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PM MItchell Urges CARICOM Member States to Develop Their NRENs

 Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, urged CARICOM Member States to formally establish national research and education networks (NRENs), and to designate and appoint a manager and a technical resource person to manage the NRENs. He made his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 34th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in Trinidad and Tobago in July this year. 

NRENs interconnect a country's higher education institutions plus government, research institutions, primary and secondary schools, libraries, hospitals, museums and other public institutions, using a dedicated research and education network, such as CKLN provides through C@ribNET. The Prime Minister also mandated that resource mobilisation for regional ICT development be given high priority and urged the development of NRENs in the Caribbean as part of advancing the regional agenda for information and communications technology (ICT). 


ACP Connect Project MOVING FORWARD with CKLN

In early 2013, CKLN began implementing the ACP Connect initiative that is being financed by the European Commission. The specific objectives of the ACP Connect initiative are: 

  • -       Developing business plans for the sustainable  development of NRENs.
  • -       Developing strategies for  development of communities of interest & communities of practice.
  • -       Strengthening  the capacity of Tertiary Educational Institutions (TEIs) to use Open Educational Resources (OERs).
  • -       Strengthening the capacity for NREN development.
  • -       Developing draft policies in support of Open & Distance Learning
  • -       Assisting NRENs with the development of a suite of knowledge management and portal services through the development of an appropriate knowledge management and interoperability framework

The ACP Connect initiative has enabled CKLN and its partners to advance progress on critical issues such as operational strategies for NRENs, use of OERs and a work plan for the CASTF. Over the next two months we will build on these achievements and ensure that all planned objectives are realised. - David Edwards, CKLN Programme Manager

Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) to Increase Broadband Connectivity and Promote ICT-Led Innovation Services in the region.

Saint Andrews, Grenada, 26th June 2013

Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in partnership with regional organisations, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN) and the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), launched the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) on Wednesday 26th June 2013, at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort in Grenada. The Program, funded by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, is designed to bridge the gaps in the national and regional information and communications infrastructure and enhance the connectivity of countries that participate.

Hon. Julian Robinson, Minister of State of Jamaica, speaking at the launch on behalf of the President of the CTU, Hon. Philip Paulwell of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Jamaica congratulated the three Governments for their commitment to participating in CARCIP and commended the World Bank for their initiative. Building on the CARCIP Launch theme, “Addressing Caribbean Development Challenges Through Regional ICT Connectivity” which reflects the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to spur social and economic development, Minister Robinson urged other Caribbean countries to join this important Program.

Each of the participating countries will be implementing specific national projects, while CTU, CKLN and ECTEL will each be implementing specific regional projects. In addition, CTU will provide direct technical assistance and coordination support for CARCIP.

Prof. Archibald McDonald Elected New Chairman of CKLN Board

 St. George's, Grenada, July 11, 2013

At the 19th Meeting of the Board of Directors of the CaribbeanKnowledge and Learning Network, CKLN, held on July 5, 2013, Professor Archibald McDonald, Principal of the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Chairman of the Jamaica Research and Education Network, JREN, was elected to serve as the Chairman of the CKLN Board.

Dr. Camella Rhone, who served as CKLN Board Chair for eight (8) years, in demitting office, welcomed Professor McDonald as Chairman of the new Board as they embark on the new phase of working with member states to develop national research and education networks (NRENs), building communities of interest and fostering collaboration among knowledge institutions.

Professor McDonald thanked the outgoing Board for their sterling work and loyalty in supporting the visionary process of developing the Caribbean's first dedicated research and education network, C@ribNET, and gave his commitment to continue and to build on the accomplishments of the previous Board.

Professor McDonald was appointed Chairman of the Task Force for the Jamaican NREN (Jamaica Research and Education Network, JREN). He is a surgeon and has practiced in trauma and emergency medicine. Between 2005 and 2012, Prof. McDonald was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, for the last year he was Deputy Principal and was recently appointed Principal of the Mona campus of the UWI.

CKLN welcomes Professor McDonald as the new Board Chairman.