Posts Tagged ‘Development’

Plant the corn then raid the barn

// May 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Life

Before you start, this post is pretty fragmented and sometimes disparate. I may re-word it in a follow up post, if you choose to continue, please comment after.

Anthony B said it best in his song “Raid the Barn”. Sometimes I really think we need a genre for conscious music, Reggae swallows this whole in Jamaica.

Today is Labour Day in Jamaica, labour day is supposed to showcase the importance of labour to the development of Jamaica. Most will probably just treat it as a holiday, citing that they work hard each day & need a break. That’s the worrying part, what is it we are all working to achieve?

How many times have you heard the story, “pay attention in school, work hard, save money and you will be OK in life”? It is false.

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Much in the same way we grew up watching cartoons, movies & other media painting buy levitra cod jelly this fairy tale way of life that will never exist. Think about it, who told you these things? Parents who had regret about where they were in life and creatives who wanted to paint a fantasy land to get lost in. Alternatively you have Universities and Banking Institutions which are foundations of society that don’t have adaptive products for a rapidly changing world. In business, if you fail to adapt, you fail; but universities are subsidised and are mass marketed, they will not fail, just fail to achieve. Anyway, getting off point. My generation will be the first generation to grow up hearing all of our lives that Jamaica has gone too far downhill. Forget that along with the other things I mentioned before. Now consider something else.

As you fete, sleep at home or relax in some way this labour day (Kudos to the few who will actually do work), consider what you can do to contribute each day. Yeah yeah, I know the whole “Jamaica not doing anything for me speech”. What have you done for Jamaica for it to do something for you? Jamaica is not a person, it’s not a government, it owes no favours. Jamaica was built on a system that failed and then failed to adapt.

“Who you ago blame it pon when it is a next man you a depend pon?”

Fine, migrate, ohhh wait, does overseas living seem harder? Because it is. In developed countries you have to work to make it, except their governing systems are developed, over hundreds of years, to benefit contributors. So back to Jamaica, do you make an effort day to day? We are depending on foreign debt to support a failing system. The failing system is not government, the government is elected by the people and is a reflection of their wishes. *insert random oh snap*. Yes there are some making massive contributions to improve Jamaica, but what is our motto? “Out of Many One People” can also apply to the fact that we need to work together, in unison. Did we all forget the pledge we made countless times as kids?:

NATIONAL PLEDGE

Before God and all mankind, I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind, the strength and vigour of my body in the service of my fellow citizens; I promise to stand up for Justice, Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly, so that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

How many of our problems do you think we would solve if we each followed that pledge?

So yeah, about the fact that Jamaica isn’t doing anything for “us”. As a people we have to help ourselves, stop waiting for bailouts, handouts, leniency, sympathy. We aren’t getting any. We all have power to change and do what is morally right, we also have the following:

  • Economic power – Control what we spend our money on
  • Political power – We each have a vote and a right to be represented
  • Intellectual power – to use our mind for innovation and productivity (currently commonly used for corruption)
  • National Pride

I tweeted this morning about bad crops, we reap what we sow and we have been sowing weeds. Our crop is not our people, we are farmers of our land. Our crop is what we have invested in, including our thoughts. We need a paradigm shift of productivity, we need to dig out the weeds instead of just cutting them. We also need to work together and not just have a few work and then we all fight over the little that grows.

Really and truly I could go on and on, maybe I should have done a video instead, but my point is:

Before complaining about Jamaica, think what have you done for Jamaica lately? Then think what you can do for Jamaica every day. Go out and be a Jamaican, the Jamaican you pledged to be.

Spread the message. Thanks.

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Internet and Communication Technology Development in Jamaica | A Twitter Discussion

// October 7th, 2010 // 14 Comments » // Technology

The past two days have been an eye opener for me on Twitter. Never before have I seen such a healthy conversation related to technology in Jamaica. It all started with the following tweet:

Please RT – How can Info & Communication Technology (ICT) be improved in #Jamaica? Use #ictja in your reply.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

The responses to that tweet have now numbered over 1200 so far and counting. 86 people have contributed to the discussion and even a national newspaper The Jamaica Observer has promoted the discussion on twitter to get more involvement.

What ICT suggestions were made?

Although there have been over 1000 tweets in the discussion they all revolve around the following points:

For greater ICT development in Jamaica we need (in no order of importance):

Better Education

  • Teachers need more training and exposure to ICT practices on a continuous basis
  • Schools need better equipment to facilitate ICT courses and learning
  • Children need more exposure to ICT at an earlier age
  • A general push from the education system that ICT can be used to develop all fields and industries and ICT does not only mean IT related jobs
  • Make Information Technology mandatory in all primary and high schools (with varying proficiencies based on student aptitude)
  • See my related post on Reforming Jamaica’s Education system using Social Media
  • Educate all students about cybercrime, internet security and phishing to prevent identity theft

Higher internet penetration

  • The internet is the new essential utility, everyone should have access to it regardless of demographics
  • Internet access will help those most in need, especially rural communities
  • Education – the internet allows people to research and learn online, increasing education and literacy rates
  • Business – the internet is a platform that can be used to boost business in a community, parish, country or region (access to an online marketplace worth billions)
  • More internet users will help reduce internet costs for all and will make increased infrastructure development viable
  • Promote the use of internet on mobile phones (there are more mobile phones than people in Jamaica)
  • Free wifi at libraries, schools and businesses (restaurants, cafe’s etc)

Entrepreneurism and Business Development

  • Create a greater awareness that becoming an entrepreneur is a viable option. Many Jamaicans think getting a job is the only option, while doing a “hustle” on the side.
  • Use ICT more in all fields and industries. Technology does not just mean computers and websites. ICT can be used to help all businesses to reduce cost, increase efficiency, increase productivity and generate more profit.
  • Create an overseeing body to oversee business practices by ICT professionals to ensure quality and build faith in local professionals
  • A mentorship program is needed to guide young entrepreneurs.
  • Use ICT to provide services to niche markets on a global scale. There are only so many people in Jamaica, why not market products to the world?

Finance Sector Support

  • More funding is needed for ICT start-ups
  • Local banks need to open payment gateways to allow micro, small and medium businesses to process credit and debit card transactions online.

Green ICT Policies – Thanks to @raggayouth for adding this

  • Policies to mandate the use of energy efficient equipment and practices. Power plants generate harmful gases.
  • Policies to mandate proper disposal of computers and other ICT equipment to limit or eliminate environmental impact
  • ICT policies to reduce paper and other expendables
  • Waste management companies have the opportunity to recycle and properly dispose of ICT hardware
  • ICT growth can help support the development of renewable energy projects in Jamaica (@ICT4DJamrock)

Government Support

  • Government needs to support more local ICT service and product providers (instead of sourcing overseas)
  • Government needs to eliminate taxes or duties on computers and accessories (or allow one tax free computer per household)
  • Provide tax concessions for Venture Capitalists and Angel Funds investing in ICT startups
  • Reduce taxes on ICT startups
  • Create programs to get computers and internet access to impoverished and rural communities
  • Create ICT awareness programs to promote ICT use in business and entrepreneurship

ICT Professionals to Get It Done

  • Make use of the opportunities provided online
  • Create more applications locally for computers, web and mobile phones
  • Be more professional and provide better customer service when providing ICT products and solutions
  • Hire the necessary staff to make the right business choices and develop small businesses
  • Local professionals need to properly evaluate the value of products and services and price accordingly
  • Create a lobby group to push the interests of ICT supporters to the Government
  • Create greater awareness through an association of the products and services available by local providers to the business sector
  • Create outreach programs to show youth what options are available to them through ICT development
  • Support other local providers with their ICT based business

Summary

The ICT sector has the biggest potential to make a positive impact on Jamaica’s economy. The industry and it’s services could become Jamaica’s much needed boost to the manufacturing sector, creating jobs, attracting foreign revenue and increasing education without destroying the environment or using up natural resources. What is needed is a drastic change in beliefs, attitude and a drive to better one’s self and the country. Jamaica has the benefit of being in the same timezone as the eastern seaboard in the US, English is our primary language and we are located close to the Americas and our sister Caribbean countries. Let’s all mobilise, make use of our current advantages while making necessary changes to promote further development in the industry.

I would like to highlight the following twitter users for contributing suggestions to this discussion:

@kharysharpe @davidmullings @brukins @dezchamps @ict4djamrock @corvedacosta @lexlimitless @nik_williams @chrysalisceo @ingridriley @uncensored_mind @waynejonesjnr @doyenwilliams @billbailey25 @liddles15 @xyoni @damienharris

If there is any major point I have left off please alert me on twitter @dmitridawkins or @utenjm or leave a comment below

Other articles about the #ICTJA discussion:

TBA

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