Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government have agreed to have a Technical Committee conduct negotiations with regional telecommunication service providers to eliminate roaming rates.
This is according to a communique issued by the CARICOM at the end of the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, which was held in Bridgetown, Barbados, 18-19 February 2020. The Prime Minister of Barbados, the Right Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, chaired the proceedings.
The Heads of State noted that their approval of the CARICOM Single ICT Space is one of the key inputs to digital transformation and to building technological resilience. They identified the removal of roaming rates within the Community as a key component of that initiative.
In that regard, Heads of Government welcomed the efforts of the Rt Hon Dr Keith Mitchell, Lead Head of Government for Science and Technology who along with Colleague Heads, are advocating for the telecommunications operators to institute a modest fixed single CARICOM roaming rate for CARICOM nationals. The rate would include local and regional voice calls, data and over time will include more services.
Heads of Government agreed that a technical Committee, with oversight from the Prime Minister of Grenada, will conduct the negotiations towards eliminating roaming rates.
Heads of Government also approved a Committee on Caribbean Science and Technology Integration to develop a modern Science, Technology and Innovation Policy for the Caribbean Community with associated project proposals. Heads of Government were of the view that the work of the Committee could enable Member States to exploit and harness the ideas and ingenuity of our people as well as our vast wealth in natural resources.
Heads of Government expressed the view that this could forge new income streams for our Community and engender responsible approaches and policies to strengthen Science and Technology integration and the development of the Region.