Preparing for the imminent launch of a digital network for the Caribbean, a key United Nations task force on technology and development opened a meeting today aimed at jump-starting efforts to create partnerships for information and communication technology initiatives.
The UN Information and Communication (ICT) Task Force meeting on “Bridging the Digital Divide for the Caribbean” brings together officials from Caribbean Governments and the private sector. The event is being held prior to the launch of a programme through which Caribbean expatriates working in North America will seek to mentor and underwrite ICT initiatives in their home region.
The Digital Diaspora Network for the Caribbean seeks to bring together qualified members of the Caribbean Diaspora – high-tech professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders – into a network with their counterparts in the Caribbean. Thousands of Internet nodes and digital activities are taking shape in the region, but usually lack the capital, expertise and networking ability to stabilize and grow. The Network seeks to mobilize expatriate leaders and entrepreneurs to underwrite and mentor these developments.
The initiative is modelled on the successful Digital Diaspora Network for Africa, launched in July 2002 by the ICT Task Force, in collaboration with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), UN Fund for International Partners (UNFIP), the Digital Partners Institute of Seattle and Gruppo CERFE in Italy.