CDB throws support behind KingstOOn 2016
Recognizing that the creative industries are important for regional economic diversification and employment generation, particularly for youth, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has partnered with the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica to stage KingstOOn 2016. This 2-day Animation Conference, Marketplace and Film Festival, scheduled for March 12-13, 2016, in Kingston, Jamaica, is aimed at encouraging the growth of the animation sector in Jamaica, and the wider Caribbean. Lisa Harding, Operations Officer at CDB, said the creative industries have the potential to contribute significantly to economic growth and diversification, poverty alleviation and inclusive social development of the region. “KingstOOn 2016 is an important mechanism which can stimulate interest and build the required capacity necessary for the emerging animation sector. It is expected that KingsTOOn will also provide participants with a platform to showcase their creativity and innovation while increasing awareness of employment opportunities in the animation industry. The exposure that will be provided can help address high levels of male and female unemployment (especially in the youth demographic), and contribute to the identified need to diversify our regional economies." CDB' support for KingstOOn is part of a wider Caribbean Animation and Technology Capacity Building Programme (Carib-AniTech), which seeks to promote the growth and development of the animation and mobile applications software development sectors. Carib-AniTech is a 2-year programme which will leverage the development framework currently available in Jamaica to enhance outreach to include Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The World Bank has overall responsibility for the execution of Carib-AniTech, with support from CDB. The programme includes mobile application and animation training initiatives, mentorship support to young animators as well as the opportunity for internships and on-the-job training. It is expected to cater mainly to youth in the 18-35 age group, with particular focus being placed on the engagement of female developers. CDB has long recognized the importance of supporting initiatives which encourage innovation and improve the Region' competitiveness in the ICT sector. In 2014, CDB contributed to the financing of a programme dubbed Digital Jam, which provided an opportunity for young mobile applications software developers to enhance their skills, and provided a platform to showcase the creativity of mobile applications software developers in the Caribbean. Support for KingstOOn also complements previous work by CDB to promote the growth and development of the animation sector, including the recent staging of the first Animated Ideas Bootcamp, held during the Animae Caribe Festival in Trinidad in October last year.