ICT to be A Growth Driver -Vaz

Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz (left), speaks with President and Chief Operating Officer of Flow, Michele English at the telecommunications provider’s fourth anniversary media breakfast, held this morning (July 22) at its St. Lucia Avenue headquarters in New Kingston.


Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has said that the government is working to create a productive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry that will drive social and economic growth. Read full article click The Kingston Chronicle online newspaper here


He said that all Jamaicans must be engaged in exploiting and reaping the benefits from the technology available and pledged to work “tirelessly” to support the best use of ICT in Jamaica, from software developers to bloggers and other content producers.

He noted that “while we are happy to see the speeds at which we can now download information, the availability of broadband provides an opportunity to upload the wealth of the island’s culture, music, sports and cuisine”.

“We are anxious to reverse the one-way traffic into cyber space with a view to capitalising on our natural resources,” he stated.

Considering the headline of my article may imply several things. Let me state exactly what it is I speak of. In fact I need not as Mr. Vaz said it best in his quotes above taken from the article ICT to be A Growth Driver -Vaz.

What is certain, is that Flow has done very little to instigate the growth and support of local ICT talent in Jamaica.

Sponsoring soccer tournaments, book festivals, or any non ICT related sector cannot help local ICT talent grow in Jamaica.

Yes they were instrumental in sponsoring the Internet service for the first staging of Kingston Venture Capital Conference & Expo 2009 which was critical considering that the existing provider at the time of the event did not meet the quality of service the event required. As such my appreciation for Flow’s support once again.

However currently based on Mr. Vaz comments it is obvious that I am not the only one seeing it as such, and raised these points in 2009 with the current Marketing Director at Flow.

What I did discover is that the Marketing Director at Flow, the current one that is. Does not articulate the same views I express or to that matter of Mr. Vaz, considering they are one of the same in respect to the subject at hand.

I recall clearly pointing out to her the importance of local content, local website success in Jamaica and the innovators behind such ICT products and services and the critical role Flow can play in this.

Needless to say the Marketing Director right in her role execution, did not see my views. It was simply not in her job description and rightly so.

Flow’s commercial role out came in phases. As such though I was disappointed in the Marketing Director’s limited view and understanding of the matter, and the chain reaction it can cause. That being Flow’s critical role to play in local ICT development as now expressed beautifully by Mr. Vaz. Continue reading



Shortcomings of ‘new media’ outlets

Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordell Green, has emphasised the important role traditional media plays in the timely dissemination of accurate and credible information, citing shortcomings in the area of ‘new media’ outlets.

Green cited traditional media as newspapers, radio, and television, while ‘new media’ or social media include YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and blogging.

He was speaking at a seminar entitled ‘The Role of the Media: Professional Dictates versus Social Responsibilities’, at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) campus, Kingston, on Wednesday.

“We know, as a fact, that much of what we get on the internet is opinionated, whether you go to Wikipedia or anybody’s blog.

We know, as a statement of fact, that those who operate in the sphere of new media, such as bloggers , they don’t have the requirements as there are no required standards, such as source verification, balance, objectivity or fair play,” he explained.

“Only the print media seems to be losing out to social media, and we have to put a question as to whether they are losing out, or they themselves are being transformed. Radio and television remain very strong brands,” he said.

“Much of what is on the net is opinionated and not held to traditional standards, so new media is not always credible.”

Source: Jamaica Star.

Once again Mr. Cordel Green clearly demonstrates his full and utter lack of understanding of the topic of New Media and ICT Technology.

Is he also implying that all which he views New Media guilty of, does not or have not taken place on numerous occasions in traditional media to date? Continue reading