When indentured labour began entering Trinidad from India in 1845, the overwhelming majority of these people were Hindus with a small number of Muslims.
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T&T tech expert gets Lifetime Award
Trinidad-born technology expert Bevil Wooding is the 2013 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (Lacnic). Established in 2009, the prestigious Lacnic Award honours people who have contributed significantly to the development of the Internet and the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. The award will be presented during the Lacnic 21 meeting, to be held May 4-9 in Cancún, México.
“This was completely unexpected. It is an honour to receive this award from Lacnic,” Wooding said. “This strengthens my resolve to continue working to ensure that people are empowered to take advantage of technology for the development and benefit of our region.”
A pioneer in the development of technology solutions and educational resources, Wooding wears many hats in his work across the region and around the world.
As an Internet strategist and Caribbean outreach manger for the US-based research non-profit, Packet Clearing House, he has been the leading advocate for the proliferation of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the Caribbean. His efforts have led to the establishment of IXPs in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Barbados.
He is also the chief knowledge officer at Congress WBN, a Caribbean-based international non-profit operating in more than 80 countries. Wooding leads the organisation’s global technical team and has pioneered the development of Internet streaming applications now used around the world. More recently, he has worked with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to develop the Caribbean’s first-ever Digital Media syllabus. He was also instrumental in creating CXCs first ever fully digital syllabus orientation training.
In addition, he is one of the co-architects and the programme director of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s Caribbean ICT Roadshow. Through the Roadshow, Wooding has helped communities and governments across the region understand issues ranging from Internet infrastructure and broadband access in the Caribbean to cybersecurity and the impact of social media on parenting and education.
Reflecting on the award, Wooding said: “In spite of the many challenges, I remain convinced that the our region has the creativity and the capacity to leverage the Internet and related technologies to address our unique challenges, but also to create unique opportunities for our communities, businesses and society. I believe we can and will take our rightful place in the global Internet society.”
A virtual technology ambassador, Wooding regularly represents the interests of the region at international fora. He has also come in for wide praise for his innovative initiatives, including TechLink, iCAN Mobile App Development and eBook Publishing workshops, to introduce young people to digital content creation through his BrightPath Foundation, a technology education non-profit.
“His efforts have been distinguished by a deliberate commitment to collaboration and an emphasis on building regional communities,” said Bernadette Lewis, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union. Lewis was on the panel of judges for the Lacnic award, alongside noted Internet experts such as Ida Holz, Rafael Ibarra, Carlos A Afonso and Rodrigo de la Parra.
One of the main factors behind his success, Wooding said, was the partnerships he has forged. In 2010, Wooding was appointed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers as one of seven Internet gatekeepers, called Trusted Community Representatives (TCRs), and assigned a smart-card with part of a special code used to secure domain names.
“It is an honour to have the support and friendship of so many incredibly talented and extremely committed individuals and organisations from the region and across the world.” A founding member of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), Wooding led the volunteer-based organisation to become into an internationally recognised and trusted community of technical stakeholders.
“Bevil’s energy, commitment to human development and unwavering faith in the potential of the region has been an inspiration to the CaribNOG community,” said Stephen Lee, lead co-ordinator for CaribNOG. Wooding shares insights on the technology sector in Technology Matters, a syndicated column which has been published in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and T&T.
Lacnic is an international, non-government organisation established in Uruguay in 2002. It is responsible for assigning and administrating Internet numbering resources for Latin America and the Caribbean. It is one of the five Regional Internet Registries that exist worldwide. It is managed and run by a board of seven directors elected by Lacnic members who include more than 2000 network operators providing services in 33 Latin American and Caribbean territories.