Bright Future for Mobile Apps out of St Kitts & Nevis

WANTED: More Caribbean Mobile Apps

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Participants of the first ever St Kitts-Nevis mobile application development workshop are singing high praises for the program that allowed them to produce the country’s first ever locally created mobile apps.

Three mobile apps, software programs designed to run on phones such as Blackberry and Android handsets and tablets such as the Apple iPad, were developed by participants of intensive four-day program held in St Kitts.

The four-day event, hosted by the Ministry of Information Technology in collaboration with the BrightPath Foundation, an international non-profit organization, drew over 70 participants. The attendees had no prior experience in mobile development; however, there was no shortage of ideas or enthusiasm.

One participant, Kimi-Lee Knight of Basseterre High School, explained that, “This week has given me many great new experiences. I gained new skills and knowledge about the different aspects involved in creating a mobile. I didn’t expect it to be so complex, but the trainers made it interesting and fun.”

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

By the end of the fourth day, participants created history by proudly presenting the fruit of their efforts. Three locally-conceived and developed mobile apps were launched. Eye-See-You, 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 apps with tip and guidelines on when to plant common local crops.

Keon Fraites of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College commented, “This workshop was very hands-on and informative. We learned how to work in teams to construct mobile apps. I now see how this can help us progress and develop our country.”

Rodney Browne, managing director of e-Caribbean Ltd, was one of several local mentors at the workshop. He shared, “The high level of interest displayed by the participants is most encouraging. We have definitely taken a huge step forward with this program.”

The Department of Information Technology is spearheading the move in the Federation to use ICTs for socio-economic growth and development. The Director of Information Technology, Christopher Herbert, stated. “The workshop has exceeded my expectations. I remain very impressed with and confident about BrightPath’s values-based methodology. They have combined a solid technical program with a strong national development focus, emphasizing the value of the individual within the whole. This was a timely message for us all.”

Minister Phillip, who was responsible for bringing the BrightPath program to St Kitts, was elated at the outcome. “The workshop has been 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.”

Founder of the BrightPath Foundation, Mr. Bevil Wooding, shared. “This workshop is part of our larger goal to empower people and provide not only the technology-based skills, but the values and mindsets required. 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.”

Minister Phillip agrees, he said “Our future is bright. We now have to build on the solid foundation established. Our people deserve nothing less.”