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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is encouraging the country’s youth to develop innovations that will address needs in their communities, while creating employment.
  • In addition to developing their entrepreneurial skills, the participants were introduced to financial and business-development opportunities.
  • Senator Reid said the Ministry was pleased to be associated with the conference, which sought to “empower Jamaican youth to change the economic trajectory of their lives by using ICT.”

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is encouraging the country’s youth to develop innovations that will address needs in their communities, while creating employment.

“We want people to start thinking about things that will really help communities,” he said. “We want persons to apply practical, sustainable, and market-based approaches that can benefit society,” he added.

Senator Reid’s remarks came in a speech read by Advisor in the Ministry, Brittany Singh, at the opening of the ‘Vybzing’ conference on April 13 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Over 60 young people participated in the three-day event organised by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF).

They benefited from valuable knowledge in utilising Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to stimulate business creation and employment.

In addition to developing their entrepreneurial skills, the participants were introduced to financial and business-development opportunities.

Interim Executive Director, CSF Professor Cardinal Warde, said the aim was to give young people the tools that they need to start a business.

“There is no reason that the next Google could not come from Jamaica or the Caribbean,” he said.

Participants were required to send in their business ideas, which were discussed at and developed at the conference, with the best idea getting the chance to receive funding from the CDB.

Senator Reid said the Ministry was pleased to be associated with the conference, which sought to “empower Jamaican youth to change the economic trajectory of their lives by using ICT.”

Urging them “to think globally and act locally,” he said they should assess how their skills and passions can translate to the development of the nation.