Jamaica's Team Node420 wins regional code sprint in Suriname

From left, Guyanese Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy presents the first-place prize cheque for 5,000 euros to Matthew Mc Naughton and Jamaican team Node420, at the award ceremony for the Agrihack Caribbean Talent competition in Paramaribo, Suriname, on October 9. Photo courtesy: The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA). A group of Jamaican developers won top regional honours in a regional hackathon, held as part of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Suriname.

Team Node420 beat seven other teams of young developers in the #agrihack, held in Paramaribo from October 5 to 9.

Their winning app is designed to give farmers real-time weather analysis, allowing more efficient agricultural planning.

The Guyanese Minister of Agriculture presented the 5,000 Euro prize.

A team from Barbados walked away with 4,000 Euros—presented by the Director General of  the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture—for their app. Called Crop Guard, it aims to enhance food security by helping farmers to protect their crops through pest diagnosis, monitoring and control.

Third-place winners Unicode of Suriname received a 3,000-Euro prize from Michael Hailu, director of event organisers, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA).

Contestants presented their products before a regional panel and an audience that included participants of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture.

Each team competing at the regional event worked with a tech hub, an organisation that gave the team advice and helped them to fine-tune the apps they developed.

Node420 was supported by SlashRoots, Crop Guard were supported by the National Council for Science and Technology of Barbados, while Unicode  got help from Telesur Multimedia Innovation Laboratory.

Those tech hubs also won 3000 Euros each, to facilitate business incubation for the top three winners.

The AgriHack Talent Caribbean was organised by the CTA and various partners to support youth ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture. This activity is supported by the Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project of CTA.

Eight teams from six Caribbean countries were at the finals. In addition to the regional prizes, each won 800 Euros, as the national-level prize.

The three regional winners are now looking forward to six months of business incubation, also part of the prize-package, during which time they will have access to guidance and support to develop their winning business ideas.

From T&T Guardian

Caribbean voices joining global Internet debate

The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)—the entity that controls key bits of the Internet—gathers in Los Angeles this week to tackle an array of hot issues, in particular, governance of the Internet. “Governments want to exert control over the sweeping transnational power of the Internet that is affecting their policies, politics, social fabric and/or their economic conditions,” ICANN chief executive Fadi Chehade told the media, days before this week’s ICANN 51 meeting, which will continue through October 16.

The dynamic between ICANN’s policies and the national or international laws regulating human society is complex, and is overseen by a dedicated committee within ICANN. “ICANN receives input from governments through the Governmental Advisory Committee, or GAC,” explained Albert Daniels, ICANN’s stakeholder engagement manager for the Caribbean.

Many Caribbean voices were recently welcomed to the GAC, clearing the path for the region to more effectively take part in high-level discussion on the future of the Internet.

“Within the last 12 months several Caribbean territories and one regional organisation have been admitted as members to the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC),” Daniels said.

“The new territories with official GAC representatives are Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia.”

The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) became a GAC observer in 2013, he added.

“With the addition of these new GAC members, the Caribbean region has an expanded opportunity to impact global policy related to matters of Internet governance with input from one of the important stakeholders—governments, and in particular governments from the Caribbean.”

The new GAC members join Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cayman Islands and Montserrat who were previously members of the GAC.

From T&T Guardian

Legacy of 1804: Caribbean cellcos block VoIP in Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad

Blogosphere and ICT Pulse on Alice Backer's Legacy of 1804 Can you hear me now?

Tonight at 9 Eastern, I join Michele Marius (ICT Pulse), Gary Dauphin (USC Annenberg) and Pascal Antoine (HaitiXchange), to discuss Caribbean cellcos' move to block VoIP in Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Tune in to Legacy of 1804, hosted by Alice Backer.