Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2016 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in collaboration with the Republic of China (Taiwan) continue to work assiduously to renovate the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre which is scheduled to open later this year. This is being done as a means to further meaningfully assist both the public and private sectors.
The Honourable Vincent Byron Jr., Minister of Communications, while on a tour of the facility on Wednesday (July 13), said that the work is more or less structurally complete and that he is pleased with the progress thus far.
“We are very excited about the work that is being done,” said Minister Byron, while adding that the ICT Centre will be used once again as the official home of the Information Technology (IT) Department. “Technicians who fix and repair and install computers and networks will be there. I know they are scattered in different buildings so we will bring them all under one roof,” he added.
The building will also be home to an Innovation Centre where people will be able to lease office space for the purpose of hosting conference calls and meetings and using technical equipment.
“But a big part of it, too, will be used for training of the public sector (civil servants), as well as the private sector,” Minister Byron said. “They can rent a room for training or have training organized for them. One of the things that we will be instituting for the very first time is a Cyber Incidence Response (CIR) team.” Such a service sets a strategic objective of making the Federation more resilient to cyber-attacks.
His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, said that upon completion of the ICT Centre, the Republic of China (Taiwan) Embassy will discuss with Minister Byron the next step forward as it relates to an ICT Cooperative Project. He noted that this will be of utmost importance, as it will aim to make the e-Government infrastructure in the Federation one of the best there is. E-Government refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT’s) to improve the activities of the public sector.
The ICT Centre was opened in 2007 as a cooperative centre to provide training and ensure that e-Government is well implemented. It served as a data centre for core government applications and web portals, a business incubator facility, as well as a training and certification facility for a variety of ICT certifications. It was subsequently closed in 2012 due to structural issues with the building.
In October 2015, a cheque of over EC$500,000 from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was handed over to the Ministry of Communications for the renovation of the ICT Centre. In addition to the cheque donated by the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis also contributed over EC$500,000, making a total of over EC$1 million to be used for the renovation of the ICT Centre.
Minister Byron was accompanied on the tour by Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis; the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, senior officials in the IT Department and the Taiwanese Embassy, as well as media personnel and other invited guests.