transformation efforts.
• Develop 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: T&T, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis; and St Vincent and the Grenadines.