Russell Williams, reporting from the third and final day of CANTO’s 33rd Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Caribbean Women in ICT CEO Forum
Day three began with a panel discussion comprised of entirely of Caribbean Women CEOs in ICT, the panelists chronicled their journey to leadership in the Telecoms sector. What was striking was the varied avenues the ladies had taken, some went through Sales and Marketing or Accounting. While others actually headed engineering departments despite not having technical training or education, demonstrating that with determination and hard work it is possible to succeed in what has typically being seen as a male-dominated industry.
Disaster Planning & Critical Infrastructure
The session on Disaster Planning and Critical Infrastructure was particularly insightful with a presentation from an alternative energy supplier who used fuel cell technology to provide renewable energy for backup and standby power situations.
Additionally the need for advanced planning by governments and regulators was highlighted, with them being urged to conduct frequency scan to produce a “census” as it were of broadcasters before a disaster, to establish who the operators are and the frequencies they were transmitting on ahead of the disaster. This enables them to perform a “roll call” Post-disaster to determine who was operational and who was not, and establish the national capacity to communicate with its citizen.
Building Smart Communities
The session on Building Smart Communities was also quite enlightening, with one of the key points being how many the United Nations Millennium Development Goals or MDGs, were typically being addressed by the use of Technology. Presentations were made demonstrating how technology was being used to improve the quality of life in different cities and communities around the world.
Regional Developments in ICT
The day drew to a close with presentations on Regional Developments and the progress countries and organizations has made and their future plans for the use of Technology of particular note was the presentation by Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Technology The Honorable Melford Nicholas who outlined some of the challenges in digitising key government data and steps taken by his ministry to bring benefits to the citizens of Antigua and Barbuda.
There were also presentations on cyber-security and how the fight against cyber-crime and bank fraud was being met.