BUILDING GRENADA TOGETHER
(Written in UK English)
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, TUESDAY, APRIL 3RD, 2012 – Chairman of the TEXPO Organising Committee and Director of ICT in the Ministry of ICT – Prime Minister’s Office, Loretta Simon, is calling for greater collaboration between the private and public sector in promoting ICT as an enabler of socio-economic development.
Simon, who spoke candidly at the official launch of TEXPO 2012, on Monday April 2, believes that significant changes to Grenada’s economy can only result from the unified approaches of all individuals, not just government. “The goals of ICT development cannot be accomplished by a single organisation or the government alone but require the collective effort and collaborative work by organisations, institutions and stakeholders of various disciplines,” she said.
One such way of forwarding the ICT for Development (ICT4D) initiative and creating an information society, Simon indicated, is by buying into and supporting TEXPO.
TEXPO – the three day technology exposition staged by the Ministry of ICT, affords Grenadians the opportunity to learn about ICT through participation in interactive forums and interactions with leading ICT professionals. It also affords local companies the opportunity to showcase their technologies and innovations, in the hopes of advancing business objectives.
In addition, TEXPO drives national development through its Community Outreach Programme. The programme,actively engages citizens in their communities by offering insightful forums on issues, such as cybercrime, parenting the digital generation, cool tech tips and tricks, digital banking and careers in ICT. The staging of computer clinics and competitions, all geared at raising the profile and reducing national apprehension of ICT are also delivered through the programme.
According to Simon, support for TEXPO can take many forms. This includes partnering with the organisation to assist in delivering relevant forums and workshops, facilitating discussions and consultations, and providing advertising and prizes for competitions. Additionally, said the chairman, support for TEXPO could be financial, which will assist in meeting the organisation’s administrative costs.
In so doing, Corporate Grenada, and other stakeholders, will “lay a strong foundation for the development of Grenada as an information society,” said Simon. This foundation will further lead to the “development of an appropriate public policy framework; growth of a critical mass of Grenadian citizens who have embraced, and are using ICT tools and resources effectively in every sphere of endeavour and the development of new ICT-based business.”
As it stands, TEXPO is managed by a voluntary body of individuals from within the private and public sector. One such individual, Hugh Whyte, the web developer for the official government and TEXPO websites, believes that Grenadians should do much more than just support TEXPO – they should become fans of it as well.
“We want each and everyone to become as passionate about TEXPO as we are,” Whyte said. “TEXPO is ICT and ICT is TEXPO. We are innovating, creating and transforming Grenada by leveraging Technology.”
According to the developer, Grenada could very well become the Silicon Valley of the Caribbean; offering a hub of ICT services and products.
For now, TEXPO is continuing to push ICT as an enabler of socio-economic development in Grenada. As it prepares to stage the second instalment of its exposition from May 17-19, it is guided by its theme: “Connecting Communities Through Emerging Technologies.”