As Cuba’s ICT infrastructure looks set for sudden growth, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is seeking to become involved in its developmental programs and thereby extend that growth to other countries in the region.
With that goal in mind, CARICOM is sending a delegation to Cuba under the leadership of Professor Harold Ramkissoon, chairman of the CARICOM Science, Technology and Innovation Committee.
“Caribbean countries want to strengthen technology links with Cuba,” stated Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, whose country currently holds the responsibility of bolstering science and technology sector in the CARICOM region.
With the United States presently improving its relationship with Cuba, several American technology firms, particularly Internet giants like Google, have begun exploring business opportunities in the Communist state. Mitchell hopes that Cuba can “open the door for Caribbean growth.”
Last month, CARICOM announced that it was looking for ways to create what it called “a single ICT platform” for the Caribbean, which involves integrating the region’s technology resources and infrastructure.
Its five-year program for the ICT platform, which involves building ICT research & development centers, has already been approved by the member states.
According to Mitchell, inadequate spending on R&D has long been a major obstacle hampering Caribbean’s growth in technology and broadband infrastructure. He argues that the Caribbean must embrace technology to deal with its growing problem of unemployment.
With a strong technology infrastructure, Mitchell said, the Caribbean can follow in the footsteps of Brazil, China, India and Malaysia.
CARICOM comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.