Today was day one of a two day conference focusing on ICT and E-Government is underway at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The conference is being held under the theme E-Government: Challenges, solutions and benefits. Organizers say the primary objective of the conference is to promote a greater awareness of information communications technology and to showcase E-Government systems which illustrate the practical application of information communications technology and to develop relationships to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices in Belize. The conference is jointly sponsored by the Government of Belize and the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund-Taiwan ICDF. Participants are from CARICOM nations and Central American countries.
A conference focusing on Information Communications and Technology and E-government was held today in San Ignacio. The conference was held under the team "E-government, challenges, solutions, and benefits". The main objective of the conference is to promote greater awareness of information communications technology and showcase e - government systems. It is all aimed at getting governments to use technology and the internet to make Governments operations faster and more accurate, and to have the populations have easier access to the government.. Mr. Gibson told us more about the purpose of the conference.
Charles Gibson, CEO, Ministry of Public Service The conference is a regional conference, where people from the Caribbean and Central American have been invited. It is the third such conference; one was held in St. Lucia and last year one was held in St. Kitts and now it is being held in Belize. The whole idea of having the conference is having those persons who are involved with information and communication technology to have an opportunity to share experiences, to exchange ideas, to look at new innovations that are going on in the field and most importantly, to build partnership and develop networks.
Opening remarks were made by Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan, HE David Wu, who said that the conference also aims to further develop relationships to facilitate sharing of knowledge. One of the facilitators also told us that the sharing of knowledge is also adds great strength to the relationship between Belize and Taiwan.
HE David Wu, Ambassador, Republic of China Under this agreement, we have developed some economic systems, including two web borders and 3G database systems for Belize. It is a project that will improve efficiency of the public service in Belize and also raise awareness of the ICT to the people of Belize. We have the ICT project for four countries, including Belize, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Vincent. So for this project, we constructed an ICT center for each country. For Belize, we call it a Third Generation ICT center, because from the beginning it is not a remodeling, but we designed the center and built it from scratch. The equipments are free; they were a donation.
A part of today's conference included a handing over ceremony where the Taiwanese ambassador officially handed over ownership of the recently built Belmopan ICT center to the Government of Belize. Representative
Actually, this ICT project started in 2006, we had signed a MOU and since the MOU, we started to build an ICT center. The Belize ICT center was opened to the public last year in August and it was the milestone of the project, because this project, the cooperation between the Belize Government and the Republic of China, Taiwan Government has achieved a lot. In this project we have not only done the construction itself, but the software, the hardware and the web portal. It has been proven that it is a successful cooperation and the Government of Belize has the ability and capacity to take over all the systems and hardware and software and web portal. We are very glad to hold this conference to show our friends about the result of this project so far and to have this is for further cooperation.
In the Caribbean, Belize is placing just about last, followed only by Haiti, in terms of e-government. Antigua and Barbuda have shown the greatest increase in world ranking in e-government over the last year while Barbados is number one. In fact, Barbados is getting to ready to have 100% free wi-fi for its citizens. Participants at today's conference are from CARICOM nations and Central American countries. The conference ends on Friday.