Haiti may be an untapped into tech haven. For example, Maarten Boute, Chairman of Digicel (a large telecom provider in the Caribbean) has tried to help make Haiti a more tech-friendly country. This is in part, in response to the fallacy that Haiti has low internet connectivity and a no sizable English-speaking population. Digicel however, has invested in increasing internet connectivity by building fiber networks that would allow for better connectivity in major cities. This push may bring about a “call center surge” in Haiti, particularly in Port-Au-Prince, where many able bodies await work.
Internally, tech startups are also becoming increasingly important in Haiti. Chairman Maarten founded two tech startups, Surtab and Re-Volt. Both these startups have social justice oriented goals. For example, Surtab aims to better the educational system in Haiti by making the classroom experience mobile, while Re-Volt is aimed at providing affordable electricity to the Haitian people.
Clearly, programs demonstrate steps forward, as opposed to backward, in Haiti’s continuing efforts to rebuild and stabilize.
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Magdala is a second-year law student at the University of Illinois College of Law. She is the first generation of her family to be born in the United States!