ICTs and Caribbean development: What are the prospects for bridging the digital divide?, Dr. Gale Rigobert
GALE T C RIGOBERT, THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, WEST INDIES
Information communications technologies (ICTs) are generally viewed as one of the contemporary strategies to redress or bridge the digital and knowledge divide. The paper assesses the value of such claims by analyzing the structure and workings of the global knowledge sector and its impact and prospects for developing country regions. The paper uses a case study of the Caribbean to illustrate the challenges faced by small-island developing states. The Caribbean is a useful case study because of its geographic proximity to the US and its high level of connectedness through diasporic relations, media and telecommunications with North Atlantic economies. From this standpoint the paper challenges the neo-liberal postulations about the socio-economic benefits of harnessing ICTs by focusing on an analysis of techno-economic change and the structural causes of underdevelopment.
Keywords: Caribbean; Development; Digital Divide; Information and Communications Technologies