Highlight: IDRC sponsors Caribbean symposium on impact of Internet on economic growth

April 15, 2016

An IDRC-sponsored symposium exploring the impact of the Internet on economic growth and public service delivery in the Caribbean was held in Saint Andrew, Jamaica, on May 12, 2015. Discussions from the symposium will feed into the 2016 World Development Report: Internet for Development. The WDR is published annually by the World Bank. Each report provides in-depth analysis and policy recommendations on a specific and important aspect of development—from agriculture, to labour to infrastructure, and health, and poverty.  

The Mona ICT Policy Centre, the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication and the University of the West Indies hosted the meeting, in partnership with the World Bank and IDRC. The symposium provided an opportunity for experts from the Caribbean and elsewhere to examine the impact of broadband ICT access, affordability, and open source technology on economic growth. The challenges small island states face in integrating into the global economy and implementing regional e-government initiatives was a particular focus of the discussants.  

Among the attendees were the Honourable Julian Robinson, Jamaica's Minister of State for the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Celia Champagnie, Trade Commissioner for the Canadian High Commission to Jamaica. Government officials and researchers from across the Caribbean and representatives from the World Bank and IDRC also participated.

The symposium will help not only to incorporate Caribbean perspectives into the 2016 World Development Report, but will also ensure that the report includes the most relevant research on the Internet’s role in development.

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