The Unity Labour Party Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents
The ULP administration, since 2001, has had, as a major focus, the necessity and desirability of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to access universally the full range of competitively-priced information and communications technologies and capabilities, and to apply them daily for living, production, education, worship, entertainment, and social interaction.
From the outset, the ULP government blazed the practical trail, in conjunction with other OECS member-countries, to effect liberalisation of the telecommunications industry, and to establish the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC). Thereafter, our government has piloted a number of vital legislative measures touching on e-commerce, unlawful information technology activities, and economic transactions.
Concretely, the ULP government oversaw the extraordinary expansion of mobile phones & devices (over 120,000 active cell phones in St. Vincent and the Grenadines) competitive prices; the rolling-out of advanced technology in ICT; the availability of internet facilities/connections to some 70 percent of the households; the provision of government intranet services and VOIP PBX facilities; the setting up of the National Centre for Technology Innovation; the construction and establishment of a Centre of Excellence; the provision of ICT facilities to schools, police stations, hospitals and clinics; the roll-out of one-laptop-per-student for all primary, secondary and SVGCC students (first year); enhancing ICT education to the population as a whole through special training programmes; the encouragement of the development of a software industry; the provision of incentives to telecoms providers, and ICT companies; and the participation in the vital regional, World Bank-financed CARCIP programme designed among other things to provide start-up, or expansion, grants to ICT enterprises, to enhance government’s ICT services, and to build out the internet backbone.
In according ICT the highest priority for further social and economic development, the ULP government, in its fourth term, has identified seven strategic interventions for action:
✔ Further elaborate and implement a clearly-focussed national policy for ICT interventions focused on innovation, content creation, cyber security, efficiency, access and affordability;
✔ Strengthen the regulatory framework of the ICT sector;
✔ Explore all opportunities offered by developments in ICT, including ICT-enabled businesses, content creation, and viable Call Centres;
✔ Enhance inflows of technology into the economy through the use of knowledge parks and centres of excellence;
✔ Encourage and support the provision of requisite human resource development by both private and public sectors, and through opportunities for life-long learning provided by distance education;
✔ Continue to liberalise the telecommunications sector;
✔ Establish a comprehensive e-government system to improve the ease of use and accessibility of Government services.
These strategic interventions are designed to produce the following seven OUTCOMES:
✔ Highly computer & technology literate Vincentians, including advanced ICT skills for students at secondary and post-secondary educational institutions;
✔ At least one computer or tablet in each household, strengthened connectivity and ICT infrastructure, and greater access to free WiFi services through an increased number of publicly accessible “Hot Spots” nationwide;
✔ Most adults engaged in adult education, including specific applications of ICT to assist seniors and persons with disabilities;
✔ An increase in the range of business enterprises and entrepreneurs utilising modern information and communications technology, including cheaper, faster and better quality internet facilities; DIGICEL’s Call Centre is a welcome development.
✔ Improved availability, dissemination and analysis of accurate and timely public data and information;
✔ Economic maturation of ICT by 2025;
✔ Improved incubators for ICT research, innovations and local content creation.