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World Wide Worx, e.com institute, to develop ICT sector strategy for Jamaica

In a global bid to assist the Jamaican government to develop the country’s ICT sector strategy, the Commonwealth Foundation has appointed wholly black-owned ICT consulting firm e.com institute to develop frameworks that will stimulate Jamaica’s economy through the use of ICT in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to the Commonwealth’s chief programmes officer, Ram Venuprasad, the partnership aims to enable Jamaican enterprises to leverage ICT in their business processes as a source of economic activity. “It will also provide practical tools to the Jamaican ICT sector to gain access to new opportunities and international markets,” says Venuprasad.

e.com institute will assess Jamaica’s current ICT sector and identify areas of economic viability. “We have partnered with independent research house World Wide Worx (WWW) to assist in research and analysis of the Jamaican ICT market,” elaborates Cassim Parak, CEO of e.com institute.

Arthur Goldstuck, MD of WWW, says the company’s role in the project includes evaluating existing research activities and testing them for commercial viability. “Information retrieved from this exercise will lay the foundation for e.com institute to come up with a list of practical deliverables and a framework for profitable use of ICT by Jamaican SMEs,” notes Goldstuck.

“Our research on the ground in Jamaica pointed to a potentially vibrant ICT sector, with tremendous political and business will to make it all work. We hope this project will help translate that will into a clear course of action.”

e.com institute will develop a competitive ICT sectoral delivery strategy, based on benchmarking and integrating the use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to use as a competitive tool. “The dissemination of the project will facilitate skills transfer through training and sustaining consistency in the use of ICT even in legal and regulatory changes,” says Parak.

Parak further explains that one of the major focuses in the project will be tackling the challenge of access to finance by SMEs, developing strategies to decrease computer illiteracy and “creating roadmaps for a self-sustaining Jamaican ICT industry that will not rely on outsourcing IT resources to other countries.”

The global bid was put out by JAMPRO, Jamaica’s trade and investment facilitation agency, whose mandate is to develop plans and policies for Jamaica’s financial development. “It will be managed by the enterprise and agriculture section of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Special Advisory Services division,” adds Venuprasad.

“We chose to partner with e.com institute over other global contenders because of its expertise in e-Business,” says Venuprasad. “In addition, they exhibited a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs which have not leveraged ICT in their business models,” he concludes.

The World Wide Worx and e.com institute team will conduct a skills transfer workshop in Jamaica during March 2005 to share their findings and strategies with stakeholders.

About e.com institute

Established in April ‘99 and wholly Black-Owned, e.com Institute adopts Global Best Practices, a strong base of strategy and technical competencies as well as a diverse range of strategic partnerships to deliver common-sense business solutions that leverage the “power of the net” as an enabling mechanism of the new economy. E.com boasts numerous awards since 2001, including awards for African ICT Achievers: African born company growing beyond its borders and ICT Workplace Provider, Technology Top 100: Minister’s Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurial Effort and Outstanding Intellectual Capital. e.com institute is strategically positioned as an emergent global provider of eBusiness Solutions, leveraging off of a skilled South African employee base.

For more information please visit www.ecominstitute.com or contact:

Elize Höll
Director: Marketing Services
e.com institute
Tel: 011 262 4262
Fax: 011 262 4263
e-mail: elize@ecominstitute.com

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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