Bright future for Mobile APPS in St. Kitts and Nevis

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, January 27, 2012: Participants in a St Kitts-Nevis mobile application development workshop have made history, producing the country’s first locally conceived and developed mobile phone applications.

With no prior experience in mobile development, participants in the intensive workshop developed three mobile apps, which are software programs designed to run on mobile phones such as Blackberry and Android handsets and tablets such as the Apple iPad.

Three apps were launched: “Eye-See-You”, an app for reporting crimes using text messaging and the Internet; “Places to Eat”, a guide to local restaurants and dining spots; and “Time to Plant”, an agriculture-focused mobile app with tips and guidelines on when to plant common local crops.

Hosted by the Ministry of Information Technology in collaboration with the international non-profit BrightPath Foundation, the four-day event drew over 70 participants from a wide range of backgrounds and ages.

Keon Fraites of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College commented, “This workshop was very hands-on and informative. The opportunity to learn how to work in teams to construct mobile apps and to know how it is helping us progress and develop our country is important.”

The event opened on January 23 with strong endorsements from the Minister of Education and Information, Senator Nigel Carty, the Minister of Information Technology, Glenn Phillip, and by Mr. Bevil Wooding, the Founder and Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation.

Minister Phillip, who was responsible for bringing the BrightPath program to St Kitts, described the workshop as “a resounding success”.

“We have taken a critical step on the path to ICT development here in St. Kitts and Nevis. People are now seeing, in a very tangible way, the importance of producing local content and services that meet our local needs. We are absolutely committed to taking this process forward,” said the IT Minister.

Founder of the BrightPath Foundation, Mr. Bevil Wooding, described the workshop as “part of our larger goal to empower people by providing not only the technology-based skills, but the values and mindsets required”.

Wooding said, “Here in St Kitts and Nevis, our aim was to create innovate new apps and local content, as well as to inspire the youth by giving them sight of the possibilities provided through technology. In all our programs, we encourage participants to embrace their individual potential and their collective responsibility to national and regional development.”

BrightPath is currently rolling out a series of technology training initiatives targeting primarily youth audiences in the Caribbean and Africa. The programs involve training in digital photography, video production, digital publishing and online broadcasting. According to Wooding, BrightPath plans to continue rolling out its mobile app development workshops across the Caribbean. Similar workshops are next planned for Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Kenya.

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