In an effort to better serve the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the CARICOM Secretariat is undergoing an extensive upgrade of its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capacity. This is expected to lead to visible and measurable improvements in its service delivery to Member States and Regional Institutions.
The CARICOM Secretariat Innovation and Digitisation Programme is a multi-year, multi-donor initiative which is expected to attract funding from the Region’s key International Development Partners (IDPs). Rollout of the Programme started in 2022 with funding from the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the amount of just over Four Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars (US$ 460,000). The Korean funded component will be implemented at the Secretariat over a period of twelve months beginning this month, June 2022.
The project funded by the RoK will strengthen ICT across the Secretariat through the acquisition and installation of Information Technology infrastructure and equipment upgrades for enhanced capacity of its Data Center and Client Systems. The project will support the Secretariat’s ongoing efforts to update its Document, Knowledge and Records Management System. Training will also be provided for appropriate personnel in Member States, Regional Institutions and the Secretariat in the use and maintenance of the equipment, and in digital document and records management.
The Korean component of the Innovation and Digitisation Programme is being financed from the CARICOM-RoK Cooperation Fund, established by CARICOM and the RoK in 2021. Since inception, CARICOM has received support from the RoK through this Fund of just over One Million United States Dollars (US$ 1,000,000).
In addition to the funding to improve ICT at the Secretariat, CARICOM Member States also benefitted from approximately Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars (US$540,000) support for the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to assist in the coordination of the Regional fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
In a recent engagement with the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Moon-up Sung, Government of Korea’s Representative for CARICOM, indicated that the partnership between the Caribbean Community and the Republic of Korea could be further expanded in the coming years. In welcoming this statement, Dr. Armstrong Alexis, Deputy Secretary-General, said that the RoK was an important partner and friend to CARICOM and that the Region looks forward to strengthening partnership. This bodes well for the continued enhancement of the relationship between the Governments and peoples of the Republic of Korea and the Caribbean Community.