Knowledge for Development

Closing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean: A Leadership Challenge

Author:

Date: 11/01/2011

Introduction:

Title: Closing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean: A Leadership Challenge Author: G.M. Marcelle Source: CARICOM Date: 2004

This paper discusses the challenges of closing the gap in access and control of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Caribbean. It takes the view that the existing “digital divide” mirrors economic, social and political global realities and is not a phenomenon that can be explained in isolation. From this perspective, it makes recommendations for how engaged leadership at all levels can be mobilised to ensure that the digital gap is closed and that ICTs serve development needs. The paper argues that implementation of the transformative agenda, requires public leadership. However, since leadership of the development agenda is too important to be left to a single stakeholder, governments must be made accountable to and seek the involvement of civil society including private sector, NGOs, professional associations such as ACCURIL, academic and research institutions. The Caribbean region will not realise benefits of ICTs without improving the manner in which it engages with global ICT governance and diplomacy. The paper is optimistic that Caribbean citizens, in the region and the Diaspora will rise to these challenges.