COVID-19 moved Trinidad and Tobago much further along the digital scale that previously envisioned and underscored that ICTs can be used as a force for good.
That’s according to Communications Minister Donna Cox in her message on the occasion of World Telecommunications and Information Day which is being observed today.
This year’s theme is Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Cox said it is Government’s view that ICTs will play a critical role in re-engineering the Public Sector and solving some of society’s problems. She affirmed the administration’s commitment, post-COVID-19, to strengthening all efforts to ensure a more connected Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister said the global pandemic reinforced this year’s theme which focuses on specific information and communication technologies (ICTs) enabled solutions and emerging trends for fostering economic, environmental and social sustainability. It also highlights advances for transition to smart and sustainable development.
She noted that ICTs made it possible for citizens to keep in touch with their loved ones and friends, here and abroad during the pandemic. Further, schools were afforded the opportunity through the various technologies to continue with the education of students.
The Minister said both Government and the private sector are making full use of ICTs to keep the economy going, even as employees heeded public health guidelines to stay at home and flatten the curve.
She noted that ICTs not only benefitted citizens and the education sector, but also T&T’s medical professionals whom, she said, benefitted from lessons learnt in the global community in relation to COVID-19 because of ICTs.
Cox said at her Ministry ICTs continue to be instrumental in the way information is shared with the public during this pandemic.
The Minister noted that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialised agency of the United Nations for (ICTs), stated that The Connect 2030 Agenda is a shared global vision to bridge the digital divide and advance the development of the telecommunication/ICT sector.
The agency estimated that almost half of the world’s population is still not using the internet. In Trinidad and Tobago, the National ICT and E-Government plans provide this country with a roadmap to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, close the digital divide and bring more of T&T online.