The Caribbean technology revolution has begun.
BrightPath, in collaboration with its corporate partner Columbus Communications, has launched TechLink, an initiative offering Caribbean-wide community-based training in digital content creation. One hundred-plus young persons and small business entrepreneurs participated in a full day of workshops at the regional launch in St George’s, Grenada on November 30.
“Our vision is to take the seed planted in Grenada and translate it into Caribbean apps, Caribbean books, Caribbean photos, Caribbean videos, and Caribbean solutions to Caribbean challenges,” said Bevil Wooding, Founder and Executive Director of BrightPath.
He told the Guardian that TechLink will run in countries across the region from Belize to Suriname, targeting youth, parents, seniors, educators and small business owners.
“The launch of TechLink in Grenada is the beginning of a revolution in community-based technology-driven education for the region. We’re partnering with on-the ground community leaders in St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Montserrat,” explained BrightPath Executive Director Bevil Wooding during the launch.
The old cliché is that technology, by itself, solves nothing. But TechLink aims to demonstrate how, when coupled with effective leadership and directed at real human needs, technology can change the fortunes of a whole region.
“TechLink is about linking real people to real opportunity by exposing the practical application of broadband in terms that people can relate to in real life: creating and sharing content, tapping into essential information and services or even expanding markets for online businesses,” Wooding said.
In that sense, the programme has less to do with technology and more to do with the value of the Caribbean content, said Rhea Yaw Ching, corporate vice president of sales and marketing at Columbus.
“History has shown us that delivering fantastic speeds at affordable prices doesn’t necessarily translate in people’s minds to any real value until they make the connection on how that ultimately makes their lives better. That’s the hope of TechLink.”
Columbus subsidiary Flow Grenada recently upgraded their residential broadband packages and now boasts speeds up to 100 Mbps.
“We’re going beyond just providing the pipe, we’re helping people discover what they can do with it,” said Yaw Ching.
“We are a creative people, and the opportunity is ripe for that creativity to be more fully expressed in our digital space,” Wooding said.