Find our own IT experts
Arguing that ICT is Jamaica's economic saviour, West Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament Paul Buchanan says special benefits such as "land and attractive housing" should be provided for the families of some of the country's brightest persons in order to reduce brain drain.
Speaking recently during the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives, Buchanan said that the provision of full scholarships and benefits to bright children will not only help keep them in the country to aid economic growth but it will also lift their parents out of poverty.
"Find your best IT practitioners, train them, pay them well and keep them here. We have hundreds of 'Mark Zuckerbergs' - the inventor of Facebook - in Jamaica," Buchanan said.
"We must reverse the brain drain, without which we will not grow. America takes our brightest and best and sends us back deportees. India found a way to reverse that trend and many other fast-growing nations, also. In Jamaica, we should provide scholarships that include land and attractive housing for our best young minds, a lot of whom come from poor families," Buchanan said.
He told fellow legislators that a non-governmental organisation has leased two properties from a church in his constituency - one at Stony Hills and another at Red Hills to train people in software development.
"In late October, we will finally launch our software training and development centre. Some 35 of our brightest and our best in West Rural St Andrew will be contracted and trained to just turn out software," he said.
Buchanan said that software development is the path to exponential growth and the opening of the centre has the support of the minister of science, technology, energy and mining.