The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), located in Trinidad, has announced that at least nine Caribbean countries have signed the Port of Spain Commitment on Digital Integration, signalling a commitment to collaborative action in pursuit of regional digital transformation.
It was stated that, in addition to the nine ministers, two senior advisors in charge of digital transformation signed the agreement, which was the culmination of discussions that took place during the executive sessions on Digital Leadership in the Caribbean last week.
The event, held by the government of Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the CTU, reiterated the importance of furthering 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 DT policymakers, with the support of internationally-renowned thought leaders and speakers, discussed and shared information on their DT efforts,” stated the CTU in a statement.
As a result, the meeting agreed to consider establishing a regional data center to provide a more cost-effective and resilient solution for data storage and management, as well as developing a Regional C-SIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) to coordinate collaboration among national CSIRTs.
Delegates also agreed to improve cybersecurity education, training, and awareness in order to build capacity and address the skills gap in the cybersecurity industry.
Additionally, the delegates plan to promote safe online practices and educate citizens on the risks associated with cyber threats, and to develop a Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Regional Framework to protect critical infrastructure from cyber threats, identify vulnerabilities, and implement appropriate risk mitigation measures.
DIGITAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS
The ministers said they intend to explore cross-border recognition of digital IDs while addressing concerns such as data protection and privacy, as well as to create a shared repository of digital solutions (government-owned source code) to provide governments with access to solutions needed for their digital transformation efforts.
The group also agreed to create a regional validation system for national forms of identification and credentials based on interoperable digital identities.
Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St Kitts-Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are among the 11 countries that signed the Commitment.
“The CTU is eager to assist in moving this digital agenda forward, to promote regional ICT integration, and to accelerate digital transformation within the Single ICT Space.” said Rodney Taylor, secretary general of the CTU.