Haynesley Benn, Minister of Commerce and Trade, addressing the attendees at Event Caribbean 2011. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Information Communications Technology (ICT) will be used increasingly to assist government in achieving its goals.

This was the sentiment shared by Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, as he addressed attendees at Event Caribbean 2011, the Information Society of Barbados’ Conference and Exhibition, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Minister Benn revealed that consultants had been commissioned to develop action plans which would address the creation of an ICT human resource database and the creation of an institutional framework for the sector.?? He said there were also plans to develop a Research, Innovation and Adoption Unit.

"It has been suggested that the main function of this unit [would] be to develop, direct and execute relevant, dynamic and rigorous ICT programmes in Barbados. It is also suggested that this agency be the local hub providing ICT research to the Government of Barbados, educational institutions, [and] the business community," he explained.

Engendering a more positive environment for those interested in the sciences was also addressed, as Senator Benn noted that a science and technology institute had also been proposed.?? The entity, he explained, would be used to "bridge the gap between secondary school and university level education", in an effort to mitigate the current high drop-out rate of university-level science students.??

Ensuring that ICT-related courses of study were accredited, was also listed as an area of concern, with a recommendation that the Technical and Vocational Educational and Training Council, and the Barbados Accreditation Council be mandated to address this issue.

Event Caribbean 2011, which tackled a range of topics including the role of social media and the importance of e-business to economic development, ends today.


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