The Caribbean ICT Roadshow has initiated activities that are yielding tangible benefits to the citizens of the Caribbean. This systematic approach to raising public awareness and educating has been very effective. Citizens of the region, through evaluation and feedback mechanisms of the Roadshow, have expressed their great appreciation for the initiative.
Member Governments, recognising the value of the Caribbean ICT Roadshow initiative, have pledged to continue the work of raising awareness and education and have expressed the desire for the Roadshow to be a permanent fixture on the CTU’s calendar. Member countries are now instituting the Roadshow as an annual, national event and have continued the Community Outreach programme. St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have hosted the Roadshow for a second year while Dominica and Grenada have signalled their intention to make the Roadshow an annual event.
Many ICT innovators who participated in the I&E programme have derived great benefits from participating in the Roadshow, from finding employment to securing lucrative contracts and licensing software in Europe and Saudi Arabia. Others were inspired to re-focus on their ideas and pursue their plans for becoming entrepreneurs.
The Caribbean ICT Roadshow has spawned the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), which seeks to build technical skills and support networks of engineers and technicians involved in administration of networks.
The need to establish national Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and the possibilities for spawning new types of associated businesses was actively promoted through the Roadshow. As a direct result of these interventions, two Internet Exchange Points have been established in the Anglo Caribbean and other Anglo Caribbean countries are working towards establishing local IXPs.
The Roadshow has a strong emphasis on youth engagement with programmes designed to promote responsible and productive use of the Internet and to alert them to the very real and present dangers in Cyberspace. It has been observed that many adults may not be computer literate and are not aware of the potential benefits and dangers of the Internet, as such, sessions entitled “What Parents Don’t Know” and “Parenting the Digital Generation” have been developed as features of the Roadshow programme. These sessions have been revelatory for both young people and adults and are being incorporated in schools and community programmes.
The Caribbean ICT Roadshow has been effective in meeting the real and present needs of Caribbean citizens for insight and understanding of how ICT may be leveraged. The impact it has had thus far in raising awareness and education on ICT and the need for innovation strengthens the CTU’s resolve to continue the Roadshow in 2012 to foster the development of Caribbean knowledge societies.