PRESS RELEASE – The constituencies of Micoud North and Vieux-Fort South will each benefit from a Community Access Centre, totalling approximately EC$1.1 Million.
On Wednesday, November 05, 2014, a ground breaking ceremony took place in the respective constituenciesto formally markthe commencement of construction.
The Community Access Centres will serve as a central hub, providing internet and other ICT-related services.
Minister for the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, Senator the Honourable Dr. James Fletcher, who spoke at both ceremonies,said the community access centres form part of awider scope to increase internet access island-wide.
Member of Parliament for Micoud North Honourable Dr. Gail Rigobert, in her brief address welcomed the initiative, describing it as a “long day in coming”.
Dr. Rigobert said such a facility will help to equip residents with the requisitetechnological skillsinconducting their day -to -day affairs.
“The proximity of the structure to the Micoud Secondary School will afford the school the opportunity to usethe facility as one of its “offsite”classrooms, and to afford those students who previously were denied the opportunity to take the IT subjects to do so when the centre would have been completed,” Dr. Rigobert said.
She added, that the dialogue will commence soon on finding suitable people to design the programmesthat will be delivered at the centre.
The construction of the Community Access Centre in Vieux-Fort South has also been embraced by theMember of Parliament for the southern town, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony, who stated that it will help in restoring commercial activity to Commercial Street.
“It is an ideal location, a perfect meeting point for citizens and the young people of our community who are anxious to access the technologies and skills that will be available at the centre,” Dr. Anthony added.
However, the Prime Minister expressed concern over the general lack of regard for publicproperties, and called on residents of the southern town to “jealously” project the Community Access Centre as a tribute to the donor.
Funding for the two centres was provided by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), mere months after the two governments signed the Information and Communication Agreement in March 2014.
According to Ambassador H.E. James Chang, “This project to my belief will play a positive role for sustaining community economy.
It is my firm belief that through our joint effort we can make more meaningful achievements which will benefit the people and strengthen the ties between our two countries.”
The Micoud and Vieux-fort centres are expected to be commissioned in April and June, 2015 respectively.
To date the Governments of Saint Lucia and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have jointly accomplished several projects in the thrust to modernise the public sector and advance e- government services.
Saint Lucia will soon be the recipient of a Government Island Network Project that will provide island -wide Wi-Fi spots.
The project has already been approved by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and will be implemented in 2015