Press Releases

Opening remarks delivered by Gary Kalloo at the Inauguration of the Caribbean Data Centre

Opening remarks delivered by Gary Kalloo at the Inauguration of the Caribbean Data Centre

Curaçao, 13th March 2024

I want to recognise the President of the CTU, Senator the Honourable Hassel Bacchus Minister of Digital Transformation, government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  

Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour and privilege to be a part of and to welcome you all to this inaugural meeting of the Caribbean Datacenter Association, convened here in the beautiful and picturesque island of Curaçao. On behalf of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), I extend my warmest greetings and congratulations to this distinguished gathering of Ministers government officials, industry leaders, policymakers and experts in the field of data management and cybersecurity and all those involved in making this event a reality.

 The Caribbean Datacenter Association underscores our collective commitment to harnessing the potential of data centres and represents a significant milestone in our region’s journey towards exploiting the full power of data and technology to drive progress, prosperity and a more sustainable future. Over the next two days, (looking at the packed agenda) we will engage in meaningful discussions, explore and exchange invaluable insights on key areas such as data sovereignty, critical infrastructure and cybersecurity – all of which are fundamental to our region’s digital transformation agenda and central to the backbone of our digital economy.

The CTU, as many of you are aware, plays a pivotal role in advancing the development of telecommunications and ICTs across the Caribbean. Established in 1989, the CTU serves as the leading regional organisation dedicated to fostering collaboration, innovation, and development in the field of ICTs. Through strategic partnerships, capacity-building initiatives, and advocacy efforts, the CTU works persistently to promote the growth and sustainability of the Caribbean’s ICT sector.

At the heart of the CTU’s mission lies the concept of the Single ICT Space – a vision for a seamlessly interconnected and digitally empowered Caribbean region. The Single ICT Space aims to promote the harmonisation of ICT policies, regulations and standards across the Caribbean, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, investment, and economic growth. By breaking down barriers to cross-border connectivity and collaboration, the Single ICT Space seeks to unlock the full potential of the Caribbean’s digital economy and drive inclusive development across our region.

The Caribbean Datacenter Association (CDA) serves as a catalyst for collaboration, innovation, and development in the field of data management across the Caribbean. By bringing together stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academia, and civil society, the CDA aims to promote best practices, facilitate knowledge-sharing, and drive the growth of data centers in our region. Through initiatives such as this inaugural meeting, the CDA seeks to advance the Caribbean’s digital agenda and position our region as a hub for data-driven innovation and economic growth.

Central to the CDA’s mission lies the principle of data sovereignty – the notion that nations have the right to exercise control over the data generated within their borders. In an era characterised by rapid digitisation and globalisation, it is imperative for Caribbean nations to assert their sovereignty over their data assets, ensuring their security, integrity, and accessibility for the benefit of their citizens and economies.

Furthermore, the development and maintenance of robust digital infrastructure and subsea systems are essential for enhancing connectivity within the Caribbean region and beyond. These undersea networks serve as the lifelines of our digital economy, facilitating high-speed data transmission, internet access, and communication services. As we gather here today, let us explore opportunities for collaboration in the deployment and management of such critical infrastructure and systems, ensuring that our region remains at the forefront of connectivity and innovation.

In light of the evolving cyber threat landscape, cybersecurity has emerged as a paramount concern for governments, businesses, and individuals alike. The Caribbean must bolster its cybersecurity defenses to safeguard critical infrastructure, protect sensitive data, and mitigate the risks posed by cyberattacks. By prioritising cybersecurity awareness, capacity-building, and collaboration, we can enhance our resilience and ensure the security of our digital ecosystem.

The focus on areas such as data sovereignty, subsea cable systems, and cybersecurity at this meeting is not only critical for the development of the Caribbean region and its digital economy but also for building resilience in the face of natural disasters. The Caribbean region, while blessed with its beauty and diversity, is also prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, the Caribbean must invest in resilient infrastructure and robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate the impact of these events and ensure business continuity and disaster recovery. Building a resilient ICT infrastructure is paramount to ensuring that we can withstand, adapt, and quickly recover from these events. The work of the CDA, in focusing on these areas, is critical to building this resilience, ensuring the continuity of our economies and safeguarding our way of life in the face of adversity.

And this work of the CDA aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s (CTU) Single ICT Space initiative. As we aim to promote the harmonisation of ICT policies, regulations, and standards across the Caribbean, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, investment, and economic growth. By promoting collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and best practices among stakeholders in the data center industry, the CDA contributes significantly to the realisation of the Single ICT Space vision.

As we delve into discussions over the next two days, I encourage us all to engage openly, share knowledge, and foster partnerships. The challenges we face are complex and require a collective effort. The CTU recognises the importance of the CDA’s mission and its alignment with our own objectives for the region. We are committed to supporting the CDA in its endeavors, confident that together, we can achieve a more connected, secure, and prosperous Caribbean.

In closing, I would like to reaffirm the CTU’s unwavering support for the Caribbean Datacenter Association and its mission to advance the development of data centres in the Caribbean. As you embark on this inaugural meeting, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a productive and successful event.

I Thank you.

Top of Form