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Spanish Town community group aims to cash in on apps

Published:Wednesday | July 17, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Rishardo Treasure
Students take part yesterday in Spanish Town Techies, which was launched last week by Spanish Town Citizens Against Gun Violence, at Wellington Street in Spanish Town, St Catherine. - Photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter

It is estimated that more than 1.2 billion people are using mobile-phone applications (apps) worldwide, and with market researchers indicating that 56 billion smartphone apps have already been downloaded since the start of the year, it is no doubt that the creation of these apps is now a lucrative international business.

With this in mind, the Spanish Town Citizens Against Gun Violence (STCAGV) group is looking to cash in on this multibillion-dollar industry.

The group last week launched the Spanish Town Software Techies initiative, which it expects to soon start creating mobile apps both for the local and overseas markets.

Yesterday, Rishardo Treasure, chief executive officer of the STCAGV, said the project was geared at providing opportunities for young people in and around the volatile Spanish Town area.


"This will bring in income for the students, and the country will earn some revenue while we are developing the community at the same time," Treasure noted.

He said the initiative would see participants getting 50 per cent of all profits made, while the Government will get 10 per cent, and the next 40 per cent will be used to sustain the project.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell said the Government has given some $2 million towards the purchasing of computers and the refurbishing of the STCAGV computer room.

Paulwell said his ministry was in full support of the initiative.

Treasure said the first cohort of youngsters from the area would start their lessons in app development on August 5. Classes will be held in the afternoons on Mondays and Thursdays.


Treasure said there are plans to expand the programme in the near future, adding more computers and getting more participants on-board.

The participants in the project said they were excited and were looking forward to the opportunities it would present.

Second-form student at St Catherine High School, Jean Claude Clarke, said he believed the initiative would create new opportunities for the youth in Spanish Town.

"It's an excellent programme for us to learn about something we don't know much about and to be a part of something new," he said.