ISB honouree, Brenda Pope, receives a gift from Past President of the ISB, Allan Herbert (second from left) and Vice President of the ISB, Michael Forde. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Over 30 years’ contribution to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Barbados was recognised last night at the Accra Beach Hotel, as the Information Society of Barbados (ISB) hosted an awards ceremony in honour of Brenda Pope.

A Senior Advisory Partner with KPMG Barbados, Mrs. Pope was lauded for her outstanding work, which began when she joined Systems Caribbean Ltd (SCL).?? Using her background in applied mathematics and computer science, she contributed to the development of ICT nationally and in the region, with some applications of her systems still in use today.

Lauded by her former colleagues, including SCL founding member Dr. Basil Springer, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, the honouree was also congratulated by Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, who commended the ISB for its foresight in acknowledging Mrs. Pope, the organisation’s first female honouree.??

Speaking to the importance of ICT for Barbados’ advancement, Minister Benn highlighted some of the programmes being undertaken to develop the sector.

"We have embarked on the Modernisation of the National Standards Project, with the primary objective of harmonising the national standards system in order to improve the country’s competitiveness, enhancing consumer protection, trade facilitation and market access," the Commerce Minister said, adding that changes to the system would ensure Barbadian goods and services met international requirements and trade agreement obligations.

The Commerce Minister also highlighted the recently implemented online service which facilitates the completion, submission and monitoring of import and export licence application.??

"The same goes for the Supervisor of Insolvency, to whom applications can be made online for Certificates of Good Standing and Trustee Licences. Consumers can now access and complete a Complaints Form and have their grievance investigated and acted upon; and Credit Unions can now submit their monthly financial data reports electronically to the Registrar of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies," he observed.??

However, even though these systems are contributing to the growth of ICT, the Minister noted that "evidence suggests that we have some ways to go in ensuring that ICTs contribute more significantly to our economic and social progress.

"…various international statistical measures and indicators point to the fact that member states of CARICOM, including Barbados, are still not advancing rapidly in the use of ICTs for social and economic development…the Government of Barbados is cognizant of the role it must play in creating the appropriate environment for the development of the local ICT sector.??

"We have a National ICT Strategic Plan which we are in the process of implementing and which provides a road map for the development of the local sector…the Plan speaks to six goals and seven strategic objectives…my Ministry will continue to offer financial assistance to firms and individuals who can develop ICT- related projects that can assist in moving the country closer to achieving the goals of the ICT Strategic Plan," Senator Benn said.

Additional information on the criteria for ICT projects may be obtained by visiting the Ministry’s website, http://www.commerce.gov.bb/ or by contacting 427-2570.


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