Two leading agencies driving digital transformation in the Caribbean have announced accelerated joint efforts to enhance the development and growth of the region’s digital economy. The American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) have pledged to strengthen collaboration and ramp up joint activities to support development in areas such as internet number resource autonomy; internet public policy; cybersecurity; domestic connectivity and internet traffic exchange; digital empowerment of women, youth and entrepreneurs; as well as facilitating an enabling business environment for innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs) in the Caribbean.
Secretary General of the CTU Rodney Taylor and Director of Caribbean Affairs for ARIN Bevil Wooding made this announcement on the sidelines of the recent World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) held in Kigali, Rwanda. Taylor emphasised the shared goals of the two entities, stating that “deepening our long-standing relationship with ARIN, a like-minded organisation, will help accelerate the vision of CARICOM Heads of Government to implement a single ICT space in the region. It will also strengthen our efforts to support our member states in addressing digital inequalities and seizing new opportunities that the technology affords”.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that digital cooperation is more important now than ever, particularly “because much work still needs to be done to connect the unconnected, increase access to rural communities, and improve the quality, security and resilience of digital services”.
Wooding, who holds responsibility for ARIN’s outreach to Caribbean governments and stakeholder groups, stressed that on the internet, connectivity and cooperation have always gone hand in hand.
“We connect our communities and countries better when we cooperate, so for ARIN, it is very important for us to work together in the Caribbean with organisations like the CTU, to tackle important issues such as network resilience; domestic internet traffic exchange; cybersecurity, and internet access and affordability,” said Wooding.
He added that in the past, ARIN and the CTU have jointly developed programmes to advance areas that include technical capacity building, particularly among computer network engineers, as well as outreach to the justice sector to raise awareness of the evolving impact of the internet on judicial and legal practices. Both Taylor and Wooding reiterated their organisation’s commitment to supporting regional efforts to usher the Caribbean fully into the digital age, making it easier for businesses to thrive and citizens to prosper. (PR)