NASSAU, The Bahamas – Bahamian Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip E. Davis, Q.C., Tuesday urged regional stakeholders to “come together and leverage” the region’s collective relationships, institutional memories, and organizational capacities, in supporting and promoting the cultural, social, and economic development of the region.
Delivering the keynote address at the Opening Session of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union ICT Week, 2022, at Margaritaville Beach Resort, West Bay Street, Prime Minister Davis told his audience that The Bahamas remains fully committed to leveraging global partnerships for Caribbean connectivity. The Prime Minister’s sentiment is “consistent with the spirit and intent of the theme for this conference.”
Prime Minister Davis said as the birthplace of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (1989), The Bahamas has a vested interest in the work, legacy and policy direction of the CTU as it (the Union) works with regional governments and other stakeholders to close the digital divide and in the process, deepen integration with the global marketplace in critical areas such as culture, e-government, education, trade and commerce.
“As an inter-governmental organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the development of the Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector for the socio-economic development of the region, we welcome the continued regional partnership and constructive engagement with the CTU,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“As a founding member of CANTO and Council Member of the ITU, I urge all of our stakeholders to come together and leverage our collective relationships, institutional memories, and organizational capacities in supporting and promoting the cultural, social and economic development of our region.”
Prime Minister Davis said as an archipelago, there is no template or model for The Bahamas for the consistent and efficient delivery of public goods and services and so the country relies on regional partnerships and functional cooperation in national development.
“The Bahamas covers 100,000 square miles of ocean where goods and services must be duplicated on every island or population centre. With 53 airports (30 government-owned), an equal amount of seaports, over 150 public schools, over 100 health clinics and hospitals, 332 hotels and motels with 14,000 rooms catering to 7.2million tourists annually, one can get a sense of, or a snapshot if you will, of the enormous challenges involved in providing comprehensive ICT Services for The Bahamas.”
Prime Minister Davis said: “We have all suffered measurable setbacks from the COVID-19 Pandemic. In September 2019, just prior to the pandemic, The Bahamas was hard hit by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian. It is difficult to quantify the untold destruction, unspeakable grief and loss of life. These existential events represented seminal and teachable moments in our collective histories and underscored the critical importance and value of ICTs to our everyday lives. Such experiences have given conferences such as this, added importance and deeper meaning,” Mr. Davis added.