Monday, June 1, 2009

President Ma Ying-Jeou of Taiwan, shovels dirt for new construction in Belmopan of an ICT center.

President of Taiwan, Belize's best foreign aid partner.


The visit by President Ma Ying-Jeou resulted in a formal shoveling of dirt for the construction of the much ballyhooed ICT center project in our nation’s capital. The first stage is to build the building and purchase the hardware. President Ma Ying-Jeou said the island country of Taiwan was way ahead of Belize in this field and could lead the way to making an electronic type government and nation of Belize.

The second stage, somewhere down the future, six months away or more, is to open up portals and data base systems to serve the bureaucracy of Belize in establishing an Electronic government. A lot of training and hiring of new people to learn how to handle sophisticated computer technology will be necessary. I certainly hope a batch of software programmers come out of this project along the way, to start a new industry in Belize, writing software. Belize is a small populated country, so not much is expected to be required in either equipment or trained persons. Probably training people in modern data base systems will take the most time.

I foresee a problem with this ICT thingy. For one thing, we don't have internet or telephone in much of the geographic area of the country. It is not going to serve us in Santa Elena Town. We still do not have any reliable cell phone, or access to copper line land phones, or internet service and we are in a growing main district town in Santa Elena. Much of the Toledo District communities have no utility services, or communications and so is the Stann Creek District and Cayo District. I kind of hoped when the first hoopla came about telecommunications assistance from Taiwan was announced, that it would mean we would get telephone and internet service. Alas, it is just some government thing for Belize City the port and Belmopan the capital town apparently?

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