CSME Progress Discussed At SKN Media Workshop by LK Hewlett
The media’s role in keeping the public up to date on CARICOM and CSME initiatives was the focal point of a recent two-day workshop in St. Kitts. On Tuesday and Wednesday (Mar 17) media workers from St. Kitts and Nevis attended a CSME training session at the Marriott Resort facilitated by Renatta Mohammed and Francine Alexander Charles of Deloitte and Touche and funded by the Canadian government. According to Salas Hamilton, Communication Specialist with the CARICOM Secretariat, “a lot has been happening with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy in the past couple years”. He pointed out that the CSME is a work in progress and there is work to be done establishing a single economic space among a group of sovereign countries with varying laws. “CSME, CARICOM integration it is a living experience of which St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of,” Hamilton noted. The way information is disseminated to educate the public on the relevant issues was also a key topic. Hamilton explained how journalists could “ramp up the reporting on the regional integration process”. Reaching the younger ‘Generation X’ through formal and new-age media was identified as critical to the CSME education drive. $10mil Canadian has already been pumped into CSME education across the region, he informed. In addition to the training of media and youth stakeholders the CSME’s public education effort includes expanding the Unit’s presence on social media, improving the monitoring and reporting on CSME implementation. During their trip the consultants met with various stakeholders in the process including the Ministry of Trade and members of the private sector. The free movement of people, goods and services is considered and essential element of Caribbean regional integration and according to H.E. Edwin Carrington, former Secretary General of CARICOM, the CSME can only function if there were stakeholder buy-in at all levels of public and private sector.