Caribbean region is bridging the ‘digital divide’

CARICOM Secretariat Launches CARIB-IS Portal

CARICOM, Guyana — Nov. 20, 2010 — An online information gateway that would add momentum to efforts geared towards the creation of a Regional Information Society was launched on Wednesday November 17 at the Fifth Meeting of the Regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Steering Committee, in St. Michael, Barbados.

The Caribbean Information Society (CARIB-IS) Portal was implemented by the Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Programme of the CARICOM Secretariat. The project was supported by the European Union under the Ninth European Development Fund to benefit all the CARIFORUM Member States.

Unveiling the Portal to the Regional ICT Steering Committee, Portal Manager, ICT4D, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Christopher Lawrence said that the CARIB-IS Portal could be used as a tool for measuring the Region’s progress towards the Information Society through users’ interaction and consultation on a range of ICT products that will be available on the Portal.

In this regard, he said the Portal would serve as an information repository to include, but not be limited to ICT-related projects, stakeholders, policies and publications all of which would be interlinked to facilitate cross referencing.

The information gateway, Mr. Lawrence said, would feature searchable resources and links to a virtual audio-visual library accessed via YouTube (www.youtube.com/caribinfosociety).

He noted that the CARIB-IS Portal would also serve a vital function in assessing the Region’s progress towards bridging the digital divide, while aligning with international ICT benchmarks including those of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The Portal Manager said that he anticipated that the CARIB-IS Portal would be a dynamic information gateway that would be enhanced to cater for the linguistic diversity of the Region, including English, Spanish, French and Dutch versions of the content on the portal.

Additional developments would include continued collaboration with regional organisations, user interface improvements and content segmentation which catered for the needs of various interest groups. Marketing and promotion of the portal via link exchanges with external websites and portals would also be necessary, he said.

The CARIB-IS Portal can be accessed via www.carib-is.net

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