BRADES, Montserrat – Day One of the ICT Roadshow kicked off with several heavy hitting presentations from Senator Dr. Edmond Mansoor of Antigua & Barbuda and Senator Marc Bean of Bermuda and David Little of PSTG Consulting. The government officials spoke about the national ICT plans in their countries and presented options for Montserrat as it develops its own plan.
The presentations gave way to an extended question and answer session facilitated by Selby Wilson of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
David Little of PSTG Consulting, called for transformation, not automation and a willingness to challenge the norm. He explained what has driven Antigua & Barbuda’s connect initiative and national ICT plan has been the leadership of Dr. Mansoor. He added that Montserrat has that same leadership ability in Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade, who has called for government to lead in the usage of ICT to create a more efficient public service.
Mr. Little made several recommendations toward the development of Montserrat’s national ICT plan. “If the government goes online, everybody goes online, as we all need to interact with government,” said Little. He called for working groups that should be actively communicating with each other to build an integrated plan. Mr. Little emphasized that youth and persons in their early 20s should be included in the working groups as they are the innovators and will have ideas that “we have not thought about.”
“The process of developing the plan is as important as the final product,” the consultant said. He added that the leadership, community, government agencies must be involved in all stages of process from planning to implementation.
Minister Mansoor shared during his presentation that having a strong qualified team was essential to the programme. He said the team in place would be able to continue without him at the helm because they developed processes, protocols and handbooks to move the initiative forward.
Mr. Little suggests that Montserrat becomes a centre for a regional initiative. Suggest it as a regional centre to register all Caribbean businesses, or a tele-health centre. Call for a drive for services to mobile devices rather than trying to lay fibre optic networks. “We can do so much with what is already in our pockets.”
“Modern governments,” Little says are in the “service business and e-government is about transforming government.”
The ICT Roadshow continues on Friday, with the innovators forum featuring young entrepreneurs from around the region. All of the sessions can be viewed online at www.ictroadshow.ms.