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  • A World Bank team is currently in Jamaica for meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, aimed at creating a framework for open data development as a job creation and entrepreneurship option.
  • State Minister, Hon. Julian Robinson, says the initiative will target non-confidential data within Government, that can be accessed by the public and utilized in a manner that generates wealth creation.
  • Mr. Robinson explained that the team, which arrived on Monday (December 8), will be in Jamaica for one week to undertake several engagements.

A World Bank team is currently in Jamaica for meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, aimed at creating a framework for open data development as a job creation and entrepreneurship option.

State Minister, Hon. Julian Robinson, says the initiative will target non-confidential data within Government, that can be accessed by the public and utilized in a manner that generates wealth creation.

He made the disclosure while delivering the main address at the opening of the fifth Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) two-day Labour Market Forum, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, today (December 9).

Mr. Robinson explained that the team, which arrived on Monday (December 8), will be in Jamaica for one week to undertake several engagements.

“They are helping us to do an open data readiness assessment… (and) develop a report and some proposals afterwards, as to how we can use open data to facilitate economic growth and development,” he informed.

Citing an example, the State Minister said the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) has partnered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) on such a project.

He explained that representatives of both entities have analyzed available agricultural data with a view to creating an application that will serve as a map that readily identifies areas across the island deemed ideal for undertaking specific cultivations.

“They are in a position to tell you, as a potential investor in agriculture, which is the best area if you want to grow yams, and where is the best area to grow sweet potatoes. You, as the entrepreneur, would pay for that (information), because you don’t want to go to somewhere where the soil might not be fertile (or) the water supply may be poor. So, you now have that app that can provide that information,” he added.

In addition, Mr. Robinson said both entities have also developed an application that connects buyers and sellers of agricultural produce, pointing out that one major challenge experienced by farmers, is sourcing markets for their crops.

“So, they are trying to solve that problem by connecting people who buy and sell, and (facilitating) access to all the information from RADA,” he noted.

Against this background, Mr. Robinson argued that open data development is an ideal area for young persons, several of whom were in attendance.

“I would encourage you to start thinking about (it). But, the nature of the way technology has changed the world, you can use (it) and the platform to access opportunities, not just here in Jamaica, but globally. Equally, you can create your own solutions, your own products, and you can use the technology platform to get access to that global market, once you come out of school,” he added.

Mr. Robinson gave the administration’s undertaking to provide the support needed as facilitators, “to help you grow, to help our economy grow, and to get us out of the challenges that we currently have.”

The forum, which was held under the theme: ‘Promoting Youth Employability and Entrepreneurship through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’, was held to disseminate labour market information to a select group of participants to enable them to make informed career choices.

The PIOJ is staging this year’s forum in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Labour Market Information Technical Advisory Committee (LMITAC); HEART Trust/NTA; and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

 

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