The next viral mobile sensation could be developed right here in Jamaica. That’s the message from the tech community to young hopefuls in the Caribbean.
“Technology can be the great leveller, not only in terms of location but also in terms of size” explained Lisa Harding from the Caribbean Development Bank. “This is great news for the Caribbean,” she added.
From apps to fight rising crime levels to e-learning tools for pre-school and up, a prodigious talent and a depth of ideas reside in the Caribbean. It’s a potential which could secure the economic future for the region, and, more specifically, valuable career opportunities for the youth.
“We view the digital economy as a way to harness the enormous creativity that exists in the country and our job is to be the enablers,” commented Minister of State for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson. “To take that creativity, covert it into businesses and earn foreign exchange and facilitate economic growth.”
A real desire exists among the public and private sector to harness this intellectual talent and turn it into a powerful catalyst to kick start the region’s stalling economies. However, while the entrepreneurial spirit abounds, wide changes are needed in order to transform potential into reality, both within Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
“Small developing countries like ours require this kind of innovation in order to make the leap we need to make and that’s what we have to do,” stated Gary Sinclair, CEO of LIME Jamaica who sponsored the event. “We literally have to leapfrog generations of legacies, instead of sort of sitting back and having these kinds of technologies just sort of beat up on us rather than adding value to it ourselves.”