Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 29, 2015 (SKNIS)—The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has unveiled some innovative plans and developments in Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as one of the main drivers of economic development and investment.
The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Center at the C.A. Paul Southwell Industrial Site should be back on stream by January 2016, said Minister of Communications, Honourable Vincent Byron Jr. He said that some $1.3 million have been budgeted to refurbish the building that housed the center, which has been closed since 2012.
The communications minister, speaking on the Government radio programme “Working For You,” also disclosed some major plans for the ICT Center designed to promote information technology and innovations among the public and private sector, and the nation at large.
“We will have incubator space for small businesses to come and be involved there. It will be doing training for the private sector as well as the public sector workers in learning various software applications, certification in Microsoft and other things; it allows for young people…to develop apps and other things. It is going to be one of the key planks, as we move forward, to reactivate the work of the private and public sectors in this area,” Minister Byron said. He further disclosed that it has been proposed to Cabinet the need to develop a National ICT Governance Board that will assist in moving this process forward.
Minister Byron said that the ICT Center will be an internet exchange point that will provide better control of the ‘KN’ internet designation. This means, when emails are sent using the .kn designation, it will no longer go to a server in North America before reaching the persons it was sent to, but that will now be controlled in St. Kitts.
Like most initiatives of the Team Unity Government, the minister said there will be private-public sector partnerships in ICT.
“We will be unveiling through our technology, a new rebranding of St. Kitts and Nevis. We will be consolidating the various portals of which the Government has responsibility for. The government of St. Kitts and Nevis will have a new portal where you go and get access of the various ministries of St. Kitts at this point in time. We will be adding Nevis at some time in the near future,” Mr. Byron said.
Meanwhile, the minister also revealed that one of the Government’s private partners will be rolling out the SKN Academy that will be doing complementary work; doing other types of incubation and support; and providing opportunities in information and computer technology for young people.
“We see this area as being critical as a new area for us to be opening up St. Kitts and Nevis for development to excite young people,” Minister Byron said.