The Caribbean faces many threats and challenges to its social and economic stability. Exposure to the effects of climate change, increasing criminal activity, contracting agricultural sectors and the direct and indirect effects of global economic crises are eroding the region’s global competitiveness and threatening social and economic viability.
Caribbean Governments, being fully cognizant of these threats, are committed to building competitive advantage on the basis of knowledge and information. They have acknowledged that the ability to create, share and utilise knowledge must become the driving force in shaping future development. Most have been espousing the need to move their countries to knowledge societies and economies and have been actively investing in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
In spite of the large expenditures in ICT, in the post liberalisation period of telecommunications markets, the region has not been able to make significant progress in advancing its ICT-based developmental agenda. The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), through its work in its 20 Caribbean Member countries, has identified several areas of deficiency that militate against the attainment of the goals of improving global competitiveness through the effective use of ICT and the migration to knowledge societies and economies. The most significant of these were a fundamental lack of awareness and understanding of how ICTs may be used to transform organizations and systems and the lives of individuals and the role of innovation in realising the full potential of ICTs.