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Regional and International Government Officials to Talk Digital Transformation

Three regional and international government officials will discuss digital transformation during the upcoming fifth edition of the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2020 Caribbean Economic Forum, “How to Digitise an Economy”, which takes place Tuesday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m. They are Her Excellency the Honourable Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation in Rwanda; The Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, Minister of Health, ICT, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, and Talent Development for St. Kitts and Nevis; and Rodney Taylor, Director of the Data Processing Department in Barbados’ Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Smart Technology.

“Digital transformation is more than a buzzword; it is a necessity if economies are to survive and thrive in this modern era,” revealed Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Cleviston Haynes. “Many of our Caribbean countries were already actively working toward increased digitisation before COVID-19, but the pandemic has made it more critical than ever that Governments and the private sector are able to facilitate more services online and that we operate more efficiently to speed up our economic recovery. We therefore felt it was important to have a panel comprising both policymakers and those who will be responsible for implementation for this discussion.”

Rwanda has become a standard-bearer for leveraging technology for development, including in healthcare, where it uses drones to deliver blood to hospitals and clinics in emergency situations. St. Kitts and Nevis and Barbados are both making moves to transform their economies through enhanced use of digital technology.  

“This forum will allow us in the region to learn from Rwanda’s 20-year experience and to share with each other what the challenges and successful approaches have been thus far. It is also an opportunity for people across the Caribbean to pose the questions that are on their mind. I encourage everyone to tune in and to take advantage of that opportunity,” the Governor said.

The event will be broadcast on television stations across the region as well as livestreamed on the Central Bank of Barbados’ website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel, and members of the public can pose their questions via email, WhatsApp, or Facebook, where there will also be a live online discussion.

The Caribbean Economic Forum is part of the Central Bank’s thought leadership programme. Previous discussions this year have focused on how to protect jobs, businesses, and economies in a COVID environment, reviving Caribbean tourism, the future of work, and what regional economies will look like post-pandemic.