Go online and make money

During his presentation to the packed room of participants at the Digital Jam 3.0 “Caribbean Edition” Get Up, Start Up conference at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters on Saturday, March 1, 2014, Minister Julian Robinson, State Minister in the Ministry of Technology, Energy and Mining called on young people to, “go online and make money!”

During his presentation, Minister Robinson outlined the strategy, policies and legislation being undertaken by the Government to support the technology sector on a macro level.  He went on to speak to the improvements planned for the National ICT Infrastructure and even alluded to the technology efficiencies planned for public sector modernization.

But most interesting to the room were the pronouncements regarding capacity building and innovation enabling.  The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) had participated in and/or supported events such as Digital Jam 2.0 and now Digital Jam 3.0, KingstOOn Animation Festival, Open Data Pilots and the GOJ Innovation Awards.  

The StartUp Jamaica Innovation Programme is slated to come online before year end.  Also due before year end is legislation to facilitate licenses for mobile money opening the door for a slew of developers to create suitable apps for the local market.

In principle, technology levels the playing field.  A developer in Kingston has the same opportunity to create an app as a developer in the Silicon Valley.  But the catch is, technology can only level the playing field if players have access.

Digital Jam 3.0 "Caribbean Edition" Get Up, Start Up Conference
Jamaica is well poised to take advantage of opportunities in the tech sector with deep penetration of broadband and increasing penetration of mobile broadband.  Telecoms LIME and Flow have partnered with the government to provide high speed internet access in schools and the tablet programme will put tens of thousands of internet enabled tablets in the hands of students by the start of the next academic year.

Ultimately, Minister Robinson delivered a road map for economic development through technology.  Likely, the Digital Jam 3.0 participants will speed right along.

Digital Jam 3 Sets Stage for Economic Development

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