My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Computer Programming the Future of Jamaica – How Paul Buchanan plans to jump start the ICT Revolution

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Computer Programming the Future of Jamaica – How Paul Buchanan plans to jump start the ICT Revolution

“Find your best IT practitioners, train them, pay them well and keep them here. We have hundreds of 'Mark Zuckerbergs' - the inventor of Facebook - in Jamaica.......We must reverse the brain drain, without which we will not grow. America takes our brightest and best and sends us back deportees. India found a way to reverse that trend and many other fast-growing nations, also. In Jamaica, we should provide scholarships that include land and attractive housing for our best young minds, a lot of whom come from poor families”

West Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament Paul Buchanan speaking about Jamaican Programmers during a State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives

Computer Programming, the true essence of ICT (Information and Computer Technology) isn't proactive in Jamaica as I've pointed out in my blog article entitled “International Girls in ICT Day - How Women can jump-Start Jamaican ICT Industry from Call Centers, Telecom Providers and NDA's”. 

So it's interesting to hear a politician, West Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament Paul Buchanan speaking about Jamaican Programmers getting incentives and plans to make this a reality as reported in the article “Find Our Own IT Experts”, published Monday September 14, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner


He made these comments during a State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives. There, he gave more details on his plans mentioned back in June 2015 to launch a software development programme in his constituency by September 2015 as reported in the article “IT can rescue Jamaica, says Paul Buchanan”, published Sunday, June 21, 2015 by Paul Henry, Coordinator Crime/Court Desk, The Jamaica Observer

During his address, he gave more detail of his plans which has the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the main reason why this caught my eye.  He floated the idea of giving Land and attractive housing to talented programmers and their families, effectively the making of a Silicon Jamaica, if you will, to attract the best talent to stay in programming.

He also posed the idea of scholarships for talented programmers to not only reverse Jamaica's talent brain drain but also provide a pathway to prosperity, lifting them out of poverty. Already a NGO (Non Governmental Organization) has leased properties in Stony Hills and Red Hills in his constituency from a Church to train people in software developement.

Computer Programming the Future of Jamaica – How Paul Buchanan plans to jump start the ICT Revolution

He plans call for some two hundred and nineteen (219) programmers to be trained at six (6) IT Labs in the following locations:

1.      Cavaliers
2.      Oberlin
3.      Red Hills
4.      Rock Hall
5.      Stony Hill 

Once set up, they'll start training and graduate an initial batch of thirty five (35) programmers, all members of his West Rural St Andrew constituency, to be employed by this NGO, quote: “In late October, we will finally launch our software training and development centre. Some 35 of our brightest and our best in West Rural St Andrew will be contracted and trained to just turn out software”.

Albeit this is really a PNP Project to win more votes, it's not a bad idea in principle. Would love to see what this ICT Project is all about and hear more details as the months roll along. Hopefully, it's not another BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company.



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