CTO Newsletter

Charting a new Course for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The revolution in information and communication technologies (ICT) continues to change the world, dismantling the traditional frameworks that govern the way we live and significantly shifting the distribution of power. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has now ushered the world into a period of individual insecurity, business calamity, multi-sectoral crises and economic turmoil. These irrevocable phenomenal changes are challenging our understanding of what is normal. There is no returning to the world, as we knew it in December 2019.

In this era of unprecedented uncertainty, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) must be relevant in the unfolding environment and responsive to the needs of its Members. To this end the CTO Secretariat is charting a new course for the CTO – a course that will enhance its value proposition to members and enable them to leverage the potential of ICT for development and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The new course seeks to support each member as they pursue universal, affordable, broadband connectivity and digital transformation. In so doing, the CTO will deliver work that results in tangible benefits, a positive impact on the operation of national governments and ultimately transform the everyday lives of each Commonwealth citizen.

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CTO to develop a blended approach to Capacity Building

Secretary-General of the CTO, spoke during the opening day of Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s ICT in Education – a Caribbean Forum. The forum recognised the importance of access to technology, its impact on education and the promise it gives to the most vulnerable in society.

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CTO Human Resources and ICT Forum 2022 

The CTO will hold the CTO Human Resources and ICT Forum 2022 under the theme “Adapt, Innovate and Evolve: The Role of HR and ICT.” The event will be a hybrid event, an in-person event, to be held in London, but with a virtual portal allowing those unable to travel to engage in discussions in real time during the event. 

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CTO Digital Transformation Centre Stage – India 

The CTO launched the CTO Digital Transformation Centre Stage series with a virtual event on the 17th of March 2022. The inaugural event in partnership with the government of India featured the successes of India’s digital transformation journey and gave focus to India’s Aadhaar (unique identifier) and Unified Payment Interface systems, which are significant elements of Digital India programme. 

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Supporting Digital Transformation Through Capacity Building – CTO Initiative

In response to rapid acceleration of digital activities, the CTO has adopted a blended and impactful approach to capacity building. This has led to the provision of extensive training, upskilling and reskilling for purposes of enabling the commonwealth community to participate and benefit from the digital revolution. 

Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) Course Launch

Customised and tailor-made courses, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) and IT Management respectively, were delivered for CTO’s ICT Sector member, National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC). 

CTO to deliver a blended approach to Capacity Building

The CTO will be supporting its members on their digital transformation journey, to focus on having a measurable impact at home and abroad. Digital Transformation is a process that integrates digital technology into all areas of an organisation or nation, changing the operation of its people and systems. 

CTO Projects 2020-21

The year 2020-21 saw many Commonwealth countries experiencing ICT budgetary constraints due to the aftermath of COVID-19. At the same time, there was an increasing need for the use of technology in accelerating meaningful connectivity and foster digital transformation. 

CTO Collaboration Projects

In November of 2021, the CTO was among more than 20 partnering organisations that concluded a year-long review of the second edition of the ITU Guide for Developing National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS). In collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat the also CTO organised online regional workshops on preventing Terrorist Use of the Internet. 

CTO Projects 2022

Over the last year, the CTO has been streamlining its operations to support its members in formulating, accelerating and successfully implementing their digital transformation programmes. All of the CTO’s work in the coming months will be focussed on fostering digital transformation which will require affordable universal broadband connectivity and 21st Century digital governments. 

Kingdom of Tonga restores international connectivity after five-week outage following Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption 

International connectivity has been restored in the Kingdom of Tonga following major damage to communication infrastructure following the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption on the 15th January 2022.

Declaration of St. George’s – Towards the Reduction of Intra CARICOM Roaming Charges 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has moved a step further towards the total elimination of roaming charges for CARICOM nationals in the region with the signing of a declaration towards the reduction of Intra CARICOM roaming charges.

The Cayman Islands joins CTO 

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) welcomed the government of the Cayman Islands as an ICT Sector Member at a virtual induction meeting that was held on 23rd of September. 

Living through the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a challenge across organisations. The pandemic impacted on HR practices and policies and forced organisations to embrace a new way of working, a “new era of normal”, CTO embraced home working for example. 

The CTO’s Finance and Pensions Department has automated its purchase to pay (P to P) process in the year 2021, by incorporating new software, this was in the past a manual process. The CTO is in process of making other financial processes automated such as staff claim and invoices.
The CTO’s financial statements for the year ended March-2019 have been approved by the Council in the year 2021 and are now published in the Annual Report 2018-19 that can be downloaded here . The audit of the accounts for the year ended March-2020 and March-2021 have been completed. 

The CTO has also subscribed for the UK’s coronavirus job retention (CJRS) scheme that ended in the month of September-2021. The CTO also applied for mortgage repayment holiday scheme during the year 2020 and the holiday period ended in July-2021.

During the year 2021-22, the CTO has raised 34 invoices for full member countries and 10 invoices for sector members. Out of which 17 full countries and 6 sector members have paid their fees so far.