JIS News

Story Highlights

  • 50 young people from communities in South East St. Andrew benefitted from a training workshop on mobile application development.
  • Digital Jam 3.0 seeks to create an opportunity for young people in Jamaica and the wider region to showcase their creative talent.
  • The initiative will involve the promotion and utilisation of various technologies, a mobile application (app) development competition.

Some 50 young people from communities in South East St. Andrew benefitted from a training workshop on mobile application development on December 2, as Digital Jam 3.0, the Caribbean Edition programme, got underway in Jamaica.

Digital Jam 3.0, which builds on the success of last year’s Digital 2.0, seeks to create an opportunity for young people in Jamaica and the wider region to showcase their creative talent and innovation in the Information Technology (IT) sector.

The aim is to unleash the enormous creativity and talent that exist across the Caribbean to facilitate opportunities for economic empowerment.

In addition to the hand-on training, the initiative will involve the promotion and utilisation of various technologies, a mobile application (app) development competition, and a ‘Get up, STARTUP’ conference in March 2014 for young talents, who want to become technology entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop held at the McGregor Gardens Centre, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson said Digital Jam 3.0 will seek to address the issue of unemployment among youth in Jamaica.

“It is a programme, which is primarily geared to deal with the issues of unemployment and in particular, youth unemployment, and it is a programme to demonstrate how we can use the technology to uplift and empower youngsters across the region,” Mr. Robinson said.

He encouraged the participants to be attentive during the training and to also ask questions. “We have been very deliberate in the way we have structured Digital Jam 3.0. We have organised it to be hands on because we want you to benefit from what we are doing,” Mr. Robinson said.

“We know that some of you are able to develop applications and we have a team of persons, who will assist, if you have that inclination, in showing you how you can build an application,” he noted.

Participant, Marlene Barclay, said she is very appreciative of the opportunity to learn application development.

“I am very interested as we are living in a digital time and if you are not a part of technology it is as if you are lost, so I chose it because it can enhance me as a person and to better help me in life,” Miss Barclay said.

The Government of Jamaica is collaborating with the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat, the Government of Canada, private sector ICT companies, and other international development partners on Digital Jam 3.0.

It will feature an app contest open for participation to all citizens of the Caribbean. The competition aims to bring together the best young mobile developers in the Caribbean and connect them to commercial partnering, resources and mentoring.

Participating teams will submit an initial concept for the app and the best concepts will be selected to continue preparation of the app being developed.

Finalists will be invited to pitch at Digital Jam 3.0 on March 1-2 in Kingston, Jamaica.