KingstOOn to address youth unemployment, increase entrepreneurs

Cabbie Chronicles is a Jamaican animation series

Organisers of KingstOOn 2016 are optimistic that the upcoming two-day conference and workshop will boost the fledgling local animation industry and, by extension, contribute to employment and entrepreneurship among youth.

“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,” Lisa Harding, operations officer at Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is quoted in a press release.

The CDB has partnered with the World Bank and the Government of Jamaica to host the two-day event, which will take the format of an animation conference, marketplace and film festival scheduled for March 12-13, 2016. KingstOOn 2016 is a microcosm of the partnership between the three parties, and forms part of the larger Caribbean Animation and Technology Capacity Building Programme (Carib-AniTech).

Carib-AniTech promotes the growth and development of the animation and applications software development sectors, as well as provides mentoring, internships and on-the-job training for young animators.


“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,” Harding said.

Speaking at the recently held launch at Jampro Auditorium, Kerry Crawford, financial management specialist at the World Bank, echoed similar sentiments. “For the World Bank, KingstOOn — an animation conference and festival — is about the economic development and job opportunities for Jamaica’s youth in particular.”

“This country has a huge asset in its young people: generally, they are well educated, very creative, and have a huge passion for new technologies,” she said, adding that for these reasons, “we realised the need to think outside the box and look for new solutions to Jamaica’s economic development and crippling youth unemployment.”

Within the Caribbean, the animation industry is estimated to have about 5,000 available jobs, while globally the industry has an approximate value of US$222 billion, with growth projected to be between six and seven per cent. Crawford therefore believes that with the talented youth that Jamaica has, this gap can be filled.

“This year, KingstOOn will offer young people employment and business development opportunities in an industry that is looking for new talents, both globally and locally. KingstOOn 2016 is structured along three pillars: learn, earn and display,” Crawford stated.

The World Bank has provided the Government with a $20-million loan on condition that funds will be directed to capacity-building and trade promotion of the animation industry, as well as sourcing financing for animation production.

Published Date: 
Sunday, February 21, 2016