Barbados is rapidly losing the regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) battle with T&T, Jamaica and Grenada being increasingly recognized as regional nations of choice for international ICT business investment, this is due largely to investments these nations have made in their national ICT infrastructure. Barbados has been overly focused on the tourism industry to the detriment of many other industries like ICT, a pattern which must end. Jamaica in the midst of their economic challenges have invested in creating a national ICT infrastructure that is now attracting international ICT investors like Digicel, which is now based in Jamaica but could/should have been based in Barbados.
What is the sense of having a well educated population if we don’t have jobs for our youth when they are done school. It is as though we need a major shock to our idea of life and liberty in Barbados (which by the way is the only reason to vote for the DLP in the next general election).
We as a society still view diplomas on a wall as proof of a profession’s worth and as a result of this institutional thinking they are many young Bajan entrepreneurs and “doers” who will never get a chance to “shine”, just because they did not go to Harrison or Queens College or UWI. If we as a nation are going to survive in the post-recession world, we have to change this mindset and way of thinking about education, for competitiveness sake.
In the ICT industry “performance” is king because at the end of the day the guy or lady who can solve (1) the problem, (2) keep the customer happy, and (3) be responsive to the customer’s needs, is the guy or lady who gets the job.
“We have a large number of well-educated non-performers in key public and private sector positions in Barbados totally slowing down national progress“.
As a blogger who believes in providing solutions to the issues I raise, it makes no sense why major ICT international companies should be giving all the off-shores ICT business to countries like India whose first language is not even English. Our government should be visiting major ICT international companies to demonstrate why Barbados is an ideal nation for at least a few of those global call centers that employ hundreds of workers. Call Center ICT support services represent an ICT growth area we should be going after with our youth in mind.
The Barbados Small Business Association (SBA) recently went on record that Bajan small businesses should improve their utilization of ICT, but “how can they do that” with land sharks like LIME which has a monkey grip on our national ICT infrastructure and associate cost at all level? Their grip has for years now had a stifling effect on the overall ICT industry in Barbados, and our ability to cultivate and grow ICT based small businesses in Barbados.
There is no reason why we cannot be a recognized ICT leader in the region, there is no reason why LIME and the like should be allowed to keep choking the life out our ICT potential, there is no reason why we should not be doing more than “taking photo opportunities at every turn to make the people think things are good”, while our most promising youth sit home unemployed or underemployed with no hope in sight.
Times have changed people…. The days when the US, UK was the migration destination of choice for many Bajan families to seek opportunities in life are “OVER”, ask any of the returning nationals landing at the airport. In many respects life in the UK and UK is much harder that in Barbados.
We take so much for granted as Bajans, among them the fact that GOD has blessed us with a beautiful nation and no matter how hard our days or night may be … you can always grab a towel and swim suit and head to the beach to release it for a second, or go have a beer at “the big leg” bar” and play a game of dominoes, for just a few dollars.
We as a nation “MUST” take that final step out of the shadows of colonialism (tourism focused mindset) and create our own destiny.