URCA Chair gives ‘thumbs up’ to CTU ICT Week, 2022

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‘Thumbs Up’ to collaboration at CTU ICT Week, 2022, September 5-9, 2022 at Margaritaville Beach Resort, West Bay Street. Pictured from left: URCA Chairman Randol Dorsett; CTU Secretary General Rodney Taylor; Prime Minister Philip Davis; CTU Outgoing President Melford Nicholas; and URCA CEO Carlton Smith. (BIS Photo/Anthon Thompson)

Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Bahamas’ Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), Mr. Randol Dorsett, challenged regional delegates attending CTU ICT Week, 2022, to learn from the adage: “Two heads are better than one” in order to “come up with some impressive ideas and strategies to spur greater social and economic resilience in our Member States.”

The URCA Chairman said the CTU ICT Week, 2022, September 5-9, at Margaritaville Beach Resort, will determine how the region “responds and works with global partners and the private sector in closing the digital divide and connecting the unconnected” using existing and emerging technologies.

“In the past two years we have seen and experienced the exciting pace of digital advancement born out of the COVID-19 Pandemic and we anticipate the same rapid rate of advancement will continue,” Mr. Dorsett said. “We have seen the challenges our governments and private industry have experienced when we are not quick to respond to the digital evolution and, at the same time, we must enact regulatory and legislative policies that address these emerging technologies. It is almost a double-edged sword as we must walk the thin line of not being left behind while making rational and informed decisions in the best interests of our people.”

Mr. Dorsett reiterated The Bahamas’ call for regional counterparts to use their collective resources and similar experiences to develop sound policies and strategies to create cutting-edge, yet responsible digital societies for the benefit of Caribbean Countries and their citizens. CTU ICT Week Bahamas 2022, he said, has provided such an opportunity.

“That is why it is such an advantage for us to come together as a region and collaborate as we have done this week and will continue to do. We can use our collective resources and similar challenges to develop sound policies and strategies that can help us create cutting-edge, yet responsible digital societies that are universally inclusive and protect those most vulnerable amongst us. It is encouraging therefore to see so many of you here, especially our Ministers and Support Staff, who play such a leading role in building a strong, regional ICT infrastructure.”

Mr. Dorsett said time is of the essence for the region.

“Resources are limited and we, although a strong collective, suffer the all too familiar challenges of so many Small-Island Developing States. It is in this vein, that I truly encourage all of us to take full advantage of this Week and use it as a launch pad to helping us collectively advance our national and regional goals for ICT development.”

Chairman Dorsett said it was his belief that, through partnership and collaboration, regional countries can, together, catapult themselves as a leading ICT region in the world.

“However, it will take a unified effort. I am not unaware of the many challenges facing each of us and indeed, to varying degrees for us here in The Bahamas, our archipelagic makeup, the growing adversities brought on by climate change and, of course, the impact of COVID, have greatly defined how we respond to the ICT advancement in the next few years and I suspect many nations in our region are addressing the very same challenges. By using this forum, we can learn from the adage – two heads are better than one – and come up with some impressive ideas and strategies to spur greater social and economic resilience in our Member States.

“At the same time, we have the opportunity to embrace our partnerships with industry and certainly with the international organizations like the ITU. Individually, our national budgets and size have not been to our advantage. However, working together for our 40 million people, we have a tremendous opportunity to get the support that is needed and accomplish our common goals. After all, is that not why the CTU exists?”

By MATT MAURA/Bahamas Information Services