Long time ago, when the internet was in the toddler stage, I asked a “techie guru” why do I need a website? His response – “it’s like your home address”. In today’s world everything on social media pivots to your website where you essence is communicated. It is the place where you invite people to learn about you and decide if they want to do business with you. That rationale has not changed.
Why then when I google “Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago” I get an under construction message. But when I google “Office of the Prime Minister of Canada” I get a dynamic website which even includes his itinerary.
In today’s world if you are interested in communicating with your population, you have to use the internet and the range of online tools which it offers. Inviting yourself to a radio programme just allows you to speak to 18 percent of the population. What about the other 82 percent? And what about the youth cohort for whom the internet is their sand box? Recently I was able to hear the Valedictorian on Facebook Live broadcast from one of the the graduation ceremonies at the University of the West Indies. This just shows the power of the internet if used sensibly.
I can’t think of one reason why the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago does not have a functioning website. It must be a new deliberate strategy to not communicate. It must be because my Prime Minister and his advisers have no desire to engage “Pradeep Public”. It must be because they are have no interest in being inclusive. It must be because they think they have all the answers. It must be that the Government just does not understand that the future we must create requires an ICT strategy which enables our people to have information at their finger tips.
We keep talking about diversification. If ICT does not form the backbone of the diversification strategy then we’ll be saying “welcome to the past”.
Our country has the potential, the people and the creativity. What we lack is the leadership!