New Telecoms Director Bennet Thomas wants to bring about a greater consciousness of the general public to the world of ICT’s in order to realize maximum benefits within the telecoms sector.
Thomas who replaced Sylvester Cadette as the island’s new Telecoms Director on June 01st, 2013, comes to the position with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Telecommunications and ICT sector having worked with a number of telecommunication companies such as Marpin Telecoms and Broadcasting(now Marpin 2K4) Digicel and LIME Dominica.
In an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) on Monday, Thomas said his plan is to bring all stakeholders including members of the public and private sector together to work at creating an e-conscious society.
“What we are trying to do is to bring a consciousness and an awareness of the entire populace, not just Government but every citizen, the private sector, all stakeholders out there”.
“We want to have a vision where we can train our people, develop the young people and entrepreneurs so Dominica becomes part of that digital divide in order to begin to maximize the benefits from the sector,”he continued.
Thomas is of the view that Dominica has not been able to benefit from the sector in the manner which it should, since liberalization of the sector a few years ago.
“My vision is to get Dominicans involved in that process, to create jobs, to create a learning environment and a smart community. We have a number of young people out there who are qualified and trained but they are not being utilized and being made maximum use of,” Thomas lamented.
Thomas explained that under his work programme, his goal is to have at least one person in every household e-conscious. He said his department will begin this process with a major sensitization drive.
“We are going to mobilize the masses, we are going to inform and have consultation with the private sector, we want to have a collaborative relationship with the private sector and other stakeholders and allow them to understand how we can begin to take maximum advantage of ICT,”Thomas stressed.
An E-health program to link all health information systems island wide is another initiative Thomas hopes can materialize.
“We want to have an e-health program, we want to look at Tele-medicine, and we want to look at digitization of the hospital records, to link the Princess Margaret Hospital with every health centre in Dominica and by extension a major hospital in the United States”he said.
Thomas said further that an E-education program to facilitate virtual classrooms is another initiative being proposed.
“We want to be able to have a virtual classroom where you have students in the classroom have access to the internet and broadband service, and be able to have a class being taught with an automatic link to the internet,” he added.
Thomas concluded that “Telecommunications and ICT is very important to the socio economic development of any country and Dominica is no exception”.