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Come to blockchain

The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST) is onto a good thing in raising and putting its “army” of digital natives to work.

These are volunteers who worked at the just ended, very successful SMART Barbados Week to facilitate the smooth running of the event and are expected to play a leading role in community education and outreach to help citizens understand technology and use a growing number of online services.

At CARITEL, we applaud the Ministry for bringing the private sector support on board to provide some of these “digital natives” with jobs at Christmas and internships. This was one of the announcements by the Minister responsible for the MIST, Senator Kay McConney on Friday.

At CARITEL, we would like to adopt one of these digital natives and induct them into our education strategy for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, technologies we consider to be life changing for Barbadian youth and the nation.

We agree with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley that we need more youth engagement and particularly females who can be beacons (my words) to inspire others. One such individual and a potential inductee into our team of working professionals is Shaqueilla Seale.

Seale, 22, is attending a week-long conference of Blockchain developers in Osaka, Japan next week to learn more and make contacts in a rapidly developing technology for businesses and governments. Devcon 2019 is an annual conference organised by the Ethereum Foundation. Ethereum is a leading Blockchain entity which is creating global solutions via software tools called smart contracts.

Seale is a first-class honours graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Computer Science and Accounting. She was the lone female to complete a programme of software developer skills organised by Shannon Clarke and Polymath, a prominent Blockchain company based in Barbados in tandem with the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST) should continue to reach out to organisations such as Barcode and the CARITEL team and support their initiatives in tangible ways given they too are supporting the vision for a technology-savvy society that creates jobs and attracts foreign investment.

Small entities such as ours have a major contribution to make in the national strategy that embraces and develops a “digital army”, which also needs to reap tangible benefits, career and jobs wise, to sustain the effort.

So congrats to the team that organised and ran SMART Barbados Week. It was educational, networking-rich and can only grow next year once marketing is maintained and the huge potential role of private sector organisations, though small, such as CARITEL and Barcode, are recognised.

Hallam Hope is a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency consultant.

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