The voices calling for a more comprehensive, regional approach to ICT investment are growing – but who is really listening?
Let’s take a minute to look at what’s at stake. In the global economy, nations that commit to creating an environment that embraces technology are those most likely to attract new investment which, when managed properly, creates flourishing industries and stimulates employment for a wider population.
Higher wages, improved education systems and raised living standards are symptomatic of this evolutionary process.
Although we’ve heard for calls of regional ICT cooperative investment before, comments this week by Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Michael Stern were particularly on target.
He is absolutely right to point to the tiger economies of Southeast Asia as exemplary pioneers in driving a unified approach to funding a ICT vision that is formidable, long ranging and meets the demands of the 21st century. Mr. Stern can’t do it alone. We need more visionaries like him who see the upside.
The time has come for Caribbean political leaders to change the nature of the argument – moving away from perceived deficiencies (high costs and lack of educated knowledge worker class) – and standing together to point the way to a more robust future built upon deeper broadband penetration, cheaper PCs and the energy requirements to power this transformation. The potent Caribbean call center industry offers a glimpse of what’s possible. We just need more people like Mr. Stern to show the way.