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By Lance HindsIn the interest of information and guidance,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, an information society is an environment in which the creation, distribution, and manipulation of information has become the most significant economic and cultural activity. An information society may be contrasted with societies in which the economic underpinning is primarily Industrial or Agrarian. The machine tools of the Information Society are computers and telecommunications, rather than lathes or ploughs.Lance HindsI have always however, found this description a bit too tedious. A more succinct one comes from the IBM Community Development Foundation:‘A society characterized by a high level of information intensity in the everyday life of most citizens, in most organisations and workplaces; by the use of common of compatible technology for a wide range of personal, educational and business activities,Buy Cheap Nike Air Max Shoes, and by the ability to transmit, receive and exchange digital data rapidly between places irrespective of distance”The aim of the information society therefore is to gain competitive advantage through the creative use of information and communications technology.As part of an effort to achieve this goal, in 2002 the Caricom Heads of Government launched the Caricom Connectivity Agenda and Platform for Action. In the executive summary it states the heads:“Recognised the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for enhancing and integrating our societies in areas such as education, health, poverty reduction, delivery of public information and governance – all objectives well articulated in the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society.”After signing to the principles of the goals and objectives of World Summit on the Information Society in 2004, Caricom formed the ICT Steering Committee in 2005. The committee was created as a primary mechanism for addressing regional information society and ICT issues. It is envisioned that this committee would serve as a ‘think-tank’ for the Caricom Secretariat and would coordinate the advancement of ICT and the information society. The target date then for Caricom member states to become fully functioning information societies was 2015.Needless to say this objective has not been met. While most studies agree that much work has been done there is still a significant amount left to do. These studies show while most Caribbean States have formulated strategies and policies, implementation has lagged. In some cases there have been no implementation plans. In the case of the promulgation of ICT, the fundamental pillar of the creation of the Information Society, results have been mixed. In many parts of the region there has not been a holistic approach to ICT for development.  While it is recognized that there is a complete convergence in the ICT Sector, in many instances there are still distinct ministries for the ICT sub-sectors. This has led to insularity, causing a lack of collaboration and coordination. Some governments have no portfolio for ICT and despite the lip service, show no indication in doing so. There are no vibrant regional and national private sector or civil society bodies to advocate for the delivery of an information society and participate in the regional and national agendas.The CARICOM region and its leadership, with communiques over the years affirming, reaffirming, committing, ratifying and recognizing the importance of information technology and the purpose of the Information Society,Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Authentic, have moved from the Connectivity Agenda to the Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS). Outputs from this initiative are now the concept of a regional single ICT space and Digital Agenda 2025.  The impact of these initiatives to date are still being evaluated and debated. It is easy, if not instinctive, to blame the Secretariat for any perception of lack of progress. Many regional governments however, have not helped matters with their less than complete commitment to the overall effort.There are, of course many reasons for this state of affairs. Any plans by governments in the region pertaining to building information societies would have been simply derailed by the effects of the world economic meltdown in 2008-9. There were simply other economic priorities at this time. The lessons certainly learnt from that period include the need to diversify and focus on information technology as an economic and developmental pillar.There are however other fundamental reasons. In Guyana for example, I believe that stakeholders and policymakers paid little more than lip service to the concept of information technology and creation of the information societies to improve our social and economic standards of living. I would argue that the absence of telecommunication liberalization, the lack of updated intellectual property legislation or any other ICT related supported legislation is testimony to the lack of commitment to the overall concept in the first instance. The catastrophe of the cable to Brazil, and the events surrounding it, is a clear indication of a level of political self-interest that continues to be disturbing. On the business side,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, we stubbornly clung to the traditional production sectors that now hang like around our neck like an anchor, heading straight for the bottom.There is also the matter of understanding and appreciation. Some years ago,Nike Air Max 90 Black Women, I was in a meeting fretting about the fact there was no telecommunication liberalization, no intellectual property modernization, and no eCommerce legislation. I recall stating that Guyana will continue to remain behind our brothers and sisters in the rest of Caricom unless we get our act together. After the meeting a colleague pulled me aside and asked why am I getting worked up. Why I can’t understand that Guyana is simply not ready for the kinds of things that I am demanding? He said if he was in my position he would pack his bags and go somewhere like Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica or even further afield. This is Guyana, he reminded me, and “dem ting don wuk haysuh”  I was quite upset then and still get irritable every time I remember the conversation. Even more galling was that this was a private sector leader of long standing.It is clear that we have a lot of work to do in making sure the dream of the information society becomes a reality. We to begin the foster education,Cheap NFL Jerseys, awareness,Basketball Jerseys From China, marketing and acceptance of this paradigm shift of our society. This is not only a government responsibility. The private sector, civil society and academia must recognize that this is of tremendous benefit of the nation and therefore advocate aggressively for the success of this critical initiative. In 2015 we as nation are now recommitting to the effort of building a modern society. This time we must not fail.(Lance Hinds is the President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also the Chief Executive of the BrainStreet Group, an Information Technology and Content Development Company.)
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