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TECH ROUND UP

OECS Business Think-Tank & Hackathon is Out of the Blocks

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Head Quarters and the bank's country branch offices, was the location for the start of the OECS Business Think-Tank and Hackathon, yesterday.

The purpose of the 3 day hackathon is to have teams from across the OECS collaborate and apply their minds to solving some pressing challenges faced by businesses across the region, if not the world.

Giving the Opening Address Sir. K. Dwight Venner Governor of the Central Bank, noted the historic nature of the event. He stressed that technology combined with our talented minds would allow the region to compete globally and without limitation. 

Participants from across the OECS sub-region also received information on how to develop an idea into a working app available in an App Store, from a Sharron Simmons a national  of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The participants working in groups will develop a solution and present it to judges on Saturday afternoon, with the winning team receiving $3000 in prize money.

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Jamaican Girls Code

It can't be denied that the technology industry is mostly dominated by men. But that is something Julian Robinson, State Minister in the Ministry of Science Technology Energy and Mining, plans to change by introducing the Girls Who Code programme to Jamaica.

The programme was  held last summer over a four-week period, and proved very successful as all 25 participants graduated as coders. At the official launch of this year's Girls Who Code summer camp held at the at the Franklin Town community centre last Wednesday, Minister Robinson noted that men make up 95 per cent of the technology industry in Jamaica, and teaching girls how to code, will encourage young girls to get involved in technology at a very early age.

The Minister plans on spreading the coding programme by introducing Girls Who Code clubs in every school that is a part of the tablet in school programme. 

Robinson explained that his aim is to grow and expand the programme islandwide to reduce the gender imbalance in the IT sector, and create a level playing field in the industry.

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And here...

Belize Revamps School IT Curriculum

“As a country we are primarily users of technology; we have very few of our people inventing and we know that our people are as bright as anybody else,” that's the opinion of Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities. 

The Government of Belize has identified computer science education as key to the country’s development. Young says, “We need to provide the environment through which our people can innovate. Innovation is key to our national development.” 

This is why the Public Utilities Commission has partnered with the Ministry of Education to improve the I.T. curriculum in secondary schools, by introducing the revolutionary credit card sized Raspberry Pi.

High school teachers across the country are participating in a workshop at the Belize Institute of Management in which they are familiarizing themselves with the Raspberry Pi. Dalwin Lewis of the University of Belize’s I.T. Department is the lead facilitator of the workshop for secondary school teachers. 

Lewis says the Raspberry Pi has brought back the fun of computing. The device is like giving paint and brushes to an artist with a blank canvas. The user can take the Raspberry Pi, add different sensors, write programs and get it to act as several different devices. It can be outfitted for robotics; game consoles, cameras, portable computers – the user’s imagination is the limit. 

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St. Lucia Hosts ICT Week

The St. Lucia Public Service Training Institute was the venue for the opening of St. Lucia's ICT Week, on Monday. The multi-stakeholder event, is coordinated by the St. Lucia's CARCIP (Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Project) office. Stakeholders include the Government of St. Lucia, Government Agencies, and private sector actors such as Digicel, Microsoft, Flow, LIME and a host of local smaller SMEs.

The week kicked off with the St. Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency holding a Symposium on Digital Marketing to assist St. Lucian exporters convey a professional image to the world.

CARCIP Project Coordinator Christopher Roberts speaking on Wednesday, said that so far we are pleased with the level of participantion and turn out. 

The primary goal of the week is to sensitise both individuals and private sector stakeholders of the importance of technology and the many opportunities available by having marketable ICT skills. 

When asked what activities were still in store for the rest of the week, Roberts said, there is a 3-day training programme on Mobile Applications Development, Computer Graphics and Animation, as well as a two day Hackathon scheduled for attendees of the training.

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Presenter Profile

An IT Professional for more than 20 years and an entrepreneur for more than a decade, Russell Williams is the founder of ,The IT Facility and has extensive experience as a Consultant, IT Trainer and facilitator and is happy to answer your questions. E-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @RwilliamsKN, G+ google.com/+RussellWilliamsKN and on facebook.com/Ru`ssellWilliamsKN

{mp3}TECH ROUNDUP AUG 14.mp3{/mp3}

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