Biko Kennedy, Youthlink Writer
Venturing on a new journey of economical and sustainable growth through the Digital Jam 2.0 programme, the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank shook hands in an intriguing partnership on Tuesday, May 8. Formally introducing the idea at the Office of the Prime Minister, the ultimate outlook on the project entails the promotion of youth employment in the virtual landscape of the Jamaican economy.
"Our goal is to give youths a message of hope and to make them realise that opportunities in the virtual economy can be accessed anywhere and that, while doing so does not have to mean domestic or international migration, it can open doors for them locally, regionally and globally," explained senior social development specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean Region (World Bank), Fabio Pittaluga. "Digital Jam will serve numerous purposes, one of which is to expose youths to emerging opportunities in the virtual global economy via microwork, crowdsourcing and e-lancing," he continued, noting that "it is a first step in the direction of bringing together youths, the Government of Jamaica, development partners, the Jamaican Diaspora, and the private sector in laying the foundations for harnessing new opportunities in the virtual economy that can translate into concrete results in terms of economic growth, job creation and social inclusion."
These said opportunities, strongly built with sponsorship from Flow Jamaica, LIME and USAID, will come in the form of a catalog of activities, under the slogan 'The Future of Work is Online', which will include a 24-hour sports hackathon, mobile applications contest, application development workshops, tech camps, seminars and a market place and job fair. Culminating in Kingston during a three-day period, June 28-30, 2012, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, the platform seeks to facilitate the alignment of Jamaica's increasing technological advancement among youths, providing the opportunity to interact with leading software developers and business personals.
"There is a virtual way of doing business in the world today and we want the youths to definitely take advantage of it," stated Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna during her tersely put speech. "Yes, the initial activities of programme will be undertaken in Kingston, but it certainly will grow into rural areas across the island," she continued, noting that "if we are going to move forward as a people, not only do we have to work together but we also have to make our young people understand what is at stake with the technological advancement of enabling innovation."
For more information visit the programme's website at www.digitaljam2.com.