OECS

OECS partners with CTU to promote ICT-Development in Eastern Caribbean

Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission, with Nigel Cassimire, acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the OECS and the CTU in Tortola, BVI on September 30, 2015.
Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission, with Nigel Cassimire, acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the OECS and the CTU in Tortola, BVI on September 30, 2015.

TORTOLA, BVI – An agreement between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) promises to deepen collaboration between the institutions in leveraging information and communications technology to support development in the sub-region.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on September 30, representatives from both organizations expressed confidence that the formalization of their collaborative relationship would redound to the benefit of their member states.

“This agreement will allow us to converge our efforts and expertise and multiply the output of our shared objectives,” said Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission.

“The CTU has an unrivaled track record as an actioned-oriented organization and as the region’s premiere telecommunications body. We are looking forward to collaborating more closely with them to develop strategies and practical initiatives to promote the interest and advancement of OECS member states through the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT),” Jules added.

Nigel Cassimire, speaking on behalf of the CTU Secretary General, Bernadette Lewis stated “The CTU has a long history of supporting the sub-region in areas that include telecommunications policy formulation, spectrum management, internet exchange point proliferation, technical capacity building and public education on the development opportunities ICTs presents. We fully expect our work in the sub-region to be strengthened by this agreement.”

The OECS is an international treaty organisation whose membership comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Martinique are associate members of the OECS.

The CTU is an inter-governmental organization, established by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads, with a mandate to facilitate development and the formulation of policies for the region’s information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. It has twenty regional state members, including all the OECS countries, as well as private sector and civil society members.

Three OECS Tech Companies make Top 25 Startups to Watch in 2015

BRADES, Montserrat – Two Montserratian startups and one Dominican-based company have been included in SiliconCaribe.com’s Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass, a non-profit organisation which teaches tech entrepreneurship.
Ingrid Riley of Jamaica is the founder of connectimass and siliconcaribe.com

This is the first year that SiliconCaribe, a blog focused on Caribbean technology education is publishing the list. Curator and Tech Evangelist Ingrid Riley said “the list of startups was chosen through a process of submissions by on-the-ground Caribbean tech community leaders, innovation hub managers and startup experts. We also looked at the winners of key Caribbean wide competitions and of course there were a number of wild cards that we discovered.”

“The list represents what Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurs are thinking and some of the problems they are seeking to solve. Additionally, based on current and developing trends in the growth of the Caribbean’s Startup Ecosystem, we expect to see, more Caribbean startups overall over the next 3-5years, with a number of global contenders among them. As a result, this list is a snapshot of where things are now and a glimpse of the region’s bright future,” added Riley.

Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.
Lindsay George, CEO of ComeSeeTV of Dominica at work streaming the World Creole Music Festival. ComeSeeTV is one of three companies from the OECS which made the Top Caribbean Startups to Watch in 2015.

On the list is ComeSeeTV from Dominica. ComeSeeTV is the Caribbean’s largest portal for streaming original content. Over 11 million people annually access content created by churches, carnivals, governments and entrepreneurs. Clients can create free content, On Demand or Live Stream Pay Per View events.

“We’re very pleased to have been included in this list,” said Lindsay George CEO of ComeSeeTV. “The demand for services continues to increase and we want to be the platform delivering the best service rivalling YouTube, LiveStream and others. The secret is really the people around the region who are creating the content that friends and family globally want to see.”

eVisa (MOVA), an electronic visa application system which provides approval on requests within 24 hours. It also allows the government to collect revenue directly via credit card payments and eliminates the current practices of using consulates in various parts of the world which can take weeks and also does not provide local income. This product is from Lavabits a software development firm based in Montserrat.

Talypso is a voting software which cuts the wait time for results at cultural competitions such as calypso, soca and pageants. It gives real time information on a leader board as the show progresses and results can be announced within 20 minutes of the competitions ending. The team have also developed a Government document system which allows various departments to work on the same project and share documents while maintaining security. Talypso is a product of a Software startup Rovika, run by Manish Valeccha and Dennison Daley.

The Caribbean Tech Startups span the sectors of Internet of Things, eLearning, Online Media, Mobile Gaming, Mobile Surveys, eAgriculture, eHealth, Social Shopping and more.

See the full list at www.siliconcaribe.com.

Dr Jules’ departure “a tremendous loss to CXC”

Dr Didacus Jules will be the new Director General of the OECS.
Dr Didacus Jules will be the new Director General of the OECS.

“While I applaud the appointment of Dr Didacus Jules as Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), his leaving CXC will represent a tremendous loss to the organization.”

That is the view of Professor E Nigel Harris, Chairman of CXC and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. Professor Harris was responding to the announcement that Dr Didacus Jules, current Registrar of CXC has been selected by the OECS Authority as the sub-region’s next Secretary General.

“During the six years of his tenure as CXC Registrar, Dr Jules sought to accomplish transformational changes in the organization,” Professor Harris stated. These he said included the aggressive use of Information and Communication Technologies to make CXC an IT-intelligent organization, expansion of outreach to global education organisations, significant broadening of international recognition and currency for CXC certification, and the engagement of regional leaders in both government and opposition in confronting some of the challenges of the region.

Professor Harris also lauded Dr Jules for his leadership in securing a new CXC Headquarters in Barbados and noted that this would be one of Dr Jules’ enduring legacies.

Dr Jules expressed his appreciation for “the tremendous privilege and trust extended by the Council in my appointment and in fully supporting the transformation of the organization over the past six years.” He thanked the Pro-Registrar, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, the management team and the staff for their contribution to this collective effort and for the amazing journey that the experience had been.

“I am confident that once we have completed the new Strategic Plan 2020, which will be brought for approval in April, the transformational direction of CXC will be consolidated and expanded”

Dr Jules leaves CXC in mid-April and is expected to take up his new position on 1 May.

Dr Jules joined CXC on 2 April 2008, becoming its fifth Registrar.

For further information, please contact Cleveland Sam, Public Information Officer at (246) 227 1892 or via e-mail @ CSam@cxc.org.

OECS and CARICOM Member States to Prepare for 9th Meeting of WTO Trade Ministers in Indonesia

Alicia Stephen
Alicia Stephen

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – Senior Trade officials from the OECS and wider CARICOM Member States will meet in Saint Lucia on September 10-11, to prepare for Ninth Meeting of WTO Trade Ministers in Bali Indonesia scheduled for December 3-6 2013.

The Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been engaged in negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda since it was launched in November 2001.  The last twelve years of negotiations have yielded limited success and the DDA has been on the brink of failure on more than one occasion.  However, the region has registered  major achievements in the recognition of special and differential treatment for Small Vulnerable Economies across negotiating issues including inter alia agriculture, non-agricultural market access, services and subsidies.

CARICOM officials will decide on the strategy that Ministers will be advised to pursue in the negotiations in Bali.  The meeting will focus its attention on a cluster of issues including the draft trade agreement on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues, as well as the future work programme of the WTO after the December meeting. The region’s interests lie in advancing the development focussed work of the WTO and ensuring that the potential benefits of trade liberalization are accessed by our firms. Also at stake is the future of the multilateral trading system which includes a binding dispute settlement mechanism that provides small developing countries with a forum for challenging the policies of larger developed countries.

Funding for this activity has been provided by the ACP-MTS Programme, and EU funded project designed to support ACP participation in the multilateral trading system.