Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication Hon. Vaden Williams attended the 34th CANTO Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition at the Hard Rock Megapolis in Panama City, Panama from 22nd – 24th July, under the theme “Guiding Digital Adoption to Lead the Global Market”.
CANTO is recognized as the leading Trade Association of the ICT Sector for shaping Information and Communication in the Caribbean. Founded in 1985 as a non-profit association of 8 telephone operating companies, CANTO has now grown to over 125 members in more than 35 countries.
The opening ceremony took place on Sunday with a number of speakers including Mr. Julian Wilkin, CANTO’s Chairman who welcomed all the delegates to the event.
Day One of the Conference featured a Ministerial Breakfast and Roundtable sponsored by Cable and Wireless. The theme for the Roundtable was “Winning the Future – Preparing for the Digital Economy and Assessing the Caribbean Readiness Today”. Is the Region doing enough to catch up? Both Minister Williams and Acting Director General Kenva Williams participated as panelists along with Hon. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Jamaica. Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of State and Information Antigua and Barbuda. Hon. Vincent Byron, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Legal Affairs and Communications St Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Marlon Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion BVI.
Ministers expressed the view that Governments were well on the way via their unique development paths aided in some instances by CARICOM initiatives but continued dialogue was necessary.
Disaster Recovery following last year’s hurricane season and the fact that it provided an opportunity to improve on ICT infrastructure was also discussed.
There was also a focus on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery – Exploring the Risk and Vulnerabilities of Operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Impact of Internet platforms on the Caribbean ICT Eco Systems, Federal Communications Commission Trends and its Impact on the Region, Key Spectrum Requirements for WRC 19, Key Spectrum Requirements for WRC 19 – Action Plan for the Caribbean, A Regulatory Reset for the Digital Economy, Data Protection/Cybersecurity Trends and Prediction and Technology – The Disruptor and Enabler by Mr. Jay Saunders of TCI. Other member states participating in the Conference were Bahamas, Barbados, Montserrat and Suriname.
Hon. Williams was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Clara Gardiner and Executive Administrator, Ms. Karen Higgs, Acting Director General of the Telecommunications Commission Mr. Kenva Williams, Mrs. Rochelle Emily Gardiner and Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Pedro Ariza.